Hot on the heels of our Malaga holiday we decided to head in completely different direction for our next travel fix.
Hence we found ourselves heading to central (almost Eastern) Europe in the shape of Slovakian capital Bratislava and the sprawling beauty of Budapest.
Here’s Bratislava as seen from the castle, with the Danube River in the background.
Positioned in southwestern Slovakia, occupying both banks of the Danube River and the left bank of the Morava River it borders Austria and Hungary. It’s the largest city in Slovakia and has a population of about 500,000.
Interesting fact alert!!! It is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.
While the old town is compact and it’s easy to see all the main sites in half a day at a push, it’s the kind of place that you either breeze through quickly or find yourself content to just veg out for weeks!
These’s a lot of statues in the old town, ranging from the oft photographed “man at work” of a worker peeking out of a man hole, to Napoleon prying into the affairs of seated tourists.
Neil, as usual was forced to pose with anything that I spotted!!! (He loves it really) Here he is as a) Slovakian lady d) porky mates c) chillin with Napolean d) ice cream testing
We stayed in two different hotels during our stay in Bratislava. First up is the Hotel Devin. Wonderfully situated on the banks of the River Danube, it’s five minutes walk to the old town and 15 minutes from the train station.
With a rather imposing Soviet facade the hotel has had a complete refurb in the past few years and is now a sumptous, luxurious and lovely place to stay. There’s a wonderful wellness centre with pool, sauna, plunge pool and steam room plus the best breakfast I’ve had in Europe!
Here’s the view from room 318 across the Danube and towards the UFO bridge. The hotel is also minutes away from the national theatre.
It’s a short walk from the main bus station too. (Which we couldn’t find initially – hence having to walk all the way to the river from the train station to find the hotel!!)
It features some thoughtful graffiti (and some not so thoughtful too!!!)
Artwork is a feature of most European towns and Bratislava is no exception. Here’s Neil striking a pose.
And in stark contrast to the harsh new traditions, we also stumble across a festival celebrating Slovakian traditions. Here’s a rather imposing gentleman working the anvil (plus an odd green man too).