Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Bratislava Diaries: Day 2, Tuesday 18th May 2010

Quickly discovered that our hotel room telly (nice flat screen by the way!) has got MTV Germany, so that's the viewing sorted for the rest of the week. First of many screenings of Lena Meyer-Landrut's "Satellite", which would eventually become our holiday anthem, and that was even before a certain song contest of course!

After breakfast we walk down the riverside. Let's get one thing straight: despite what that Strauss bloke says, the Danube is not blue. It's more greeny-brown.

There are a lot of river cruise boats moored at the riverside, and just like the Rhine, the Danube is very much a working river with container boats going up and down all day, along with the boat trips and the hydrofoil to Vienna.

One thing I really love about European cities is squares. Big squares, little squares, I love them all. Bratislava has two, although one of them is actually more of a street than a square: and at the far end there is the Slovak National Theatre, which is such an architectural gem that it stopped me in my tracks. Although they should have ditched that poster at the front which totally spoiled the look. (No offence to Canada)

We continued exploring, stopping off for lunch in the old town at the Presburg restaurant for our first Slovak speciality - the legendary bryndza halusky - potato dumplings smeared in sheep's cheese and topped with bacon. Which is extremely filling and Accompanied, not for the first time, by a beer. Like its neighbouring Czech capital Prague, Bratislava is beer-central. I'm not a beer drinker, but when in Rome (OK, Bratislava then!) it has to be done. I liked this restaurant, because they were playing Slovak music (which I know nothing about) in the background - unlike everywhere else, which has the usual diet of Black Eyed Peas, Taio Cruz and Lady GaGa....

After lunch we go in search of shopping, and find what feels like the world's biggest Tesco, which is so big it's actually its own shopping mall called My Bratislava. Can 'My Rubbishy Small Town' please have one of these???

The main square (pictured below) is called Hlavne Namestie, and like the rest of the city it's small but perfectly formed, and has a number of souvenir stalls which I returned to later in the week to buy some lovely jewellery. We stopped off at 4.00 for coffee at Cafe Grande (the yellow building in the middle of the picture). Throughout the afternoon there was intermittent rain, but not as heavy as last night's downpour.

Although there may not be an obvious 'attraction' in Bratislava, it's the little things which made it special. Like this for example, which shows off the fun side of the city. It's a man peeking out of a manhole, which appears on a lot of the city's souvenirs and it's photographed by everyone who visits Bratislava. It may not be such a welcoming sight if you're staggering along the street late at night after a few beers - watch your step - oooooh! Whoops = too late :D

Being the capital of Slovakia, there are lots of embassies scattered across this compact little city and I had a lot of fun pointing them out. The Austrian embassy was ripe for a photo opportunity, as this was also the place where the 6 year old Mozart played a gig back in the day.

Dinner at the Hacienda Mexicana restaurant (guess what kind of cuisine....). A brief word about the Slovak obsession with food-weights: every menu has the weight of the portion, but even the smallest portion is still too big and difficult to finish! Why are the Slovakian people so slim if they eat all those big dinners?

I did mention that Bratislava was a beautiful city: well it's not just the buildings I'm talking about. For they have a population which is very easy on the eye. Beautiful guys, beautiful girls. Faithful travelling companion even mentioned that his favourite eye-candy city, Riga, is being given a serious run for its money. As far as the male population goes, the one thing I've already noticed is that they have incredibly beautiful dark eyes, and are incredibly attractive even if not always obviously 'good-looking'.

After dinner, we went in search of, well, beer. For research purposes you understand....!


Damian said...

Funny we have almost the same man in our city ;)))

Laura (EuropeCrazy) said...

Wow! They could be twins :))