Footprint of Communism, lovely Old Town.

Trip Start Jul 12, 2013
Trip End Aug 23, 2013

Flag of Slovakia  ,
Friday, July 26, 2013

We had a busy two days in Bratislava and the whole time we were there the temperatures were climbing! You may have seen the weather for Europe at the moment, basically the red bit under the heat warning is where we are at the moment - and it is supposed to be hotter still in Budapest!

The train journey to get here was unbearable! Extremely hot and humid with no air conditioning. It felt exactly like being in a sauna and by the time we arrived (4 hours later!) our clothes were dripping wet with sweat ... gross. It made us think back to the things we had seen about the Holocaust and how much worse it would have felt for the Jews that were crammed into cattle trains with standing room only to be sent to the concentration camps.

We arrived quite late in the evening so had a quick dinner in our hotel and tried some local wine before heading off to bed.

First day: we explored the old town and saw lots of the historic sights. Bratislava has a beautiful historic city centre, much like any other European capital city. We found this a bit surprising given that it has not been a capital city for very long! Outside the city centre it is a different picture, there are lots of abandoned buildings, broken class and graffiti all over the place. There are towering communist blocks of buildings that have not been well looked after. The outskirts of the city seem quite impoverished though there was considerable building work going on in lots of places - I think this will be a different city in ten years time. We walked up a rather large hill to see Bratislava Castle in the afternoon, by now it was incredibly hot and it felt a bit like we had completed some kind of major sporting event just by getting to the top! This is newly restored and filled with museum exhibitions.

In the evening we wandered around the town for sometime trying to find a restaurant that had lots of local people in it. The place we ended up at was very big and filled with Slovaks. The menu was entirely in Slovak and we couldn't make out a single word. After debating whether or not to guess a kind waitress helped us out with an English copy! It was called Pivovarska Restauracia - if you are interested in looking it up. We had absolutely delicious meals there, all of the beer they served was brewed on site. To give you an idea of a traditional meal, Emma had beef sliced into a creamy yellow sauce served with whipped cream (!!!) spiced jam and beer bread. It was completely delicious.

Due to a booking error (discovered before we left thank goodness) we ended up staying in a different hotel the second night - it was terrible! Ancient and ineffective air conditioning that sounded a bit like a building site/train meant that we had to turn it off to have any chance of sleeping - and in a heat wave it was stifling! 

Lots of love, 



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barry on

From what we hear its not safe yo use trains boats or buses in Europe at the moment so


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