Its Wednesday night and there is thunder hovering overhead. I’m patiently waiting for my tea to get ready and listening to the rain playing a new concerto on the roof.
It makes the perfect setting for a short session of photo editing and telling you about my summer back home, in Slovakia.
Strangely, I think this is the first time I’m sharing some photos from Slovakia. Every time I visit in the summer, we barely get time to see all family and friends before heading out. In winter we only go for a week and a bit to spend Christmas there. There is no time for road trips or random weekend trips.
This summer was different. We packed our laptops and headed out of the island for 3 whole months. I don’t have that generous holiday allowance, but I work from home which means my office is where my laptop is. I’m very fortunate to be able to do this and I certainly felt the most benefits this summer.
The summer started out in Finland, which I covered extensively previously (for reference – Turku, Naantali, Nauvo, Kirjais island, cruising in archipelago, tall ship races). Oh, we also popped over to Tallinn.
After 1.5 months we moved to Slovakia for another half of the summer.
So that brings us here, to Bratislava.
I have studied here during my high school and had an amazing time and lots of memories, which I chose not to publish out of mercy to myself. After I went to university, Bratislava was just a place I was passing by, not particularly keen to live here in near future.
When returning back here after such a long time, it’s hard not to compare. Bratislava is now a trendy, vibrant city with a big community of expats and new trendy restaurants and bars popping up all the time. Thanks to the locations next to Vienna and cheap beer prices, it’s one of the hot-spots for bachelor parties.
If you’ve never been in Bratislava, you can take a little virtual tour with me.
Starting with the main sight in town – the castle. In my lifetime of living in Slovakia, I’ve never actually been inside. I took my in-laws visiting from Finland and we headed to check if it will be worth it.
Meeting at Michalska Gate, another important landmark in the city.
Summer was in full swing, with temperatures climbing to 35 C and cold beer flowing everywhere.
As you sit on a summer terrace, groups of Japanese tourists will pass by, taking pictures of what you drink and eat.
We navigated through the small streets all the way to the bridge, to find the shortest way to the castle.
We were greeted by a view of another hundred steps up.
We collected our courage, wiped off the sour expressions from our faces and headed up, climbing the stairs in 35C heat.
As soon as you reach the courtyard you are rewarded with stunning views towards the Danube.
Top of the bridge is the UFO restaurant, which is still on my to do list.
The entrance to the castle is from the main gate, although it’s not clear where you’re supposed to get tickets to get in. The tickets are available in the small building in the front of the castle.
Without a map or plan, we started strolling around the red carpets and beautifully decorated interior.
If it looks boring from outside, the inside certainly makes up for it.
… getting lost in a maze of white walls lined with golden ornaments….
At the time of visit, there was a glass exhibition in most of the rooms we visited.
I do like a beautiful glass, but only one filled with wine.
So these didn’t pass the test.
We quickly walked through most of the rooms, which were filled with old painting, some historic items and lots and lots of glass.
After you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right?
The last room was dedicated to exhibition of some modern glass art, which was rather exciting compared to looking at empty glasses.
Even Sissi approves.
The last section of the exhibition was a collection of memorabilia from the old times, back in the days of Czechoslovakia.
It wasn’t that long time ago because even I recognized some of the treasures on display.
That was the last bit of our cultural adventures in the castle.
Now we had more important things to take care of – admire some glasses filled with wine from up close!
We left the castle with a last few views of the Parliament ( I know, not as impressive as the Hungarian one) and headed to the restaurant right opposite the parliament building. Appropriately named – Parlament Restaurant.
The restaurant offer beautiful panoramic views over Bratislava and Danube restaurant and thanks to it’s location it is not yet overtaken by tourists (at least it didn’t feel like that on our visit).
The food and service was superb.
Each story deserves a happy ending.
We found ours at the bottom of the wine glass.
Cheers to a wonderful week ahead!