Notes On Slovakia

Slovakia was liberated from Nazi Germany by the Soviet Army. So it went from being Nazi Slovakia to Stalinist Soviet Slovakia. It’s a step in the right direction but geez it’s a small step. There is a huge monument here to the Soviet soldiers that liberated Slovakia. It seems to be of a size disproportionate to the improvements gained by the Slovakians.

I don’t know. Most conversations I had with Slovakians were on culinary topics.

On Bratislava

You know what is HRAD? Devínsky hrad.

Devínsky hrad

You know what also is HRAD? Bratislavský Hrad

Bratislavský hrad

Ok, I’ll stop with the HRAD gags. But this place is pretty Hrad though.

I spent 24 hours in this town and it was crammed full of tourists. The months of travelling isolation were shattered in this town. Hundreds of old ‘mericans were talking loudly about how cute whatever mass produced trinket they bought is. The hostel was burbling with travellers from Western Europe. They come in to the dorm at midnight, two-am and then again at four-am. Each time to freshen up and then to head back out on the piss. When I got up in the morning to catch the six-am train an Englishman, too drunk to walk up the stairs to his dorm, decided we needed to hug. I left glad I wasn’t heading into Europe during the peak season. I’m not ready for it.

The town itself is teeny-tiny and very pretty. The problem I have with Bratislava is that it’s nigh-on impossible to find places that are authentic and I don’t mean traditional. I mean people who care about the shops they run and aren’t just out to fleece tourists. I found one place that satisfied this requirement. But, for every one of those there are an unjustifiable number of tourist places. One particular chain had seven restaurants in the old city. The old city only has about seven streets.


when: Saturday, June 07, 2014