The ride along Danube river between Vienna and Bratislava wasn’t as straight forward as few mentioned. On a couple of occasions I had to switch the river banks to continue. There were however quite enjoyable stretches with a lunch break (one pint, kolbasa with two slices of bread and mustard). in Schönau an der Donau. Mmm, so unhealthy and so good!
I arrived to Bratislava yesterday. It was however too late in the afternoon to play tourist. I was on the ‘mission ‘ to find accommodations rather than exploring the ‘Staré Mesto’ (Old Town). By the way, if you ever plan to visit the city make sure to have accommodations arranged… Bratislava with a population of about 450,000, it is one of the smaller capitals of Europe, but with a very beautiful Old Town and a lots of (painful to cyclists) infrastructure upgrades. Did you know that recently the city was ranked as the third richest region of the European Union by GDP per capita? I didn’t have a clue.
I started a self guided ‘tour’ early in the morning. With no crowds I could contemplate on how and where I go about my day. Well, it was an easy choice. The day needs a good kicker and the only to get motivated is a good flat white, on a Danube river of course.
“Is your coffee any good?” I asked a street Mobil Café vendor. “The best!” He answered. I am not sure if it was the best, but definitely it was a great cup coffee to start my tour with.
The Bratislava Castle
or Bratislavský hrad
is situated on a hill overlooking the entire city, a great panoramic view. It was built between 9th and 18th century. The castle has four towers and four entrance gates; the Sigismund Gate, Vienna Gate, Nicholas Gate and Leopold Gate. Don’t forget about the baroque gardens behind the castle. It was surprisingly empty in the City Museum (Old Town), which I think is fairly interesting. Maybe not the great number of exhibits, but very well presented. I took a walk to the top of the tower where I had a great view of Staré Mesto. Of course, the main interest of mine was “The Barbarism of Torture” display in the basement of the museum. It is gory, but it was worth it to see. Before I grabbed lunch at the ‘KGB Pub’ I stopped at the Michael‘s Gate where the bronze ‘Zero Point’ under your feet may, if you lucky, show you a distance to your city. Unfortunately, Vancouver was not listed there. Overall, it was a good ‘touch’ of Bratislava. The city is inviting and progressive (seems to be), but under the construction city. Be careful cyclists 😎.
The beer is good and reasonably priced. The food? Ha, ha… the Central European menu with a focus on meat. Of course, I love it. There are also con’s. One only campsite (large though) for the entire city, but reasonably priced (€7.20 – tent, bicycle, one person).
FEW INTERESTING FACTS
- Andy Warhol’s parents were from Slovakia.
- The most castles and chateaux per capita in the world.
- There are nearly six thousand caves in Slovakia