Tag Archives: Bratislava

The Beast

Friday, 26 August 2011

My luggage, circa Bratislava A.D.

Bratislava-Luggage

The Beast

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Bratislava

Friday, 26 August 2011

“All that is fine,” you may say, “Fascinating, even. Who wouldn’t want to see the fat rear end of a freighter passing underneath a bridge from the window of a train? That’s always been my idea of a good time. But go back a little bit. What did the Bratislava train stationlook like??”

Here you go:

Bratislava-TrainStation

The Bratislava train station.

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Bratislava

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The hostel I’m staying at is the closest one I could find to the train station. And it’s close. And the folks here are friendly, in true hostel fashion. I’m staying in a co-ed dorm room with ten beds called the “Croatia Room;” others are named “Spain,” “Finland,” and the like. There’s a beer garden and a pub downstairs, and the pub has a ‘blood and gore’ theme – red lighting; a body in the stairwell; one of the tables is a bloody bathtub with a pane of glass on top. Which seems fitting – both with the typical hosteler age-group (early 20s) and with the vibe of Bratislava in general, which seems to be a party-town. Or more generally, a tourist-town without much substance behind the facade. Apparently a lot of the low-budget airlines are using Bratislava as their dumping ground for cheap flights and the tourists who fly them, and the statistic I saw – which seems difficult to believe – is that 30 million tourists pass through Bratislava each year. Certainly I’ve seen my fair share of pensioners and party-heads, both. And they’re all looking for something to see, and presumably not finding it. That’s a little unfair – there ARE things to see here. Just not that many things.

First, here’s my hostel:

Bratislava-Hostel

My hostel

There are street performers – this one replicating one of the AMAZING SIGHTS ONLY SEEN IN BRATISLAVA!!!!

Bratislava-StreetPerformers

Only in Bratislava

Here’s another sculpture, found outside the Paparazzi Restaurant. It’s a paparazzi photographer, taking your photo. Get it?

Bratislava-Paparazzi

So many paparazzis

As a capital city, Bratislava has embassies:

Bratislava-Embassies

Bratislavan Embassies

Bratislava also has – and I honestly do love this – a raft of narrow, winding alleys. Who knows what you might find once you enter?

Bratislava-Alleys1

Bratislavan Alleys

Bratislava-Alleys2

Bratislavan Alleys

Bratislava-Alleys3

Bratislavan Alleys

Bratislava also has a castle you can climb up to. The building itself is only 150 years old though – previous iterations were destroyed or burned down, but extend back another 700 years or so – and not all that impressive looking, so I took no photos. But I did enjoy the view of the Danube you got from the top:

Bratislava-Danube

The Danube

Finally, the most famous cathedral in Bratislava – St. Martin’s – was begin in 1311 but not completed until 1452. Shortly thereafter, it became the coronation church of the kings and queens of the Kingdom of Hungary; in all 11 kings and queens were coronated here between 1563 and 1830. Now the church is undergoing restoration work, although you would be forgiven for assuming that it was simply under the sponsorship of a Slovak bank:

Bratislava-StMartinsCathedral

St Martin’s Cathedral

That’s pretty much it, forks. My impression of Bratislava is that it is designed to get your money, by hook or by crook. If you like drinking, there are plenty of pubs. If you like shopping, all you have to do is extend your arm and you’ll be pressing your flesh against someone eager to dress it, feed it, transport it, accessorize it, or entertain it. In many ways, Bratislava reminds me of a rather large shopping mall. One last thing: Bratislava has a truly surprising diversity of cuisines. In the mood for Moroccan or Irish? Brazilian or Middle Eastern? Japanese or Mexican? Spanish or Chinese? Italian? Slovak? German? You won’t have to worry in Bratislava. Of course there have so many tourists, this may well be just another clever means of parting you and your money, but it’s a pleasant surprise nonetheless.

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Slovak Cuisine

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The bryndzove halusky I had last night:

Bratislava-BryndzoveHalusky

Bryndzove Halusky

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