Open up and say aaahh!

Trip Start May 31, 2009
Trip End Jul 07, 2009

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Where I stayed
Hostel Blues

Flag of Slovakia  ,
Sunday, June 21, 2009

First off, there is nothing to "do" in Bratislava. But for some reason, I really enjoyed myself. It certainly has a laid-back feel to it, but I wonder if my enjoyment of it was just a product of right time/right place. The old town, the main tourist draw, is quite nice but not much different from other old towns in European cities. We had many a pleasant hour strolling its streets & taking the requisite photographs of the pointless statues placed throughout. We also were able to go to a used bookstore, Next Apache, which deals only in English-language books. They do not pay much for used books and their prices aren't rock bottom, but supply & demand meant there were plenty of people there, and we were able to purchase two books after giving them four.

After we felt we had exhausted our options in the old town, we crossed the Danube and went to a shopping mall. I am usually not much on shopping malls (they don’t have anything I need, really), but it was actually a good time walking through this one. It seemed quite vibrant, unlike many American malls. We caught The Hangover at the cinema in the mall, which was pretty funny but not amazing. We also considered bowling, but it was too exxxpensive, so we headed to Bratislava castle. It is, quite frankly, a joke. It was rebuilt in 1953 and was being worked on at the time we were there; the best you can say for it is it allows for pleasant views and it’s free. Certainly, there is nothing unpleasant about it but also nothing about it to recommend.

We had an extra day to work with and decided we would get out of Bratislava. However, the two places we thought about going were closed that day, and our other option, Vienna (only something like 65 km away), was certainly viable but heavy rains were forecast all day. We reasoned that we could grumble through the rain there or just stay in Brati one more day and kick it. So kick it we did. Strangely enough, we ran into the same Austral-Canadian couple from a few days before that day in our hostel. We made a swell dinner to-gether and drank a bottle of Bulgarian wine. It was good, but that is to be expected given the reputation of Bulgaria’s vineyards. Our discussion veered to dental care, and the Australian said that his dentist many years ago told him, “You’re the type of guy I need to see only every three years or so. You know, dingoes in the back, wallabies in the front, looks good. Just take care of your teeth.” I couldn’t imagine an American dentist ever saying such a thing (never mind the obvious Australianisms).
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