Bratislava, Slovakia

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If you have ever watched the movie "Euro Trip" I know you are raising your eyebrows at the title of this post.
When my husband said he just HAD to go to Bratislava while we were in Budapest, I told him he was crazy.  There was no way I wanted to go there!  Of course, then I Googled it and saw that naturally the movie company took the worst area of Bratislava for the film.  
This city is beautiful.  Well, at least on the one side of the bridge.  If you look across the bridge you will see the definition of Eastern Europe.  Box apartment buildings, one after the other.  However, where we visited for the day...well, it was just lovely.
We took the train from Budapest (2.5 hour ride) and got there around mid morning.  After the first train ride we took to Vienna (where we had to sit on the floor), Matt made sure we were good to go on this one.  I loved that we got a private cabin...I felt like I was on Hogwarts Express!  lol (okay, yes, I'm dorky)  

So, we get off the train and realize we had no idea how to get to the castle (which is what I really wanted to see).  We were going to take a taxi, but Matt balked at the price.  So we wandered down to where the buses were.  We must have looked like a bunch of lost puppies because a lady finally asked "do you need help?"  Thank god for someone who spoke English.  She told us which bus to get (which was the same one she got on) and she got off with us as well.  She even walked us all the way to the other bus stop and told us which one to take.  There really are good people in this world.  

So, we found our way to the castle, though we ended up on the backside somehow and had to find our way around to the entrance.  

The castle itself is nice. It's not like going to see some of the monster palaces around Europe, but it has a long history!  The area of the castle hill has been inhabited since around 600BC.  In 1811 the castle nearly burnt to the ground.  It was restored around 1953.  They have photos of the fire and bits of the castle that was salvaged.  Matt and I enjoyed touring it, but the girls were pretty bored.  (not much decoration or anything)  But, they loved the climb up the steep stairs to the top of the tower! 

After the castle visit we wandered through the streets.  Found a great little restaurant for lunch and the food was incredible.  As was the Slovakian wine!  :)  When lunch was done we continued to meander through the town, hunting for souvenirs.  

We made sure to stop at the sculpture of the sewer man coming from the drain...two versions of the story of the sculpture  1. he was hiding during the war and now its safe for him to come out or 2. he's just a guy who likes to look up ladies skirts.  Slovakia humor.  ;) We stayed long enough for the Christmas decorations to come on. (and for the girls to whine about how tired they were of walking)

We took the late train back to Budapest.  All in all, it was a great day.  I'm so glad my hubby insisted that we go.  And I'm glad I got to visit a place that is part of my family's heritage!


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