Bratislava, Slovakia: Day 2

Dear all,

You are most privileged to have todays blog from my diary…..

Well I set my alarm for 9am this morning but I think that was wishful thinking. Eventually rose half an hour later and enjoyed[!] a very quick cold shower. We both got ready and went downstairs to wait for the internet. Tesco played host to breakfast this morning, offering us a fine selection of buns, pastries and doughnuts which we enjoyed with a latte from a coffee shop nearby. Although we – or rather Claudio – discovered that the Bratislavan weather would require a sweatshirt, which we picked up back at the hostel.

The rest of the morning and early afternoon involved running about town trying to figure out what to do about a daytrip to Vienna and getting to Budapest there after…

[cuts out loads of boring crap]

…After all that larking about we thought it best to see some of Bratislava [other than the public transport terminals]. We wandered into and around the old town to begin with , which much to my surprise turned out to be beautiful – and I felt – much more “eastern” than its Czech cousin. The streets were narrower, there were pokier alleyways, bends and hills played apart of several story brightly coloured architecture. We walked by the the cathedral, the magistrates court….

… The castle grounds offered superb views of the Danube, the rest of teh city, far off wind mill farms, nearby woods and increasingly proximate japenese tourists. We hung around the top for a while talking about digital cameras and briefly poked our nose rounds the main courtyard of the very box like 1811 mina building of the castle.

On the return leg of our journey – our jumpers well and truly off as the Slovak afternoon sun really made its presence felt – involved a stop by the town hall before finding a bar in the old town to sit down have a beer and watch the people pass us by. What we got in fact was that and more. Around three quarters of the way through my half litre several medievally dressed Slovaks walked into the square a little way down from where we were totty spotting. Some were drumming, one was waving a a chequered flag in a rather Grand Pris stylee, two carried pikes and two muskets. After the over enthusiastic F1 wannabe flag waving the latter two proceeded to let off a shot each – blanks – which shit both me and claudio up good and proper. Post scaring the loiving daylights out of me they packed up and drummed a way past me on into the old town – presumably to go and give some hamburg/bratwurst eating english/german tourists a couple of heartattacks.

We finished our drinks and went in search of some dinner, ending up at the slovak restaurant from the night before. It was a lot quieter tonight and everything was pretty prompt, so prompt in fact that after I had ordered the homemade goulash with some fries and a salad, claudio in a fit of indeterminacy proceeded to order the homemade goulash with some fries and a salad. When it arrived it was very different from the goulash we had in Prague. It was thinner, had an inch layer of oil on the top, potatoes in it, visible pieces of meat, a good kick, and was served in a bowl. Of course on seeing the potatoes amongst this concoction childish instincts came into play and the back of my fork was utilised for the purpose of mashing the tatties to “soak up the juice”. I ate all of mine and was most contented after it; on the other side of the table Claudio choked on his and left his oil/juice.

On the way back to the hostel we stopped for some icecream and then went to tescos for some headphones. It struck me that tesco have really captivated the market in Slovakia – all of them! This tesco was like no other I’d seen before. It was a conventional supermarket plus a Boots, Homebase, Halfords, Primark and Walmart all thrown in for good measure over 5 floors. They even sold motor bikes!

Okay thats enough for now, getting some evil looks from the queue.

Ta ra

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