Bratislava or Bust

Trip Start Oct 06, 2005
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Trip End Oct 25, 2005


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Flag of Slovakia  , Bratislava,
Saturday, October 15, 2005

I arrived in Bratislava today at about 5:00.  Many people have told me to give it a miss.  I had to see for myself if it was as boring as people said.  After the breakup of Czechoslovakia (the velvet divorce as they say) Bratislava became the capitol of the newly formed Slovak Republic.  It's about 500,000 in population compared to Prague's 1 million or so.

I checked in to a popular hostel and set out to explore.  The historic city is small but beautiful.  There's a castle on the hill near the Danube river.  There are narrow winding lanes and not all of them have a quaint cafe, restaurant, or bar on them, which is nice.  Everyone dresses well, and all the women look like models. 

I grabbed a bite to eat and had a beer and stumbled on this internet cafe on one of the main drags.  So far, I like Bratislava a lot. It's not trying to be something it's not, which is what the naysayers might want.  Tomorrow I plan on doing some sightseeing here and I'll decide if I should stay another night or head to Vienna a day early.  I'm meeting Deanne there on Sunday night.  She had a conference in  Brussels and is flying over for 3 days.  Since she was an exchange student there many moons ago, it should be fun discovering and rediscovering the city together.

10-16-05

Well, I'm glad I didn't listen to the naysayers.  I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Bratislava.  I met some fun folks at the hostel, including a big talker from Minnesota.  He said he was a Paparazzi and travels around the world for various jobs.  He was in Bratislava doing preliminary shoots for a Playboy spread on E. European girls.  So he says.  He was happy to be talking to someone from the midwest.  And he got shot once by P Diddy's bodyguard for snapping a photo of him coming out of a club with a girl.  So he says.

He showed me a few bars away from the main tourist district and we had a couple drinks.  Today I visited a couple more museums and saw more of the city.  The city's history museum  was in the main city hall.  In the basement of these town halls were the jails.  The museum had a gruesome exhibit of what it was like down there.   The torture instruments were scary.  There were even 17th century drawings and diagrams showing how to use them.  My favorit?  The "Spanish Boots", big metal clamps with metal spikes that fit over the lower leg and were screwed into the leg. This from the people who brought you the Inquisition.

I bought a train ticket to Vienna and tomorrow I'll meet Deanne at our hotel, a family run pension near a market street.  Looking forward to a new city and country.
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