by - Monday, April 22, 2013

My stay in Bratislava was short... honestly one of the only reasons I decided to stop there is that it made good sense as it was located (by train) between Krakow and Budapest.

Since I was only in the city one full day I needed to take full advantage of it... so after I got off my night train from Krakow, I went to the hostel and crashed for a few hours before heading out on a free walking tour of the city.  I've said it before, and I say it again - if a city offers a free walking tour, take it.  I tip on average 5-10 Euro per tour, and it is totally worth it, and way better than paying some old stodgy tour guide 25-30 Euro for the same thing, but without any feeling added to the tour.  I also find that those people operate from a script... and it is boring!

The city of Bratislava is not big, and the tour took about 2 hours.  We were lead around the city, shown a couple of Slovakian dance moves by our tour guide, and learned about the history of the area, including that of communism, the separation from the Czechs and how much they like their hockey.

Sadly, the afternoon was met with rain... my first (and so far only) brush with weather that kept me indoors.  I watched a few movies that evening, and tried dodging yet another creepy guy... this one was a little older and has been everything from an IT professional, to a trainor for the NHL and NBA in New York to a stock broker.  I'm thinking he just made up shit as he went along... and while talking to myself and a guy in the hang-out room tried convincing us that Slovakia was better under Communist rule because he got his education free.  The guy sure knew how to clear a room...

My train to Budapest left around lunch the next day, so I really didn't spend a lot of time exploring Bratislava.  Sadly much of the city's history was destroyed as one regime took over from another, so there isn't tonnes to see.  I did enjoy a nice meal of potato dumplings smothered in cheese and bacon though!!

Next stop... Budapest!

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