Day 11- Welcome to Slovakia!


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I asked the girls how they would describe yesterday- and here is what they came up with-
Lori: “Noobs.”
Nicole: “CONFUSING!!”
Stevie: “Spontaneous…?”

How would I describe it? Survival.

We left good old Hostel Ruthenstiener at 7 AM, to catch the 18 Tram to Ostobahn Train Station. We bought our tickets before hand for 14 Euro roundtrip. We got completely turned around getting off the tram, and slowly found our way to the train station. Eventually we boarded our train and fell fast asleep in hopes that we got on the right train. After almost sleeping through our stop, we hurriedly got off and from the start became totally, utterly, and completely confused.

After all our researching and asking around beforehand, everything was different. Still to this very minute we have no idea what happened. Slavokia= no signs, no directions, and no english. We started to miss Vienna pretty darn fast. We asked the friendly lady at the information (once we found it) how to get to the city center. With a glare, she handed us a lovely small piece of paper while still glaring. She never broke eye contact. Creepy.

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And this is how that small piece of paper got us kicked off a bus in the ghetto’s of Bratislava. Every step of this journey was an adventure- all the way down to trying to buy train tickets.

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Oh hey, European Costco. Circus included. Just some of the sights we saw while exploring the ‘other side of the river’

By some miracle we made it back to the Bratislava castle, and I began to fall in love with Bratislava. It was such a mix of cultures- part Austrian, Viennese, Czech, Russian, and Hungarian. We wandered up to the castle and listened in on some tours. Thanks to Nicole, we even got some cool facts from the Chinese tours as well! Sometimes it pays to have an Asian with you. They were having a Slovakian food festival on the grounds, so we wandered through and got some culture.

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Bratislava Castle was built around 907 AD. You can thank this castle for making the Mongolian’s turn around and leave Europe. Even Napoleon didn’t attack it. However, it’s fall came when some Italian Architects were hired to reinforce the structure and they got drunk and burnt it down. They rebuilt a replica of it in 1953.

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I loved this castle- can you tell? It had an awesome view. Nicole even found out that on one side of the Danube was Hungarian, and the other was Austria.

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Can you guess which one is which?

The overlook was fantastic of the Old Town…

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Thanks to Trip Advisor, I found a free walking tour of the Old City. None of us knew anything about the history of Bratislava, so it was great to learn the history of it! Bratislava has a sad history, it has been passed around from country to country, and was even forced to become independent thanks to Hitler. Communists eventually took over post WWII and ‘modernized’ the city- leaving only 10% of the Old City remaining. Our tour guide was Timmy from Australia, and it was awesome. We learned so much that made us appreciate this city, especially the quirky facts that we never would have known.

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Here are some of my favorite things we found out:

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Napoleon is a complete joke here. But they sure do love their statues!

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They leave their cannonballs in buildings.

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In the early 1600’s they had a large Witch burning fad going on, and we happened to be there one day after the first one happened 410 years later. Creepy.

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They made their city gates 90 degrees apart in case of an attack, which have saved them countless times over the years.

After St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral (aka the Blue Church, or my favorite – the Smurf Church) we cut out on the tour in search for a Mcflurry.

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Official International Mcdonald’s count: 11

I loved the Old Town, but it was worthy of only a day trip. It did make me itch to see the countryside of Slovakia though.

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