Slovakia, double the fun of Austria at half the price. That’s my career in advertising over before it even started, but in my humble opinion it is true …
To celebrate my latest age increase we headed back to where it all began for me, the capital of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava. Having moved here in 2006 for my first TEFL job my memories of life in the city are fabulous: great people, lots of partying and cheap food and drink being just some of the attractions. It is of course also the place where I got hit by a car and smashed my leg to pieces but you can’t win them all!
It takes about one hour from Vienna Central Station to either of Brati’s main stations but existing into the central European country really feels like a step back in time to a period of my life which completely opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities and set myself and, slightly later, Lou on this wonderful around the world English teaching adventure. Without Bratislava I would never have met so many fabulous people, seen so many amazing things and lived in so many different places so I always love returning.
After arriving on Saturday afternoon we headed up to the city’s highest point at the Slavin War Memorial to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine. The memorial has been spruced up since my last visit (it was a while ago, nearly ten years I think) but is still respectful and the atmosphere is very peaceful. The walk up also offers some nice views over the city, the Danube and up to the Hrad (castle).
A Saturday night of pretending we are twenty one again including great street burgers from a lovely side-stall , a few cheap beers and some dancing/bouncing to some Balkan Beats music really started the weekend, and it was great to catch up with our German mate, Thorstein, and our American friend, Maria, who are both still in Bratislava after all these years.
Sunday involved lunch at one of the few old haunts which remain in the city, Verne where the food is still good and always reasonably priced. A stroll along the river and a walk up to the castle followed. The castle grounds are largely unrecognisable from the city I remember and it indicates that this little gem of a destination has well and truly placed itself on the tourist map.
As the picture says: I love Bratislava 🙂