After a crazy weekend with the Italian Team in Budapest. Miss Earring and I decided to drive to Bratislava. This was a great idea! The Hungarian countryside with pumpkin fields. And a slightly weird roadside restaurant serving the best goulash soup I have ever had! Spiced up our journey.
We arrived in Bratislava after twilight! It was raining. Finding my hotel was a challenge. City seemed deserted. Trying to get a drink somewhere in town looked a bit like a scene from the infamous ‘Hostel’ film produced by Quentin Tarantino.
Luckily, the next morning was filled with sun. I felt more than welcomed at the little cafe where I stopped for a coffee and croissant. With a big smile and great hospitality.
The Old Town’s small cobblestone streets are filled with boutique chocolate shops. Art galleries are on every corner. It feels like stepping back in time when strolling the pedestrian plazas. Observing the pastel 18th-century rococo buildings of the compact historic centre. While few meters away one can see old post Soviet building.
And that is what Bratislava is. A mix of old, new and older. All of which is worth a trip.
The Main Square is a top tourist spot in the city. The building of the City Hall and the Roland Fountain are reminiscent of the splendour of the baroque and Renaissance eras.
Panska and Michalska are narrow and winding streets lined with ‘fin de siecle’ coffeehouses and restaurants. Onion-domed turrets and spires rise above the churches. Opera House stands proudly over Hviezdoslavovo Square and there is always some ‘man at work’ somewhere. One can notice Austrian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Jewish and Slovak influences in everything around.
Another great attraction of Bratislava is Devin Castle. Reigns atop a hill by Danube River. From the castle’s windows one can admire three countries. Slovakia, Austria and Hungary in clear weather. Hike up to the castle along steep streets and enter through one of the four gates. It’s been rebuilt, reconstructed and renovated many time over the last century.
The Historical and Music Museum has its base here these days. You can stop on the way back in one of the Slovak cuisine restaurants. Modra Hviezda is a great place with superb bryndzove halusky. Potato dumplings with sheep’s-milk cheese. Waiters were thinking that Polish language sounds funny while listening to Polish hits from the past.
For more fashionable cuisine go back to the Old Town. After dark, cosmopolitans and apple martinis are served real international style. I have heard that Bratislava deserves its reputation as a party city. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to check it out.
I’m already planning my next trip and I plan on being thoroughly charmed by this lovely city.