Bratistlava, Slovakia

Out of ALL of the places to shatter its reputation, it has to be Bratislava. If you have even heard of it, (I hadn’t) you think ‘Eastern European/err tractors?’ If you have heard of it you think: Hostel (2005) – aka backpacker slasher horror movie set here. For the record, not a single frame was filmed here – but in Germany/Czech Republic whose governments were apparently equally as annoyed. Which makes sense as Bratislava place is point-blank stunning. If you ever get a chance, go!

You could walk across the city itself in about 10 seconds. It’s tiny but perfectly formed. The cobbled streets and church squares look like Italy, the residents look like supermodels, and the beer is 1,30 euro! What’s not to like. We spend one night coupled up like a French film, taking evening walks around fountains and drinking wine in the stylish bars. And a second night in one of the all time funniest pubs i’ve ever been in.

Mark’s friend Kieron has just arrived from Ireland so we go for a few beers in the previously mentioned nice fairytale part of the city. We then however decide to ‘go for one more’ in a tiny bar down an ally from our hostel. I say bar, but the place is more like a greasy cafe near Doncaster markets where you expect someone to bring you egg and chips at any point. Oh and add to this a classical violinist who doubles as a magician?! Instead of the dive bar crowd that you would expect there’s a mix of posh Slovakian students, a barmaid dressed in pajamas, a couple in their 80s where she’s in all her best jewelry and he’s dozing off  into his vodka. Plus, our favorites; Slovakia’s answer to Strictly Come Dancing; a brazen blond women jiggling her double F boobs with a rough looking man who is hovering around the karaoke machine begging people to engage in his knee-stomping, floor-slapping, drunk uncle at Slovak wedding moves. We sit memorised. Even though it’s a Monday, they look as though the whole crowd gather every night of the week, and nobody bats an eyelid that we’re there. We buy a 20 euro round for 3 euros and marvel at the oddness of it all. For the record it’s called Prezidents Pub (with a Z). I only wish this was my local.

Where we stayed: Old City Hotel / Downtown Backpackers

Liked: 1) KGB  – an underground bunker like restaurant 2) The quirky sculptures along Hviezoslavovo Nam 3) The beautiful walled Grassalkovich Palace park, even with its ants.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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