[All photos taken by me]
I have been back in the United States (US) for a few weeks now, but I still want to write about the three-week trip I took through The Czech Republic and Slovakia.
I have written a piece on Prague and Brno. I wanted to also write a piece on my seven days in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The Slovaks that I met, like Czechs, seemed super intense, always attentive, cared what you had to say and expressed kindness in their own reserved way.
Similar but different
Before the breakup of the USSR, The Czech Republic and Slovakia were one country called Czechoslovakia. Before I ever left my first footprint in the Slovakian soil, I had the rough idea and had been told by others that Slovakia had a lot in common with the Czech Republic.
Right off of the train, Slovakia (Bratislava to be more specific) seemed to have some immediate similarities to where I had been in The Czech Republic. Some similarities were fairly easy to find and figure out. Czechs and Slovaks had similar histories, they all lived in one nation-state for several decades and their languages are quite similar. There was another similarity that is a little hard for me to explain in writing. The energy in Bratislava was similar to what I experienced in The Czech Republic, particularly Brno. Bratislava, the city and its people, had an intensity that paralleled a reserved friendliness as I mentioned earlier.
The architecture looked really similar to what I saw in The Czech Republic. From the nice modern buildings all the way to the not-so-nice old buildings. A great majority of the buildings were rectangular (in a variety of lengths and widths) and painted different colors. I did notice that there were some differences in that some of the rectangular apartment blocks near the hotel that I was staying in had space between the buildings. I walked by about five rectangular apartment blocks, each separated by around 40 feet of space from the next. The much older buildings in the old town of both of Prague and Brno were built with no space between them whatsoever (with some caution given to not building windows on the wrong walls).
It was interesting and quite enjoyable for me to actually stay in a relatively standard neighborhood after being in the old town of Prague and Brno.
Bratislava does have a castle right on the Danube river. There is not that much to say about the castle other than it is pretty, I enjoyed it and it is weird to have such a lovely castle right in the middle of the city that you can see from miles away on a clear day.
The food was good. It was not that different from what I had eaten before in Prague and Brno, but good. I never had a really bad meal.
This is one of those random and honestly stupid notes. It was insanely windy when I was in Bratislava. Meaning 30-50mph gusts were I had to brace or get moved back a little bit. The only answer I got from Slovaks was that wind is normal, but really strong winds confused them as much as it did me.
I don’t mind the wind, but it was a little unexpected, to say the least.
I liked Bratislava. I can definitely recommend Slovakia. I liked that I got a different experience than Prague and Brno because I was in a more “normal” neighborhood. I’d love to return to Slovakia and experience some other cities in the country.