Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bratislava, Slovakia

One of the odd vagaries of European trains is that often a return fare can cost less than a one way fare. Our return trip to Bratislaa, even though we were only going to use one leg of it cost only 15 euro.

It's a mere 1 hour journey between the capital of Austria and the capital of Slovakia but the economic difference is years wider. The Slovakians (once part of Czechoslovakia) left the Russian sphere in 1993 and while the country has been described as having one of the fastest growth rates in Europe it isn't immediately obvious based on our limited time in the capital. Roads and footpaths look in need of repair, there are not masses of major construction projects. It was also apparent large consumer chains have not yet arrived in droves. The only ones we saw were McDonalds, H&M and New Yorker.

Sadly this was a one night transit and we couldn't get out to the mountains and countryside the country is famous for

While the old town was nice to walk around, it simply wasnt stunning.

The Castle had been majorly renovated and spruced up. There seemed to be a bit of public art, perhaps making up for a lack of other attractions?

The thing we enjoyed most was the food.

Lunch was at the number one restaurant on Tripadvisor- Whiskey Bar 44. The waiter wore a kilt and the floor had a lovely tartan carpet. There was no English menu, but our kilted Slovakian translate the key points for us. And we had a very good 'business set menu' lunch for a very reasonable price.

Then in the evening we walked out from our hotel and saw a local restaurant, Divny Janko, packed with locals. We thought we'd chance it on the language front and were very surprised to find they had a English menu. Good hearty food for an even more reasonable price.






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