Slovakia, Day 1 - 3

Trip Start Apr 16, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Yuraj´s Hostel

Flag of Slovakia  , Bratislava,
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spent most of our three days here walking round the old town - so many interesting buildings to look at as well as quirky statues and lots of pleasant squares.  A good place to just sit and watch the world go by. 

We were enthralled by the Blue Church, which looks good enough to eat (well it looks just like an iced cake decoration!) and has motives of roses decorating much of the inside.  This is because it is the church of St Elizabeth who was the daughter of a Hungarian King and famed for giving food and clothes away to the poor.  Her in-laws were not impressed with her charitable nature and so when stopped and asked what she was hiding in her apron (bread for the poor) she lied and said roses.  By a miracle (so the story goes) when forced to reveal the contents, roses appeared.  A very peaceful and calm place to be.

We also went to have a look at Bratislava castle (currently a building site - literally, rubble everywhere!) mainly for the view over the old and new city, although a better viewing spot was Slavin Hill - a park, cemetary and war memorial to those who died liberating Slovakia from the Nazi occupation. 

Visited Devin Castle 9km out of Bratislava at the confluence of the Morava and Danube rivers.  The upper castle was closed (a theme it seems!) but we had a good view down to where the rivers met - fascinating to see the mixing of the green waters of the fast flowing Danube and the brown sediment filled waters of the slower Morava.  Also saw the hydrofoil we would have been on if the trains to Vienna had not been so expensive, which forced a change of plan and the flight to Budapest.  Probably the best bit about this day trip though was the mating calls of two types of frogs down in the Morava wetlands.  We didn't know what the noise was to start with - really loud like incessant ducks quacking but no birds in sight! 

Anyone reading this who is going to Bratislava and is approached by a guy called Yuraj at the train station - we thoroughly recommend his hostel.  He is a genuine and helpful person.  Also the Slovak Pub is good for cheap eats.
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