Bratislava

The Germans call it Pressburg, the Hungarians call it Pozsony and the Croatians call it Požun. For rest of the world it is Bratislava, Slovakian capital. A sleepy port along Danube, Bratislava is a medieval city with cobbled winding streets dotted with historic churches, red-tiled rooftops and 18th century buildings.

Bratislava is one of the easiest and cheapest to get to, non -touristy Schengen capital. ‘Non Touristy’ was good enough reason for me to make a day trip here from Vienna. There are a bunch of ways to get here from Vienna. Once could drive, take a train, or a bus or fly. Yes, FLY. The 2 capital cities are just 80 kms away but you can fly on Fly Niki.

I decided to wing it. Because I do not get to do that often. I need to visas to most places I travel which almost always dictates I have travel plans locked in when I request for visa. #NotCool. So, after a passable breakfast and some fantastic viennese coffee I walked up to the Stephenplatz metro station and took a train to Wien Hauptbahnhof. There was no train to Bratislava for next 90 minutes, I walked across the street and there was a bus leaving in 10 mins. It cost 5 Euros. Awesome.

The ride was un eventful.

IMG_2931.JPG
Wilkommen!

 

Bratislava in the first glance would seem like Moscow or any other city with strong communist influence in the past. I mean, I literally walked into this obelisk pointing at sky when I stepped out of the bus terminal.

DSC_0850

 

People stepping off the bus  would not fail to notice the gigantic UFO floating above the Danube in a typical soviet show of power.

ufo.jpg
UFO tower

And, thats where I went. The 278ft “UFO” can be accessed for under 10 euros and has a restaurant, observation deck and restrooms with full length windows. I am not even kidding.

The view from here is nothing short of spectacular, you can see for miles. I got some food and a few drinks. At some point I thought I was drunk, but turns out the “UFO” just rocks when the vehicles pass by at high speeds in the bridge below.

DSC_0780

GOPR1270

At this point, I decided to walk past the old town to the Bratislave castle. Actually, if you look closely in the previous picture you can see the Castle at a distance.

DSC_0597

IMG_3748

IMG_3762
Street Art

IMG_3764

Bratislava has a massive network of public transport which include trams, buses and trolley buses. A standard 60 minute ticket cost like 90 cents.

4G on my phone wouldn’t work for some reason. Luckily, a millennial waiting in the bus stop used google maps on her phone to find out what bus I had to take.

DSC_0640

The palace is now converted into a museum and I am not a fan of museums. I spent rest of the evening strolling around the palace and enjoying the views.

IMG_2944

IMG_2947
See the UFO there?

IMG_2958

IMG_2977

It started to pour after some time. You could probably guess from the overcast in the last picture. I took shelter near one of the palatial gates. I ran into this lady from Connecticut. She went on a rant about how she and her husband have been taking a vacation every year to Europe for the last 17 years and have been to 12 countries. Geez, lady , either your math is off or you are not travelling right!

Anyway, after it stopped raining, I made it to the bus stop but with out a working phone, I couldn’t figure out which bus I had to take. Tried asking a couple of people but got blank stairs. Eventually, a 20 something Slovak-English girl came into the bus stop and was glad to  look up on google maps for me.

I took late evening train for 15 euros and blissfully passed out until we pulled into Wien Hbf.

IMG_2976.JPG
My ride back to Vienna

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Bratislava

  1. Nice photos! Bratislava really is a lovely city, especially when the sun is shining. We lived there for a year and a half before moving back to Sweden. There really are a lot to see, it just takes some time to see find most of it once you leave the old town. The old town is really nice for a day trip, but to visit places like the Devin Castle and the Slavin war memorial you will probably need a bit more time. There are also a quite interesting WWII bunker – Bunker BS-8 – a few kilometers south of the old town, at the Austrian border.:)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s