Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bratislava

HOVERCRAFT

We arrived in Bratislava on a hovercraft, from Budapest. Only five or six people of the hundred or so on board got off at Bratislava. The rest were going on to Vienna. WE MADE A GOOD CHOICE. Bratislava is not full of tourists. There are quite a few, but not like Budapest, and certainly not as many as there must be in Vienna.

LOCK

There is a lock on the river Danube. I did not know that. Is there a mountain I somehow missed? A dam? Anyone care to explain?

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

People in Bratislava are not as automatically helpful as they are in Budapest. Also, there is a weirdly layered feeling to the city, which is lacking in Budapest. Bratislava feels recently freed, and the older people don't quite believe it. The younger ones are running around trying to catch up with their European counterparts, and the older ones are deeply mistrustful, or at least stoic. They have seen too much, or something.

I am FASCINATED by faces in Bratislava, in a way I was not in Budapest. I have been taking photos like mad - of buildings in the old town, of course, but mostly of people. The people here are compelling. From some of them you get the impression they have been underground for a long time, and have just emerged, blinking and suspicious. Others are blooming in the sun.

My friend observed that many of the men looked like as soon as work ended they would be heading off to secret radical meetings.

COWS

There are colourful cows all over Bratislava. I took pictures of them.

FOOD

When we took the tram we passed a restaurant that had a board outside reading, "Gordon Blue."

TRAIN STATION

The first place we went to (after the bank, where there was a beautiful young man to help us change our money) was the train station. There we were treated like rubbish. The contrast (once I got over being given the runaround) was delightful.

Bratislava is not easy in the way most western cities are. You need patience. It is extremely rewarding, though. When you see the photos (whenever that is) you will understand why.

PHOTOS

I am taking ZILLIONS of photos. I MUST BACK UP ONTO CD.

4 comments:

Cheryl said...

Two brilliant posts - so much to take in!
What a wonderful way to spend the holidays - I really look forward to your posts.

Lisa/Childish said...

what a lovely way to spend your holiday. you are capturing so many beautiful moments and sights.

Lippy said...

There's at least one dam on the Danube, in the Iron Gates area. It has locks on both sides.

Am very much looking forward to seeing technicolour cows. Who knew? Bratislava sounds myterious and interesting...

Ms Vile File said...

Gordon blue is my favourite type of cuisine.