Saturday, November 2, 2013

24 Hours... Bratislava, Slovakia

We left Budapest for Bratislava by train, we had purchased a first class cabin that we had all to ourselves. It was a nice ride, past pretty hills half hidden by mist and along the Danube River. We had wanted to take a boat but they don't run throughout the winter.

We grabbed a taxi from the train station and headed to our hotel, Marrol's. I think we got taken a bit as our fare was 18E and the town is pretty small. Our hotel however, was absolutely great! They greeted us with a glass of bubbles and then showed us to our cute room which had a very comfy bed, free wifi, complementary mini bar and breakfast. Absolutely would recommend this hotel if you happen to find yourself in Bratislava.
We headed out on foot and made our way to 1.Slovak Pub for a traditional lunch of cheese dumplings with bacon and beer. This was good fuel for our afternoon plans of walking around the town. 

Originally we had thought about spending two nights in Bratislava but I'm glad we cut that to just one. The town, especially the old part, is very pretty but it's easy to do in half a day. 
We started by entering the old walled part and wandered along the cobblestone lined, pedestrian only lanes.  The city has a collection of quirky sculptures that they added to be "less communist" after the Velvet Revolution.

Past the square was an outdoor ice rink and the remains of the Christmas markets. We continued on to the site of the former Rybné Square synagogue and the memorial to the 105,000 Slovakian victims of the holocaust. Strangely, the site is next to the town church and next to the main highway which the city of Bratislava chose to erect crazily close to both. 

After walking around the town and square we headed over the bridge to the UFO Observation deck. This gives fantastic views the Danube, the barren areas around the town, the castle, that infamous highway, and Bratislava itself. 
The winter light was so pretty, but it was also crazy cold. The kind that is refreshing and invigorating though- luckily!

We opted not to stop in at the rotating restaurant for over priced cocktails and made our way back across the bridge to the town for cocktails.

At this point is was still early, maybe 4pm, so although we had a few cocktail bars on our list to check out, the only one that was open was Paparazzi Bar. Not to worry, it is also the best. They have an amazing cocktail menu, and one of those funny sculptures-- an over eager "photo journalist"-- is on their corner. 
We left and found ourselves on very quiet streets, most of the restaurants still closed for the holidays. We checked in on a few places but found them to be too "touristy" so we opted for an early dinner back at our hotel, which was ok, and tucked into bed early. Tomorrow we were heading to Vienna!

I have no idea what we would have done with 48 hours... 

All Bratislava photos here.

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