Onward to bratislava

Trip Start May 16, 2006
Trip End Aug 16, 2006

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Flag of Slovakia  ,
Saturday, May 27, 2006

I forgot to mention some fairly interesting things that happened during my very tired day. So, I was doing my standard walking around aimlessly thing in Vienna when I see a massive cylindrical concrete structure. Having not much better to do, I wander towards it, strafing until I finally find ways to get closer and closer. The neighborhood is pretty dead until all of a sudden i go through a gate and there is a massive, very, very lively park, packed with locals. I walk around, mostly normal park stuff; soccer, dogs playing fetch, etc... but then there is a pretty large area with finely ground gravel, and dozens of people playing.... bocci! They call it something I can't remember at the moment, I will try to google it later. It was very interesting. I got some kids to teach me the proper rules and such. There was some tournament going on as well, and some of the teams had matching t-shirts, jackets, etc. Needless to say, they were very, very good at this very simple game. Oh, and nobody knew what the massive concrete thing is, nor did they seem to care.

The next day brought some sightseeing in Vienna not overshadowed by the onset of insanity caused by sleep depravation. I ate some wiener schnitzel and drank some coffee, the two staples of Vienna, did some wandering, saw a few sites (the holocause memorial is a joke compared to the one in Berlin) then hit a "house of music" museum that looked interesting from the guidebook. The bits telling about the nature of sound, hearing, etc were fairly interesting, the bits on composers not so much, to me anyway.

Then, today I woke up, cleaned up, packed up, and headed for the train station to head to Bratislava. A couple hours later, here I am, taking a break from going hostel to hostel trying to find one with empty rooms.

Prague has (judging by GDP and general city quality) advanced in leaps and bounds since the days of communism, but Bratislava has not. Prague was packed, and I mean PACKED with tourists. It has the telltale graffiti in places, some run down buildings, but mostly is very beautiful and relatively clean. Really a stunning city. Bratislava, though, covered in graffiti. There are still nice areas, along the Danube and the downtown looked nice from my brief exposure earlier, but look beyond that and there are tons of blocky, boring communist architecture, graffiti, general randown-ness, and of course the alchys. I should note that after getting off the train in Bratislava, I walked up to the tram stop only to find that a man was urinating in the gutter, not 20 feet from a couple dozen respectable-looking citizens. Telling, I suppose. Observations so be continued, I suppose...

[side note: I would upload more pictures, I have a million, but it is a painfully slow process. uploading the first 3 took 5-10 minutes. now that I am in inexpensive slovakia, though, i may be able to dump the lot somewhere.]
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