Day 5: Got any change?
Bratislava Travel Blog› entry 5 of 11 › view all entries
We checked out of the hotel and took the subway to Nadrazi Holesovice, where we bought some sandwiches and waited for our train, which should take us to Bratislava.
EC 171 'Hungaria' from Berlin to Budapest, rolled into the train station right on time. We had reserved seats, which was a good thing, as the train was very crowded. We had window seats and, believe it or not, a clean window, so I spent most of the 4 hour trip staring out of it. I love traveling by train. You get to experience the change in the country, the geography, without the trouble of driving and paying attention to the road and the idiots on it. I find it very relaxing.
We didn't mind at all that we got to Bratislava 10 minutes late.
First thing we did was exchange our Czech Crowns for Slovak Crowns. Then we took care of the train tickets to Budapest. And then, we got into a wee bit of trouble.
We didn't have any coins.
To take the bus, we needed to feed 14 SKK and 7 SKK for the luggage into a machine. Twice. I had read there was a place in front of the train station where you could buy tickets from a human... or something resembling a human anyway. We didn't see it. Isabelle went to buy something to drink, hoping we would get coins back, and leaving me with the luggage. When, after 10 minutes, she still wasn't back, I started to worry. When 10 minutes later, there still was no sign of her, I pictured myself having to explain to her parents that I 'lost' their only daughter somewhere in the Slovac Republic.
Around that time, she called me on my cell. Apparently, nobody wanted to give her coins or exchange money and nobody knew where to buy tickets, untill finally, she had found the bus ticket desk, tucked away somewhere in a remote corner of the train station. My girl returned triumphantly with bus tickets.
And about time, because the bus stop, where I had been wainting for almost half an hour now in the blistering sun, stank of urine.
We got on Bus 93 and got off 3 stops down the road on Zochova, from where we walked to our hotel. We had booked the local Ibis, which turned out to be a good choice. After a nice cool shower, we walked into town and had a bite to eat in a Chinese Restaurant on Obchodna, which I think was called 'Panda'.
Afterwards, we went to the old town square, where we had a drink and then we just wandered aimlessly, enjoying Bratislava, which we both loved, and ended up on Hviezdoslavovo Namestie, with its public art, and the Parada Bar, where we sat with a beer and a glass of wine and enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of the Slovac capital.