Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne
Seatguru - Most Comfy Seats On Any Airline
pprune.org - Pilot's rumour network
Kangaroo with a Sweet Tooth
Kronicles of Kris
The Adventures of Alle Malice
Joel's trek across Asia/Europe in a Hilux
Phil's Wine Site
I Can Has Cheezburger
The Flying Pinto
Girl on Raw
Things Bogans Like
Bobby at Up, Up and a Gay
Straight Guy in the Queer Skies
Skin by Falter
Sunday, February 24, 2013
When I told people that I was going to Bratislava on my leave, the basic consensus was not exactly positive. "Why Bratislava?" "Why not visit Vienna, or Prague instead?" "There's nothing there!" and the first impressions of the trip were not going my way either. Missing the first bus I booked from Vienna airport to Brastislava Bus Station. Then being charged over 20 Euros for a journey that was 10 minute walk, reluctant to rely on data roaming and Google Maps unless absolutely necessary. Then despite my hotel advertising free WiFi in all areas, this was limited to one device, and the code on my iPhone would only allow me to look up Facebook - no email, no weather, no maps, no TripAdvisor nor any web browsing. Hardly dire, but still very frustrating. Then due to the lack of internet, the location I thought my walking tour was due to start was not actually in the Hlavne namestie but actually in the Hviezdoslavovo namestie, so I stood for a good 25 minutes in snowy conditions wondering whether or not whether the tour was cancelled or not.2 comments
Fortunately, the tour actually passed though the area where I was waiting, and after confirming with the friendly Simona that the walking tour was still going ahead, I joined a little late. There is a great trend in tours happening amongst the walkable cities of Europe - Free Walking tours, usually led by local students, operating solely on tips so that they're motivated to give the best tour possible. I took one when I was in Riga a few years ago and was very pleased with my experience there - and whilst it was a completely different company in Bratislava I do think the working-for-tips idea really makes a difference. Plus a good 2-2.5 hrs exercise can't hurt?
Napoleonic soldier statue on the Hlavne namestie.
Old Town Hall
Fountain within the Hlavne namestie
Cimil - Man at Work statue, one of the most iconic symbols of modern Bratislava.
Apparently what used to happen is when Cimil was first erected many drivers were unable to see him and on several occasions he was run over and decapitated, so now this sign is up informing drivers to look out for Cimil.
There's a cannonball stuck in the Old Town hall!
St Michael's Gate, well there's actually 2 gates on this very path built at a 90 degree angle to make it harder for enemy troops to attack the city. If they were build parallel to each other then they could just charge through, but by building the gate at an angle armies were forced to slow down on the approach. Quite clever I thought...
So apparently 15 Kings and Queens were coronated in Bratislava, and in many places within the Old Town there are gold crown stamps marking the path the royals had to take during the coronation ceremony.
The second-slimmist building in Europe (possibly the world) behind a dwelling in Amsterdam, and now this houses a Kebab shop.
OK so the gold plaque is there to commemorate the very first witch-burning in Bratislava during the 17th century, but unfortunately by the time we were there some random car had parked there with hazard lights on. I'd have to come back another time and view it in full later.
Distant view of Bratislava Castle, though it is actually a fort.
Commemorative poem in SNP square