We actually hadn’t planned on going to Bratislava. We were going to leave Debrecen and go straight to Help X farm work we had lined up in a small place in Slovakia. However, the couple we were going to work for/with asked us if we could postpone it a couple of days. We didn’t mind, and so headed to Slovakia’s capital for two nights and one full day.
As much as we enjoyed our time in Debrecen, we were looking forward to heading to a busy city and perhaps having a night out. We arrived in Bratislava and checked into our super-cheap and super-central hostel where they told us they were doing a bar crawl that night: perfect.
Before the drinking commenced we headed out for some traditional Slovakian food. We went to ‘Slovak Pub’, catered towards tourists but good value and good traditional food. We had halusky, small dumpling type things in sheeps cheese with bacon on top, a good liner for the stomach before heading back to the hostel for the start of the pub crawl.
Our night was spent with Canadians, Americans, French, Brazilians and a Liverpudlian asking a confused Croatian to “gettus a bevy” in a very scouse accent. We drank one euro beer and danced – and I got to the point where I was drunk enough to let Mitch hold me on a table and not be afraid that his drunken arms would drop me.
It was one of my favourite nights out on our trip, and Bratislava has a good few bars offer. We had a bit of a lie-in the next day, to let the mild hangovers wear off, and our dehydrated bodies were craving a good hangover cure: pizza.
The street we ate at the night before is literally a stone’s throw away from the historic old town, because it’s just outside though, the prices of food drop dramatically. We got the most ridiculous size pizza for an excellent price, and we were ready to have our day in Bratislava.
Occasionally on our trip we only have one day to explore a city and we usually we do a pretty good job of cramming everything in. Bratislava was no different, the sun was shining, our hangovers were a thing of the past and we were ready to take on the city.
In the afternoon we went on a free tour where a great student told us everything we wanted to know and showed us all the best things Bratislava has to offer (including telling us the very weird celebrations they do at Easter, which I will save for another time). Highlights included a lovely blue church and the watcher statue.
The tour didn’t include going to Bratislava castle so we went there in our own time; definitely a highlight of the city and worth a visit although unfortunately some of it was undergoing work when we visited.
In the evening we headed out for some more Slovakian food (at a less touristy place) and even split a bottle of champagne. Slovakian champagne called Hubert is locally grown (so not technically champagne but hey ho)but is very cheap and very nice too.
A day was all we really needed there to see everything; it was perfect. We were walking in the old town thinking “Damn, this is a good day” and we happened to bump into somebody we know. It was a guy who we’d met a couple of weeks previously on the Angloville programme. He was meant to be back in England, but he’d come to Slovakia for a couple of days to visit a friend. What are the chances!?
I took this serendipitous moment as a sign of the awesomeness of Bratislava.