A Travellerspoint blog

Hello Slovakia

We left at 7.30am to catch the 8.25am train to Bratislava. Just had to cross the road and buy our ticket 3 stops to Kelati station where our train left from. Our ticket for the 2 1/12 hour train ride cost 18 E. We went to a money changer to change our remaining florint back into Euro and the last bit we couldn't change bought some little pastries.

After boarding the train and sitting there feeling happy with ourselves that we had done it everything with 10 minutes to spare For some reason I asked the person across the aisle if this was the train to Bratislava. She shook her head but I didn’t know if that was "no" or she didn’t understand English so I asked someone else who did the same. I got off to find an employee (after dropping my money on the platform… (really !!!) and he said no we were meant to be on platform 1 and we had boarded a train on platform 6. Mad rush and long walk to platform 1 with his help but we made it with 3 minutes to spare!!! Hot sweaty after that little excitement!

The countryside north to the Slovakian border was very pretty and wooded and followed the Danube River for some time. There were a couple of very pretty villages we passed through – Visegard and Estergom before crossing the border and going through the Slovakian town of Novy Zamky.

The 2 ½ hours passed by very quickly and we arrived into the station in Bratislava. Our hostel was the easiest one yet to find. Directions were walk down the road 300 metres in front of the station ( only 1 to choose from ) and it is the yellow building in front of you. Great hostel in a recently renovated old building. We were on the 2nd floor up a spiral staircase. We had the 4 bed female dorm to ourselves in a spacious room with a big window overlooking the front and up to the station road, a separate toilet and massive bathroom with a door on to the back balcony. Cost 16 E each. ($25 AUD)

Did some reading about Slovakia on the train:

After WW1 they became a pat of United Czechoslakia and the day before German troops invaded Czech territory in 1939 Slovakia was set up a as German ally. After the communist take over in 1948 power was centralized in Prague until 1989 when the curtain on communism came down. And they became a democracy.

60 % of the country are catholic

As it was too early to check in at 11.15am we put our bags in the luggage room and were given a map and told about the local sites and 3pm walking tour. We filled our day until 6.30pm when we arrived back in pouring rain.

We are 1km away from the old town so it took us about 10 minutes to walk down there past the presidential palace with the flag flying to show he was in town. A lot of the buildings in this area looked in need of some love and renovation.

On the right looming over the town is a massive 52 metre war memorial and burial ground of 6845 soldiers of the soviet army who died during the liberation of Bratislava in WW2.

The Old town is really delightful with winding cobblestoned streets and lovely buildings. We were hungry and not wanting a full heavy meal of meat just grabbed some pizza to eat in a square and a piece of cheesecake made of mascarpone which was not as sweet.

On the right on the hill is the massive castle that we wandered up to past the ruined city walls ( the communists put a motorway right between the old town and castle) Great view from here over the city to Austria and Hungary.

In front of us was a bridge built over the Danube with a very unique

UFO looking observation deck on the pylons of the bridge.

Over the river was tower after tower of the ugly brutist architecture ( as it is called)of the communist regime – institutionalized housing blocks . There was also a lot of industrial buildings on this side of the river.

Around the old town are many quirky statues with the most famous being the grinning helmeted man emerging from a manhole.

St Michaels gate is the last remaining city gate from 14th

We joined the 3pm free walking tour where you pay a tip at the end. We have enjoyed these in the other cities we joined them. It was very hot so walked under an umbrella to keep the sun off. Half way through a storm with heavy rain hit so we got pretty wet. These tours are good as you end up seeing lots of the not so touristed places and find out lots of interesting information, such as the Easter Monday tradition where boys knock on a girls door and throw cold water over her, whip her on the legs ( gently ) with a whip from a willow tree ( to make her fertile) and are then invited in for cake and a shot!!

The walk finished at the blue church built in art noveau style at beginning of 20th century that looks like a wedding cake.

We found a supermarket and spent 9 E between us and bought bread rolls, salmon, ham , tomato and avocado which is enough for dinner tonight and breakfast and lunch tomorrow. Also bought a bottle of Kofola – Slovakian coke which is not as sweet. Not too bad !

Town Hall

Town Hall


View over Old Town

View over Old Town


City Walls with freeway in between the cable

City Walls with freeway in between the cable


Looking towards Austria

Looking towards Austria


Cafe where we ate cheesecake

Cafe where we ate cheesecake


Mum in Town Hall courtyard

Mum in Town Hall courtyard


Main Square with fountain

Main Square with fountain


The Blue  Church

The Blue Church


Old streets

Old streets


Castle

Castle


St Michael's gate

St Michael's gate


Old Town

Old Town


UFIO Bridge and communist towers

UFIO Bridge and communist towers


Danube

Danube


City Walls

City Walls


Castle walls

Castle walls


Cool pictures  on damaged building

Cool pictures on damaged building


Walk down from castle

Walk down from castle


Slovakian Coke

Slovakian Coke


Cool statue

Cool statue


Our room

Our room

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Slovakia

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