So is it possible to top the delightfulness of Budapest by visiting Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia? In a nutshell… no. Whilst Bratislava is pleasant and nice enough, that’s about all it is. It isn’t charming, it isn’t buzzing and it doesn’t have a great deal on offer… apart from garlic soup.
We had two nights in the city, and one and full day. Which we found to be more than enough. The city is tiny. The old town is even tinier. We went on one of the free walking tours, which while good it did not deliver like the Munich one did. Of course this could be related to the number of sights in Bratislava being somewhat limited and the fact the majority of the old town was destroyed in the war times, but the quality was also not quite there. Still, it was interesting and informative, and we learnt a fair amount about Bratislava and Slovakia’s fight to become it’s own independent country.
After the tour we decided to sample a Bratislavan dish… which was too long to remember the real name of but basically is a giant bread roll turned into a bowl with removable (and edible) bread lid, filled with the garliciest garlic soup going. Holy coconuts that stuff is strong. Tasty for the first few mouthfuls, until the garlic becomes overpowering and you can sense all people within a 10-metre radius slowly sauntering away from you… The finest speciality!
After the interesting lunch we headed up to the castle. Not like castles we are familiar with in England (old crumbling stone things) this looked more like a posh, large building. Still, a caslte none the less and on top of the hill where it should be. After wandering around and trying to get passed the hordes of American tour groups we emerged on the other side and ambled slowly back down to the centre. A pleasant walk indeed through some old winding streets, which gave you a feel of how the city possibly was before all the destruction took place.
And that, is about it. Nice to stop for a day, but unfortunately Bratislava does not offer the liveliness of a capital city you may expect, but still, it’s worth dropping by. After being in the beautiful Budapest we knew it would be hard to top.
On a positive finish… next stop Prague!