Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Budap...I mean, Bratislava

There are days when I feel I'm coping pretty well with travelling the world, and then there are days when I feel like a monkey that has escaped from his cage at the zoo, eyes darting, waiting for the guys with nets to show up. My arrival in Bratislava was one of the latter.

I talk to pretty much everyone about travel. Some friends told me about an Eastern European city that they really enjoyed, because it had a strong Turkish influence to the architecture. So I went, got off the shuttle from the airport, looked around, and thought "Fuck it. I'm in the wrong city".

Bratislava (not Budapest or Bucharest, or wherever the heck I was meaning to go), is the capital of Slovakia, and just a short hop down the Danube from Vienna. It was part of the Habsburg Empire and then a part of the Communist block, so the architecture is a mix of imposing baroque and communist brutalism. It is remarkable for its un-Turkishness. But the main buildings are pretty nice.

The city castle is called Bratislavsky Hrad. I think before the castle, there used to be a school on that site called "the School of Hrad Knocks".

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