A shame about the location

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
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Trip End Aug 15, 2008


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Flag of Slovakia  ,
Friday, January 13, 2006

Originally I had intended to stop in Bratislava only as a day trip, and not to stay. Then I realised that I'm not exactly pressed for time, so I might as well stay for at least a day and do the city some justice. Having spent two nights here, I realise a day trip would have been enough.

Bratislava is small. Or rather, Bratislava is a medium sized city, but the area of Bratislava that might be of interest is small. Very small. I walked every street in the historic centre in less than two hours, spent another hour up at the castle, and then ran out of things to do.
Bratislava castle was one built with functionality in mind - a defensive position, and nothing else. As such, it is very box-like solidly constructed, with very little in the way of the fanciful ornamentation that was such an important part of the Transylvanian castles. Still, at least the grounds were well kept!
The historic centre is attractive enough, although there is very little to set it apart from many other towns and cities I have been to, and I think is slightly unfortunate to be sandwiched in between Vienna and Budapest, two of the most beautiful cities I have come across. From what I've heard, with Prague to the north as well, Bratislava is always going to suffer from unfavourable comparison with it's immediate neighbours, which is quite unfair in its inevitability. Location is everything!
I'm afraid this all sounds rather negative. It's not that I disliked Bratislava; I'm glad I visited, but it just doesn't rate highly on the scale of my travel experiences so far.
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