Travelling by night train in a sleeper cabin is somehow out of fashion. Deutsche Bahn already started to abolish some routes formerly served. But in eastern Europe there are still some routes that are served on a regular basis, even if it is not cheaper to travel this way than going by plane.
It was the Feast of Corpus Christi, I had a day off and I was looking for a nice destination to travel to. The only location I’ve not seen before, somewhere around Germany, easily reachable by train – was Slovakia. I reminded myself that it is close to Vienna and I didn’t suspect something really interesting there.
In need of some caffeine and sugar? The Café Mayer is a traditional coffee bar at the main square of Bratislava, Slovakia (Hlavné námestie). It was founded by Julius Mayer in 1873 and was supplier of the Court in Vienna. It is no secret that you can get the best scones and cakes of Bratislava here.
Bratislava has a good bus and tram system that is quite easy to use if you once understood how to read the complex system maps. I didn’t use the tramway, mainly because at the time of my visit the trams didn’t run to the main railway station because of reconstruction works. But the busses and trams seem to be of good quality.
The main sight of Bratislava (also there is not too much to see up there) is the castle of Bratislava (Bratislavský hrad), visible from every part of the city. There have been settlements on the 85 meter high hill from the stoneage on, the castle has been used for centuries and as been rebuilt several times. The last big modification dates back to the time of Maria Theresa.
Everywhere in the world you seem to get the same soft drinks. But during the Cold war the situation was kind of different: in the communist and socialist world the cola from the United States wasn’t allowed. That’s why in different countries alternatives have spread. Most of them are nowadays unknown, but not Kofola.
It looks like a flying saucer exploring Bratislava: the UFO (unidentified flying object). In fact it is part of the main bridge (Most SNP, bridge of the Slovakian national uprising) crossing river Danube close to the castle of Bratislava.
Slavín is a cemetery and memorial to the soldiers of the Red Army which freed the city in 1945. It is high upon a mountain close to the main railway station and can be seen from nearly everywhere in the town. Walking up there on hot summer days gives you the feeling of having smashed Nazi Germany on your own.
The Danubiana is a museum of Modern Art located at a river bank of the Danube in the south of Bratislava, at a quarter called Čunovo. In my opinion it is one of the best modern art museums, one that didn’t disappoint me (and I’m often arguing about the works exhibited in those museums).
Close to Bratislava you can find a mountain range called the little Carpathians (Malé Karpaty) – a mountanous area filled with woods and grapevines. If you are comeing from Devín castle you can go northbound to Pernek and cross the Carpathians on a curvaceous road to Pezinok.