0431 A Charming Little Capital (Slovakia 001—revisit)

Bratislava Travel Blog

 › entry 56 of 201 › view all entries

I decide to go ahead a squeeze in another city today… after all, these are just revisits…

 

Bratislava is another city that I explored on my 2006 saga... and now I can add Slovakia as my 20th parkbenched country...

 

Slovakia is a rather unusual country.  Despite the fact that was actually part of Hungary for the better part of a 1000 years, and despite the fact that under Hungarian rule they weren’t even allowed to speak their own language in public, Slovakia culture has managed to survive. 

 

I had a good long talk with a Slovakian fellow back in 2006 and he told me of the deep resentment that Slovakians hold against Hungary.

  He told me of how Slovakians were so discriminated against that when a Hungarian was at the table, the Slovakian had to eat on the floor…

 

This fellow was a bit tired of the constant anti-Hungarian rhetoric he had constantly heard in school and at home and had decided to learn to speak Hungarian… simply as a way of breaking free from that cycle of bitterness and resentment towards that empire…

 

Now as I walk around and explore the capital of this country I’m still a little confused… Am I exploring Slovakia?  All of the architecture in the old city is pre-Slovakian… Am I exploring Czechoslovakia?  Or am I exploring the Old Hungarian Empire? 

 

I can understand Slovakian’s wanting to be proud of their culture ethnicity and heritage… but I sort of get a sense that there’s an attempt to “rewrite” history and diminish the role Hungary played in making this land what it is today…

 

Whatever it is, Bratislava is a very charming little city, with an Old Town on one side of the Danube and a very modern city on the other… And of course, the old city is overlooked by a hilltop castle, which I quickly set out to explore before it dusk sets in…

 

I take some good panoramic pics of the city then head on down to the old town, to wander through the alleys and plazas…


When Bratislava became the new nation’s capital just a few years ago, they didn’t try to convert it into an arrogant supercity, rather they’ve kept the pleasant beauty and simplicity of the town.

  For example, you’ll find the Japanese Embassy down a quiet pedestrian-only alley in the Old Town and relatively unpretentious old structures converted into government buildings…

 

I finish my tour with a walk along the river, and a search through the less attractive commercial area for a cheap place to grab something to eat… I finally find a sandwich takeout only shop that’s still open… not very good, but cheap…

 

Then back to the bus station, and on to my next country…

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Bratislava
photo by: Vagabondatheart