Where We're Going

Where We're Going

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Tramp Parties, Mozart drink & Spleen jewellery

Unfortunately, the new people in our dorm on our last night were horrible, unfriendly, inconsiderate kids who stayed up talking, shouting and squawking until the early hours. They completely ignored the fact that we were all in bed and made no effort to be quiet. It was such a shame as this was the first time we'd shared a dorm with anyone rude in the whole time we've been travelling. We got up early to go with Nicole, Rob and Hannah to the train station and although we walked and they took a train, we beat them there! We waited for them for a while, but noticed an earlier train to Bratislava so we hopped on. The train only took an hour, and again we passed lots of pretty countryside, yet more fields of sunflowers, a field full of hares and some goats sitting on a small shelter near the tracks.

From the main train station, where we saw two nuns, it was only a 5 minute walk to our hostel. There are lots of rooms and they are all named after a country, we were in the Croatia room, which is nice as we love Croatia! There was a nice girl from the Netherlands there who is doing a "proper" south east Europe adventure (it's her second time) including Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. Maybe next time. We walked into town, which was only 10 minutes away, and saw the entire "Historical Centre" during our first day in the city. It was completely empty until we stumbled upon a church off the central square (which was not marked on the map) out of which people were pouring! We thought it was a wedding to begin with, but there were no obvious bride/groom characters, and then we noticed that people were holding certificates and they all had a bouquet of flowers, even the men. We stood and watched while we tried to work out what was going on (we eventually gave up) and we saw 10 more nuns!!!!!!!!!! There were also 6 monks and 2 priests, it was incredible! We had only been in the city an hour and already our nun count had surpassed any other Nun Day!

Walking around town we also saw "The Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy", made friends with another family of sparrows, saw lots of "modern art" but, despite all the tourist shops, not a single snowstorm. The touristy places are all really nice and sell folk art: pretty ceramics and wooden angels and things, which are all very nice but not even a speck of glitter in sight! As we were walking around town we walked through a "park" called "Nam. Slobody" which was full of benches, most of them inhabited by tramps, had a huge Communist-style sculpture in the centre and blue stencilled fish on the steps leading down towards the sculpture. It's not a very pretty park, but it's one of our favourites :) the city reminds us a lot of Belgrade - there's a real mix of old and new in the city and sometimes when in a rundown area of town you'll come across a beautiful building right in the midst of it all.

After buying lunch we sat outside a market, ate apricot flavoured jaffa cakes with "chocolate-like" coating, and saw another nun. The benches in Bratislava aren't like the single person benches in Hungary, but they're the exact right size for two people, no more. There are a lot of statues in the city, pretty much all of the tourist tat that isn't folk art are bronze figurines of these statues. There is one called "Rubberneck" which is of a man leaning out of a manhole, one of a spying man called "Taunter" and one of Schöner Náci who was an eccentric dandy from the early 20th Century who wore a top hat and tails everywhere, and who gave flowers to ladies in the street and apparently sometimes also sang to them! On our way back to the hostel we passed a bank which was also a coffee shop and an old woman wearing a t-shirt saying "Illegal Night Show". I shudder to think.

We stayed in on our first night in the city, and sat in the dungeon-themed hostel bar (blood and limbs everywhere) with a couple of Brits, a couple of Americans who were hilarious and should have had their own TV show, Tom Green style, a few Australians and the nice Dutch girl we'd met earlier - only the second European we have met on the entire trip. We chatted merrily for hours about many things, including Jedi ranch-hands, then the drinking games began. Deciding not to even attempt to beat the Aussies we snuck upstairs to our 10-bed dorm (the largest so far) and snuggled down in our squeaky bunks.

Nun Count: 13!

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