And again, I am back! Yes, since 2, I say TWO (!!!) weeks I haven’t write anything, I know. Someone was already complaining about it 🙂 And I want to say thank you to Her, because since then I know, that at least someone is still reading, or missing my blog 🙂
So. As you can realize it from the title, on today’s part I’ll write about my tour in Bratislava. When it had happened, we’d had only four trips left from the season. 4 trips means 4 weeks. Which means 28 days, and one had already passed, because we arrived to Slovakia on the 2nd day. So only 27 days left with guests onboard, after that 3 days packing-cleaning-counting, and finish this year on the ship! All together: 30 DAYS! Easy!
It’s easy as one-two-three by Irie Maffia
In the morning we arrived to the Slovakian capital, and I got in my mind, that now I’ll go out and have a closer look on the city, since I wasn’t outside here as a tourist. Two times I had a chance to run here, once all along the river bend, other time up to the castle and into the center. And that’s all, now it was time to discover another perspective.
We had 5 groups, I chose the blue one. Ashore, on the square the guides were waiting for us, and the guests were surprised when they realized that I was there with them. Finally a small free time, ha? – got the question from everyone. I was saying only yes with a smile on my face, and attached the earpiece on the right position, and I’d got the voice of the tour leader, as she was talking. A few words about herself, like she’s a student in a university, she wants to be this, was born there, and from one second to another, we were on our way.
Across the street, zigzagging between the cobble stones, pass by the small, old train and the little-communist-feeling statue, going straight forward.
And on the opposite side of the street, what did I see?
A small local coffee house, with a full Hungarian name. I’m not quite sure about the friendship and the situation between Slovakia and Hungary, but to see a Hungarian-named coffee shop, what can I say, makes my heart beating faster. Going toward, reached the main square of the city, if we could call it like this. From one side a long-long park, from another side dozens of tourist-shops and streets. On the third side of the square a luxurious hotel, and from the last half, the Slovakian National Theater. And of course, what was the main attraction here? Of course, the cultural building. The building, where so many famous composer had had a show, had a chance to play music, like Liszt, Haydn, Mozart, Straus, and so one. But instead of me, let the pictures talk.
A few more minutes about the literature and history of the place, and go to the heart of the city, to the tourist-central. Shop after shop, maps, leaflets, postcards, magnets everywhere, as it has to be. I real touristic city, with local and international restaurants. As we’re passing by the shops, we almost encountered a small person – almost literally. Because in Bratislava, there are more and more small statues, sights like him. In some points of the city, they placed different statues with more and more interesting stories attached to them.
For example he is Chumil, the Master of the Sewer (?). There are stories about this charming gentleman, that in different parts of the city he just appeared from the canal, and he’s starving, what is under the lady’s skirts. And because the network of the canal was difficult, nobody knew, where he would appear next time to “work”. The other one, that he was really the Master of the Sewer, who was keeping the canals and pipes in a proper condition. After this, everyone can choose his or her story, depends on which one do you like more.
If the tour started like this, what can I expect later? So we just walked by after this, on the way to the central fountain, where they started to set up the tents for the Christmas Market. I think it is a bit early, but they want to make sure, I can understand them. But, before we got there, another statue. I’ll be honest, first, I thought, it was just a guy, who pretend that he’s a statue. You know, like on the streets, like they’re frozen in one position. Like a statue. You know 🙂 They do it very good, but this statue, beats them big time. And its name is the best!
Shone Naczi! If I want to translate it, means good Nazi. A little hard, isn’t it? That sardonic smile on his face, as he’s planning something. But before everyone think about the bad part of it, they just called him Nazi because of his name. There was no connection in blood with the German group. No, he was a real gentleman, strolling on the streets, greeting everyone. And, if I remembered right, that was his favorite coffee house – mainly what was there in his time.
The point is, first everyone was shocked, that a statue with this name is allowed to be here. In a minute time our guide explained everything to them, and everyone was laughing, and get relaxed. After this, on the background of the first picture (behind the guy with the mustache) is the central square and the Rollandova-fountain. And what is interesting about it? The fountain itself is not really interesting, but the square is more important. Since around the square a lot of embassies had been placed. French, Greek, and I already forgot, but maybe a Hungarian as well, but I’m nut sure. On the other side of the square, what is there, in front of the French embassy? My fault that I did not shoot a picture about it. A bench, and a statue – what a surprise. And the name is Bonaparte Napoleon as he’s standing against the bench, with his head on the top of it. Since he grown up this high.
And why did the Slovakians made this statue? Get ready! When Napoleon was here a long time ago, he came here with peace. He did not destroy anything, no bombing, no killing, nothing. They had a peaceful “discussion”, almost like two old-friends. To keep this memory, the leadership of Bratislava has decided to give a nice touch to France, and raise a statue in front of their embassy.
After that, go again, we did not have a really lot of time to staring around. During the next minutes, church followed fountains, and church again, and another fountain, and a square, with a fountain and a church,
and also one of the Slovakian (more a Czech) car-manufacturing masterpiece, a Skoda, what we could see. On the other side of the big water, they don’t really know this category. Everyone was surprised, when the leader told them, that this new Octavia belongs to the higher-category in Europe. They were laughing kindly, that if it was the higher category, what could be the smaller or lower one. And then, when an old 120 appeared, they ran out of words, literally. After that we gently explained to them, that here, in this old continent, those were the cool cars a few years ago.
It took a little time, till they got it, but in the end we could move on with our tour. We couldn’t get so far from that point, when the group stopped again. We’re in a turning, and everyone’s eye were on the showcase. Suddenly I did not know, what to think, what could be on the other side of the glass. A kind of statue, sculpture, a TV with a famous movie, or something like in Amsterdam, just not so straight, and during day time? Nothing like this! I am sure, you cannot figure out, what was there if I didn’t say. For me it brought out a lot of nice memories. I’m not so old yet, so I had not lived so much. But I already knew my mind, when he (or she?) was on TV, when we could by the cassettes about his (or her?) adventures, when we could learn to read from his (or her?) books. Yes, yes, he (or she?) is the one, the only, the matchless.
As you can see, The Mole! I can’t tell it, you have to see and understand it, otherwise it lose its magic. After a few minutes “nostalgia” we would continue our tour, if a small train did not go across in front of us. And who were on that train? Of course, our guests! They headed to one of the exits of the old town-wall, as we go to the opposite way. During the walk, there were stories going on, who is going to do what after the disembarkation, who came from where, but another thing took my attention. One more proof, that the friendship was great between Hungary and Slovakia before, or for what other reason they would place a placket of Ferenc Liszt?
On the next corner – literally – we stopped again for the next sight, but only from a major distance. If the tourist had a look next to the building on the right side, all along the small street, he could discover the castle of Bratislava with its walls. From here, from the center it is not really visible, if someone was interested, I would suggest to walk up. As I mentioned, I had a chance to run up there, and even it was night, and dark, but the way, the castle, and the view from the top was mesmerizing. I can highly recommend it! A bit further in our way, another square, with another black fountain in the middle. One more place to drink, I think. Seems fair, but this is not just a usual fountain. This, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a 3-floor fountain. On the top, the birds can have some water, in the middle, the citizens of Bratislava, and from the bottom plate, dogs and cats were being served. What about that?
Still on the tour, following the blue lollipop, like good believers, where it stops, we stop, where it goes, we follow it. Its working well, has a magic power. On our way we passed by a hotel where Sissi used to spend a few nights anno,
and move toward to the other gate of the city, the closest one to the castle.
Next to it we found another church, with tourists around it. And then, what did I hear with my own ears? Just not a Hungarian word? Some familiar expressions, sentences? Yes, it is Hungarian talk! I stepped aside a little to hear my mother-language from someone else, what they say about the building. The two stories matching about the history and about the crown on the top of it. Regarding to the stories, it is real gold, but who and how they put it up there, nobody knows. And they say also, that it is so big, that a horse can turn around in it easily. Lol, nice joke!
On the other side of the street, between the houses, there is a pharmacy. The building, where the pharmacy is located, is original, means really old. Don’t ask me, when they built it, I have no idea. Instead of this information, on the window, some familiar words are written in HUNGARIAN!!! GYOSZSZERTAR!!! Pharmacy in Hungarian!
I’ve already seen a lot of Hungarian things here, I almost thought, I’m in Budapest. But that was enough about my country, let’s move, time is money, and I have to work again. Next stop is the local Holy Trinity-Square. As everywhere, here is at least one of it, as a symbol of thanksgiving, that the epidemic was gone from the city. And in the background, something else was approaching the city. Like an UFO. Is it an UFO? Really? I hope they came with peace!!!
For our luck, they came with peace. And with food, drinks, and a breath-taking view. But wait! It is not an UFO, but a restaurant. Okay, they call it UFO, but it is understandable. There, on the top of the bridge, an Unidentified Flying Object, the first thought of a human being is what? Not a restaurant, for sure.
After everyone get back to life, we left the square and aimed to our final destination, the main square. But for that we had to go through the park. After a few meters, a statue, again. And it represents who?
Hans Christian Andersen, if not personally, but in a life-sized statue. Accompanied with some of his cartoon characters. The most popular is maybe the naked king, who had thought that he was wearing a fabulous clothes and walking around the castle all day, while there was nothing to cover him. And, yes, this small figure had placed in the right spot of the statue. So that’s what everyone was staring at. Now I got it. 🙂
A little more walk left, and finally, we made it, got back to the National Theatre. Say emotional goodbye to the tour guide, the guests from the guide, me from the guests and the guide, and let’s go back to work. Ok, not immediately. Before that I had a delicious lunch in the Regal Burger. Listen, if you would like to have a nice meal, in a cool place, in a good price, don’t miss this place!
That was my tour in Bratislava. I do hope you enjoyed it, at least as I did. If I could not give back all the things to you through the blog, then only one thing left. To visit Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia! Thank you guys! 🙂