in typical fashion, bob and i got to chatting last night while walking around Venice and we decided to jam up to Bratislava, Slovakia this morning. it wasn’t too far, and we figured it would beat driving only a few hours to a town that didn’t look like it had too much going on like we had originally planned earlier in the day. after about a five hour drive through Austria filled with some pretty amazing views, we arrived in town. having never heard much about this town before yesterday, we had no idea what to expect. it was a lot bigger than we expected driving up, and the outskirts looked pretty dingy (think old soviet block). we found our hostel, dropped off our bags, and headed out to see the city center. and man were we surprised! the downtown area is gorgeous – almost Prague like – with wonderful carless, cobblestone streets filled with shops, cafes, and bars. the feel here is good too. it’s really laid back, the people seem very genuine, and there are tons of bicyclists, runners, etc. and the best part? it’s cheap! beers for a few bucks, Sprites for me for about 1.00US, and a pasta dinner for about 8.00US. this is a really nice change from Italy where i had a 6.00US Sprite! CRAZY! it really is unfortunate we didn’t know this place would be so great – we surely would have planned to stay longer than just one day. then again, we had no idea we would be here 24 hours ago, let alone anywhere in Slovakia or Italy or Macedonia or Albania for that matter, so how could we really have “planned” it out better, right?
due to the fact we arrived a little later than we had planned (we saw a cool castle along the way in Austria, stopped for a closer look, and ended up climbing about 1,293,945,993 stairs to see it), we only had enough light to shoot for about 1/2 hour. we’re going to see the castle and a really HUGE WWII monument in the morning, and then we head to Ljubljana, Slovenia where we’ll finish out our trip. along the way, we’re going to stop in Bled, Slovenia to see what looks like an amazing castle and town. i can’t wait!