Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Bratislava Diaries: Day 1: Monday 17th May 2010

Or, the holiday that almost wasn't.

The ash cloud which had drifted all over European airspace following the Icelandic volcanic eruption a few weeks ago, causing thousands of flights to be cancelled, made its return to British airspace on the Saturday before our holiday. By Sunday, almost all British airports were closed, and many remained closed on Monday morning....
I woke on Monday with trepidation and feeling a mixture of angry and downhearted, getting ready and making final preparations with a 'going through the motions' feeling. As we began the first part of our journey (by train) we still didn't know if the holiday would be on or not.

Happily, the good news came at 1.00 pm - the airport was open, and our holiday was on - although we couldn't relax until the flight was airborne!

Surprisingly, the weather at home prior to our departure was beginning to resemble 'summer'...the same couldn't be said on our arrival at Bratislava Airport, where torrential rain was battering down and the temperature was much cooler. Already cursing myself for not packing warm enough clothes, although my trusty outdoor jacket was in the suitcase - I learned my lesson from Dusseldorf last spring, where heavy rain and a light jacket weren't a good combination :(

Even with the rain falling, the magic had begun. On our way into Bratislava we crossed the Danube, over the New Bridge (Novy Most) which is a very distinctive structure topped by the 'UFO' restaurant, and were immediately faced with the breathtaking view of a beautifully lit Bratislava Castle to the left, and the old town to the right.

After checking in at our very centrally located hotel, we headed out in search of dinner, although it was getting late. We headed over to the Old Town, which like everywhere else in the world on a wet Monday night, was pretty deserted. Or to be specific, pretty and deserted. For it became apparent very very quickly that Bratislava is a very beautiful place, even on a wet, empty Monday night. And if you don't believe me.....

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