Estephanie with Napoleon.
Amsterdam, London, DĂĽsseldorf, Antwerpâ€¦these were some of the cities where the main meetups in Europe took place. All in Western Europeâ€¦of course. I would have never expected that it would be my own hometown Bratislava that would break this â€śwesternâ€ť tradition.
I knew a couple of travelbuddies were supposed to come to the Slovak capital Bratislava around June, but I didnâ€™t realize that they would actually come around the same time.
Knowing the financial situation of Estephanie ( darlingwish) I had offered her and Wayne (wayneollerenshaw) with whom she was travelling together around Eastern Europe to stay at my place. Donâ€™t have so much space as I live in a 1 room apartement, but a 2-3 people who donâ€™t need too much comfort are always fine.
Estephanie, Napoleon, Wayne, Stacey and James.
I have offered also James (James1985) and his girlfriend Stacey (stacey0204) to show them around in Bratislava. And I remembered that Christian (Cristiano_C), a Swedish guy with a Slovak mom, would be around as well. It was them who realized that they would hit Bratislava the same time and left me a note about it. Not organizing in such a case a meetup would be likeâ€¦going to Paris and not visit the Eiffel Tower, being in Japan and not trying Japanese food or having a free ticket to a concert and not going there.
It would be just a waste of a great opportunity.
James and Stacey were supposed to arrive on Sunday, Estephanie and Wayne Tuesday early morning and Christian Tuesday afternoon. Sounded logical to set up the meetup for Tuesday, right?
But oh oh, I saw then on James profile that they were planning to leave already Tuesday morning, had to do something. Thanks god these 2 travbuddies from South England were flexible enough to change their plans a bit and they seemed not willing to miss the travbuddy â€śeventâ€ť, hehe.
Honestly, I didnâ€™t prepare much for that evening, I had an idea where to go, thatâ€™s it.
And the fact that the meetup would be on a Tuesday made all kind of reservations unnecessary.
The paparazza got the paparazzi.
The first to arrive in Bratislava were as planned James and Stacey. Sunday around noon I went to pick them up at the Central station, they were coming over from Hungary. I sent a message to James the day before to wait on the platform after getting out of the train, but when everybody was suddenly gone and the train started to move again there was still no James and Stacey. Did they miss to get out of the train??? It had stopped in Bratislava just for few minutes, but come onâ€¦while I started typing a new message a guy who didnâ€™t look much like James on any of his profile pictures waved me from the stairs of a corridor leading to the main building. James? I meanâ€¦who else, haha. Yeah, it was him of course.
It seemed that they just followed the crowd and got into the station hall. Whatever, I was just glad to find them, haha. We picked up Stacey and James withdrew some money from an ATM. Poor guys, the pound had lost on value towards the Slovak crown, fairly not as much as the US dollar. I helped them to get to their hostel which was located in the center of Bratislava, next to a big Tesco shopping center and the old town. They couldnâ€™t check in immediately so we decided to leave their bags there and went to have a short look on the area. I had something to do that afternoon, so we went just to Tesco where I used the chance to buy some food and walked then a bit around the old historical center. James really wanted to watch the new Indiana Jones movie and as I havenâ€™t seen it as well, we agreed to go to the cinema together in the evening.
The camera will become one day a part of her hand, I guess, haha.
I picked them up again at 6:30pm in front of their hostel and then we walked for about 30 minutes to the largest shopping center in Bratislava called Aupark on the other side of the Danube river.
Thereâ€™s a cinema complex inside and as far as Iâ€™ve seen on the internet they were showing the moie at 8:30pm. A little comment to the movie, Iâ€™ve always love the character of Indiana Jones and this movie was made great as expected, butâ€¦Indy surviving a nuclear explosion in a fridge was too much science fiction for me. I expected every minute that he would turn green, angry and big, but nothing happened. It was still the good old Indiana Jonesâ€¦just a bit older.
Sightseeing by the Bratislava castle.
That evening we didnâ€™t do much else, I just brought James and Stacey back to their hostel. As they changed their plans and were supposed to stay in Bratislava a day longer, I suggested them to go on Monday for a day trip to Vienna which is just 60km away. So they did.
Tuesday morning was a bit tough as I had to get up before 5am.
Estephanie and Wayne were supposed to arrive from Krakow by train at 5:40am. The night before I just received a message from Estephanie on my cellphone that they almost missed the train, jeeez. But the train arrived and there they were. I was a bit worried if they donâ€™t miss the right station to get off as it was so early morning and the train continued to Budapest, but no. Itâ€™s always strange somehow to meet with travbuddies you were chatting with for the first time in person, I didnâ€™t know how it would be in this case either. But Estephanie greeted me immediatly with a big hug. We took the tram to my apartment and though I thought they would might take a nap or something, instead we prepared some breakfast with some Asian cupnoodles I had and watched a funny Japanese show called Ainori a good friend of mine, my dormitory neighbour in Japan called Shota, had recorded for me after I left. I should maybe mention that Estephanie and me are both big fans of the country of the rising sun and Wayne has put Japan as his dream destination already as well.
James and Wayne trying out Slovak specialities.
Estephanie caught almost in action.
It was still relatively early when we went out for a walk. Estephanie took her camera out and followed her addictionâ€¦taking pictures of peopleâ€™s backs, hahaha. Not only of course, but it seemed her preferences are veryâ€¦letâ€™s sayâ€¦back orientated, haha. We got till a lake I go for jogging sometimes and walked slowly back, the weather was just great.
It was around noon when we took a tram to the city center, we were supposed to pick up James and Stacey. After getting to know each other a bit we started with a sightseeing tour of Bratislava with me as the tourist guide. We walked through the historical old center and I showed my travbuddies the nicest spots I knew. Estephanie was shooting pictures like crazy, she has definitely some kind of photo obsession, hahaha.
Funny obsession though. Our next stop was the castle of Bratislava on a hill above the center. The castle is in reconstruction right now, so it wasnâ€™t possible to enter, but the view from there is great anyway. We got down again, crossed the river Danube and walked next to it till we reached the so called old bridge, the first one that was built in Bratislava. Itâ€™s actually not that old, it was built on the beginning of the last century only. The best thing on it is the view you have from hereâ€¦you can see the typical Bratislava panorama with the UFO bridge, the castle and a part of the old town. Before reentering the old town I wanted too show my friends another interesting building in townâ€¦the Blue Church. When you see the church you understand immediately why it got its name, itâ€™s painted in white and â€śbabyâ€ť blue.
James and Wayne not talking about football, hehe.
Crazy funky paparazza...Estephanie caught in action.
As the guys were a bit hungry and the official dinner was supposed to be at 6pm, we made a little stop to eat something small. Later on James and Stacey had to leave us for an hour and a half as they needed to pack everything for their departure to Prague next morning. Meanwhile Wayne, Estephanie and me sit down in a cafĂ© to have some drinks.
Around 5:30pm reunited again we were heading to â€śSlovak pubâ€ť, the place where the travbuddy meetup was supposed to take place. Itâ€™s very popular mainly by young Slovaks as the prices are moderate for us (means really cheap for Westerners, what else) and they have a big variety on food and drinks, even lots of Slovak specialities. Little bit later Dan (engertdan), my travel compagnion to South America, arrived as well.
Heâ€™s from Sweden but lives in Bratislava at the moment, I was the one who sent him the invitation to travelbuddy. We were almost finished with our lunch when Christian appeared with a friend, his name was Robin. The only no travelbuddy at the table by the way. We had fun a lot altogether joking about football (poor girls but they were in the minority), having a photographer fight shooting pictures like crazy or just talking about travelling, travelbuddy and life. As it became a bit hot in the pub we decided to leave and moved to another pub directly in the old town. Estephanie got a bit hungry again, so we left before 10pm to be able to make a stop by KFC before they closed. This girl is really a big fan of chicken wings, hahaha. At least I used the opportunity to ask a guy passing by to take us a group picture. We said slowly goodbye to everybody and Wayne, Estephanie and me got to the nearest tram stop. We were in a funny mood, decided to create our own weirdos club, Estephanie claiming to be the president, hahaha.
Look more natural guys, haha.
She insisted that sheâ€™s the weirdest one. No decision fell that night, but there exist 2 videos from the discussion, haha.
The whole group in a place called "Slovak pub".
So at least the Oscar for the best selfpromotion gooooeeees to Estephanieeeee, hahaha.