Wednesday, December 20, 2006


The train to Bratislava leaves from south Vienna and takes one hour to get to Petrzalka, where we catch a bus to Bratislava old town. After finding the B&B we hit the Christmas markets to find some quick and cheap dinner of chicken burgers and gluhwein. And boy was it cheap - our total dinner menu equates to around 3 euros.

Many of the things that can be bought in Bratislava are relatively cheap by EU standards. Slovakia and Czech Republics have both joined the EU and will be introducing the euro.

Around 9pm in the markets a group of four young fellows appeared with an accordian, violin and guitar and started singing traditional Slovakian songs in a tent of the markets. It was completely impromptu and soon a crowd formed with a Slovakian shin-dig ensuing. It was wonderful watching and listening to the music, even as the rain fell.

Something that has to be mentioned about our accommodation is the telephony and bathroom. The telephone has just slipped out of the 60s and the toilet door could not be shut completely if the toilet was to be used in either of the regular positions - sitting or standing.

The main interest points in Bratislava are the Old Town and the castle, which we walked around and through. There are not many tourist attractions in the city and that is not what drew us. It was the culture and people that were different from many of the other parts of Europe that we have seen. So far all of our European travel has been in EU affiliated countries. Slovakia has joined the EU but from what we saw they have not become EU-ised, which was quite refreshing.

We had some great meals in the city by just walking into a random restaurant. Once we got off the main town square the meals were cheap and the restaurants very homely.

For the quirky side of Bratislava you need to look for the statues that are dotted around the town square and surrounding streets. There is paparazzi, a helmeted peeper, a Frenchman and some other entertainer guy.

We had two nights in Bratislava and we really enjoyed our time there. By the end of the second day we had seen all of the sights, but most importantly we experienced the local culture. We both left hoping that the spread of the EU through countries like Slovakia would not destroy the uniqueness that they offer.

Click on the photo to see more of Bratislava

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