Bratislava – Slovakia’s Capital City

Friday, 30 March 2018

There are only a handful (four in fact) of countries in continental Europe I’ve never visited and with a week to spare in late March I set out to visit three of them, starting with Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. In fact I’ve been to Czechoslovakia when it included Slovakia and again when it didn’t, but I’d never crossed the border into Slovakia. When I finally got there I found Bratislava very reminiscent of other neighbouring capitals: Budapest, Prague and Vienna.

▲ This time I dropped my bag at my hotel, went off to wander the old city and immediately came across this spontaneous memorial to online journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova. Last month they were both murdered because he had uncovered a mass of corrupt activities tied to the government. It’s been a major scandal in Slovakia and sparked huge protests and finally led to a list of government resignations. It’s a clear contrast to some other nearby nations where unsavoury government activities seems to be simply accepted.

▲ New Bridge (Most SNP) is a reminder of the country’s socialist era, I looked across to it as a descended from a restaurant near Bratislava Castle which overlooks the town. It reminded me of the cable stay bridges I’d seen (and crossed!) all across China on my Silk Road trip last year.

▲ In the castle the next day the exhibit of old advertisements, many of them on enamelled plates, was a favourite

▲ Man at Work peers out from a manhole cover in one of the pedestrianized streets in the old town centre.

▲ It’s easy to see why the Church of St Elizabeth is better known as the Blue Church.

▲ I liked these paintings decorating a derelict old building right next to St Martin’s Cathedral.

▲ The old town area was packed with bars, cafes and restaurants. Urban House with its industrial retro look on At Laurinska was one of my favourites during my stay, good Wi-Fi too!