It's always nice to blog about my trip 'coz it gives me a chance to relive my happy-away-from-home moments. Sadly, I don't seem to have much time this year to do so and this is inversely proportionate to the amount of travelling I've done the past year.
Well, at least I can squeeze some time out for Bratislava, Slovakia, only because there was nothing much that caught my attention to write in detail.
This lesser known city was a last minute insertion to our itinerary since we were only going to 3 other cities in 2 weeks. We thought that Bratislava is en route from Krakow to Budapest and we could just take the overnight train and wake up in Bratislava. Wrong! It was, in a way... but we had to change train in the wee hours of the morning at 2am at a station called "Bohumin". Bad idea as I was woken up about 5 mins before arriving at the transfer station and all toilets were closed for the day. There was only 1 seedy looking snack-BAR at the deserted station.
At least we saw 2 policemen patrolling and the connecting train arrived 20 mins earlier. What a relief to board the train early and head back into slumber land.
We arrived in Bratislava around 6am and it was rainy and cold. The weather in Central Europe was still bad and I was pretty reluctant to head to our hotel in the foul weather.
To reach Skaritz Hotel & Residence, we had to buy a 70-cent ticket each (from the yellow ticketing machine at the bus stop) at the bus station located right in front of the rail station and board Bus No. 93 which comes every 10 mins or so. After validating the ticket in the ticket marker on the bus, just alight at Hodžovo nám which is 2 stops away and walk to the hotel. The map can be found here: http://goo.gl/maps/cQisI
It was such a joy when we found it! Warm & toasty it was and we were offered coffee and hot tea while waiting to check in.
And the best thing was they allowed us to check in at 8+am once the room was ready! This is the earliest I've ever checked into a hotel. Naturally, I was happy. It was the only hotel we stayed in for this trip as Slovakia has the cheapest accommodation comparing to Prague, Krakow & Budapest. We stayed in apartments for the other 3 cities.
2 thumbs up for Skaritz Hotel & Residence service and stay!! It is located in a convenient location in the heart of the old town, near to the various tourist attractions.
Summer Archbishop Palace in Sweet Pink
For the 1st day, we visited the castle, ate some good Slovakian traditional cuisine like dumplings with sheep's milk cheese and Kapustnica (sauerkraut soup with sausage), which is now my fav. =P~~
Potato Dumpling with Sheep's Milk Cheese
Here's some pics of the castle which we found sterile and a tad boring.
Stairs to the Castle
Bratislava Castle Grounds
This was how bored we were when we started to pose in front of the mirrors in the castle.
It was only on the highest level that we read that parts of the castle were destroyed by a fire in early 2012. There were only some exhibits on display; so little that they could all pack into a room. We headed back to the old town for coffee and went back to laze in the hotel before googling for good dinner spots in town.
The next morning, we went out early to The Church of St Elisabeth which is on another side of the old town. When I saw the cute blue church, it brought a smile to my face.
Designed in Art Noveau architectural style, the curves and colour look really adorable for a church.
It was well worth my morning walk before we left for Budapest.
One day in Bratislava was enough for me. The old town is small and it is pleasant to stroll around. One thing stood out was the high number of Sushi bars in this small area. After reading about their economy, I realised they must have quite a few business dealings with Japanese for their car manufacturing & electrical engineering industries.
Weird take away info for my Bratislava trip...