Author Topic: Going Bratislava tomorrow  (Read 814 times)

Rizla

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Going Bratislava tomorrow
« on: September 09, 2020, 09:41:16 PM »
Fuck knows why. Just me for a week in an air bnb. No plan. Vague idea I’ll get some writing done. Mrs booked it for me.

What do I do in Bratislava then?

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2020, 09:47:55 PM »
Throw an unruly child into a volcano.

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2020, 09:57:43 PM »
Go to McDonald's and see if they have any local peculiarities on the menu.

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2020, 10:03:20 PM »
Tell me what it’s like, it’s on my list to visit but I’ve never quite managed to get there. Closest I’ve been is Zilina, which was a shithole and somewhere you shouldn’t go. I hope it’s not representative of Slovakia at large. Have a nice time.

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2020, 10:07:32 PM »
what you should be asking is why your wife needs the house empty for a week. i don't trust her alone with Bog

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2020, 10:09:10 PM »
Bratislava is fairly grim in cold weather, but comes alive in the sunshine, I guess it's the Viennese architecture and the brutalism circling it.

- Walk up the the Red Army memorial on Slavin hill - good exercise and good views
- Pop over to the castle. It's not a great castle but you can see over the old town, the UFO bridge and Petrzalka. Try the museum if you like.
- There's an infinity mirror thing near there you can do for 5 euros or something. It's OK, kills half an hour.
- Have a wander across the Danube and back
- Walk to the old town, look around (won't take too long, but there's a defined centre to explore)
- Michalska gate has a small city museum and tower you can look out over the place
- There's a blue church which is open only specific times of day. Is it the Elizabeth church? Anyway - could be interesting
- Eat Bryndzove Halusky, or Strapacky, both are more or less the national Slovakian dish. I prefer the latter, but if you prefer creaminess go for the former.
- There's an upside down pyramid building from the late 80s which is striking and worth at least passing by

If you are looking for beer there are several brewpubs and brewery taps.

- Stupavar is down to earth and a rock pub, but also does several good, relevant updates on central European beer (not great value mind)
- Starosloviensky does good pub grub, is down to earth and does classic Czechoslovakian lagers
- Mestiansky Pivovar does a light and dark lager which are both exceptional but the venues are well bland

If you would like pubs that locals go in:

Bernard pri Lyceu - central, the staff probably won't speak English, but the beer is shit hot and cheap and everyone there is a local
Omama - studenty, decked out in soviet era advertising, pretty cool, they will probably speak English
Hostinec Richtar Jakub - A genuinely terrific community hospoda that has 7 or 8 beers on tap, young staff who will speak English, and a house beer that's delicious. It is off the usual tourist trail and so you won't have the usual shit going on.
*The above 2 are about 15 mins walk from the centre but are virtually next to each other
Steinplatz - the old public bogs turned into a gnarly old underground bar, better than that sounds.

Some of the pubs still allow smoking (I'm not sure that applies to any of the above), but you may notice at some stage.

So yes, if you are happy walking and exploring, Bratislava has enough to hold your attention for a day and a half. I'd recommend popping to Vienna or pissing about in Trencin for a few hours after that.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 10:27:10 PM by Shoulders?-Stomach! »

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2020, 10:11:59 PM »
Sorry, I got my initial post wrong, it wasn’t Zilina I went to in Slovakia (which actually looks beautiful) it was Ruzomberok, which was very definitely a shithole.

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2020, 10:12:40 PM »
Off to Bratislava are you mate

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2020, 10:17:16 PM »
Sorry, I got my initial post wrong, it wasn’t Zilina I went to in Slovakia (which actually looks beautiful) it was Ruzomberok, which was very definitely a shithole.

Christ, how did you end up there? Isn't that like the Fairbanks, Alaska of central Europe?

Btw I don't think Zilina is anything special and pretty much every Slovakian I speak to is incredibly negative about the standards of their towns and cities (maybe this is a Scottish type thing).

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2020, 10:22:30 PM »
Acknowledge that it is the Capital city of the country where my spectacular career began.

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2020, 10:34:50 PM »
Christ, how did you end up there? Isn't that like the Fairbanks, Alaska of central Europe?

Btw I don't think Zilina is anything special and pretty much every Slovakian I speak to is incredibly negative about the standards of their towns and cities (maybe this is a Scottish type thing).

I didn’t actually know about Fairbanks but having looked at a few pictures I can see the similarities!

I wasn’t there on purpose, I was on a Flix bus to Budapest from Kraków which stopped at Ruzomberok and for reasons that are still unknown to me, because not one person could speak English and i couldn’t understand any of the blur of dialects passengers and staff were arguing in, we were all thrown off at some rural petrol station. In the absolute pissing rain, just coming at you sideways like a sheet of industrial sludge. And I was demonically hungover so it was the last thing I needed. To top it all off there was no internet signal, so I had to pick a direction and hope it led to the town, which it did.

The place itself was entirely stocked by idiots, farmers and the inbred, it was surreal. All dungarees and sideburns, horse and carts and factory chimneys peeking out behind huge fucking trees. There was a butchers entirely dedicated to tripe and elder, that was all that was in the window. The dreariest place I’ve ever been.
I had a few beers in a cafe while I waited for the next bus and fucked off, hopefully never to return.

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2020, 08:30:47 AM »
Wish my other half would book me a holiday,  how did you swing that one?  I used to enjoy solo travel.

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2020, 09:44:11 AM »
jesus, you weren't joking about the dungarees

All dungarees and sideburns, horse and carts and factory chimneys peeking out behind huge fucking trees. There was a butchers entirely dedicated to tripe and elder, that was all that was in the window.

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2020, 10:00:12 AM »
I went on a day trip to Bratislava about 10 years ago (from Vienna). It pissed with rain and I sat in an Irish bar most of the time. The state national gallery had a pleasantly random selection of European art though (lots of depressing landscapes but also some stuff by people you've heard of). Castle is mediocre.

Owen Hatherley's book on communist architecture recommends the Trade Union headquarters just north of the city centre, basically a plaza with sticky-up things, and the TV tower, which has an observation deck and may or may not have a restaurant that's open. There's allegedly another restaurant at the top of the big bridge over the Danube in the centre of town, but I've no idea what it's like. High and shit, probably (nice bridge, though).

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2020, 10:48:13 AM »
Yes the 'UFO' restaurant, though on each 6 visits I've paid it was closed for private events.

Has anyone been around the concrete jungle of Petrzalka on the south side? I've been driven past it on the way to Gyor, Hungary. Extensive hi rise, patterned in pastel shades in some areas, completely grey in others. I considered getting a hostel there one time but though better of it. For the sake of 10 euro savings which I would have lost 6 of through getting the bus into the centre there and back.

As for why I've been there so many times, it is actually well positioned to shoot off to Vienna, Brno, Gyor, Budapest, Komarno and regularly has flights on a Friday and back on a Sunday or Monday. As a destination, if it didn't have some very nice pubs I'm not sure I'd actually bother visiting more than twice, in Spring/Summer then in Winter.

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2020, 10:52:32 AM »

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2020, 10:57:39 AM »
Just remembered that Bratislava train station is a famously Soviet mess and seen by the population as a national embarrassment.

Elegant foyer marred by horrifically crappy turn of the 90s cheapo signage, the traditional host of dodgy characters, deffo salmonella and full weekend diarrhoea and vomiting kebab shops and smokey cafes that screen dubbed Simpsons episodes on analogue tellies. There is also just a permanent throng of people stood around on account of the lack of seating in the downstairs. Backpackers and rather careworn looking middle aged Austrians. You can get some horka cokolada for 20cents, from the vending shitments, though it may have mealworms in.

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2020, 11:56:28 AM »
Do they still have beer with opium in it? When I went in 1997 that was the only thing I liked about the place. We left after a couple of days as we were conned twice out of two days' travel budget within half a day of arriving. My opinion of the city never recovered after that, and still hasn't to this day.

Neomod

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2020, 12:28:26 PM »
I've been a few times when I had a Slovak g/f. There's some nice Brutalism in Bratislava that inspired these.





Last time I went was a few years ago but I'd add the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum (next to the Danube) being entertaining enough as was The Slovak Philharmonic (g/f's bruv was in the orchestra) to the other suggestions.

When I was there (Slovakia) in general, the local food was fantastic but when they tried to do western cooking it was atrocious apart from the odd meal[1].

I still love Klobasa (spiced sausage served with mustard and a slice of bread), a staple at footie matches and Christmas Markets, Slovakia crisps, Pareničky and Korbáčiky smoked cheeses and Slivovica (50%+ spirit). Try them all.

Do not try Kapustnica (Slovakian Sauerkraut & Sausage Soup), it literally tastes like sick. I had it cooked by the g/f's mum (who was a fantastic cook) and ate it all out of english politeness.



 1. the late night garlic snails I had on a meal out with the Bratislav Hot Serenaders

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2020, 12:44:17 PM »
An alternative option for the week is to get into the country. Slovakia's big draw is the countryside really. It is a sparsely populated place. The Low and High tatras are both beautiful. Not just pleasantly wistful but some serious altitude and peaks. The latter, as can be gleaned from the name, is very dramatic. I visited Popradske Pleso, a freshwater lake high up in the foothills and climbed up Mt Rysy and Kasprowy Wierch last September, incredible. Unforgettable.

Drawback is its 3hrs 20 from Bratislava to Banska Bystrica (low Tatras). Unless you hire a car you're looking at 8hrs+ to Poprad which is the gateway town to the High Tatras, a further hour on a rickety narrow gauge train away. Potentially stopping at the dreaded Ruzomberok along the way.

Neomod

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2020, 02:24:07 PM »
I would agree with Shoulders about exploring the interior.

There are some great castles including Čachtice Castle (Home of Countess Dracula, Elizabeth Bathory). An hour by car from Bratislava, we wild camped below it.



Orava Castle is even better but 3 hours by car. It's the location for Nosferatu (1922) and as I recall there was a hotel near the base which was stuck in 1970's communism in decor and service.



You'll notice every village/town has like 2 bakeries, 3 pubs and a catholic church and an old communist centrum (community centre).

Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2020, 02:46:25 PM »
Go to Moulin Rouge and watch a stripper play the guitar solo to Purple Rain on her fluorescent pudenda.

EDIT: Oh...looks like it's permanently shut up shop. You missed out there.

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2020, 03:15:05 PM »




How's that online shop coming along?  I'd be after these and the Stevenage clock tower one you did.

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2020, 03:18:15 PM »
There's some nice Brutalism in Bratislava

Trying to square this with shoulders's effusive posts.

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2020, 03:39:36 PM »
An alternative option for the week is to get into the country. Slovakia's big draw is the countryside really. It is a sparsely populated place. The Low and High tatras are both beautiful. Not just pleasantly wistful but some serious altitude and peaks. The latter, as can be gleaned from the name, is very dramatic. I visited Popradske Pleso, a freshwater lake high up in the foothills and climbed up Mt Rysy and Kasprowy Wierch last September, incredible. Unforgettable.

Dammit I was in Central Europe for three months. I really wish I'd made it to the Tatras.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2020, 04:47:50 PM »
Trying to square this with shoulders's effusive posts.

I think we're both right. There is some striking brutalism, such as the above. But the brutalism looks good when it's completely monochrome or on a retro poster, and looks bad when it's dilapidated and looks to have been built out of dried turds and gravel 40 years ago. I guess Abandonia is quite cool, but most of it isn't quite abandoned. I'm not sure a widely applied architectural style has ever had such a wild recoil between theory and application as brutalism.

This may be futurism rather than brutalism, mind:



Well worth dropping by. Despite the building currently being in use I remember about 5% of its many windows had been broken and replaced with chipboard. I guess the Slovak Radio budget needs to be spent on...radio?

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2020, 04:55:44 PM »
Have been totally ignoring the word "tomorrow" in the thread title. So, Rizla is there now, probably. Come on mate, gizza wave...

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2020, 05:01:29 PM »
Is it Bratislava castle where you look south onto a megadesolation vista of massive tower blocks?

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2020, 05:05:10 PM »
Dammit I was in Central Europe for three months. I really wish I'd made it to the Tatras.

The good thing about them is - unlike a lot of attractions - they'll still be there waiting for you.

Luton flew out to Poprad with Wizz Air which is how I ended up there last September. Poprad / Strbske Pleso / Zakopane / then to Krakow and flew back to UK from there. I guess that's a pretty well trodden route.

Another positive is the Tatras are really well signposted and traversed.  Due to the number of fit young things and their guides roaming around on sunny days, you'd have to be a sub-moron to get even slightly lost. Our two climbs were contrasts. Climbing Mt Rysy from the Slovakian side was very quiet, perhaps as it was a little cloudy with some dodgy weather coming in, whilst climbing Kasprowy Wierch from Zakopane was about the most glorious day I've ever spent. Being up in the mountains in those conditions is close to paradise.


Climbing Mt Rysy


Plateau area en route to Kasprowy Wierch, the peak on the far right hand side

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Re: Going Bratislava tomorrow
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2020, 05:11:15 PM »
Is it Bratislava castle where you look south onto a megadesolation vista of massive tower blocks?

Yurp. That's Petrzalka


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