"Oh, but for the Grace of God, go I"

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October 12th 2007
Published: October 29th 2007
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Brataslava BridgeBrataslava BridgeBrataslava Bridge

This bridge spans the Danube and is the first thing I saw as I rode towards the city.
10th October - 12th October.......... Bratislava........

I arrived back in the Land of Oz yesterday but let's you and I pretend I'm still over there having a good time!

Don't forget you can click on a photo to enlarge it.

It was an easy ride out of Vienna and before I knew it, I was cycling towards the derelict Austrian-Slovakian border crossing. It was so unused looking I didn't even notice the officer in a booth and had to go back when he called out to me. I'm glad they don't shoot and ask questions later any more. The guide book warns to appreciate the last town in Austria because things were about to change. Being on a bike and changing from one country to another highlights the saying "Oh, but for the Grace of God, go I". The results of a period of failed communist regime is obvious from the first sight of Bratislava, Slovakia's capital. A skyline of square, functional, identical high-rise. The bikeway becomes patchy, poorly signed, with poorly maintained surfaces or even non-existent. Barking dogs become more obvious in comparison to Austria and Germany where I rarely heard them.

Bratislava is such a funny mix, epitomized by the river view of its hilltop castle on one side and spanned by a 1970s bridge which has a decided UFO take to it. The compact historical centre is delightful and obviously benefiting from foreign investment and is in stark contrast to the blandness of the city that surrounds it. The imposing baroque palace and buildings are from Marie Theresa's reign of 1740-80. 1918 saw it become part of the newly formed Republic of Czechoslovakia and then in 1976 the capital of a federal Slovak Republic and then in 1993 an independent Slovakia. It is one of the newest EU members and still maintains its own currency. You didn't need to know that.
I very much enjoyed their playful use of public statuary that is dotted around the old town. Things are cheaper with a 500ml beer only costing about $1- not much chance of an alcohol free day. I went one night to see Mozart's Don Giovanni for only $20. It was held in the Slovak National Theatre which is very much as it would have been when it was built in 1886.

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15



Graffiti Paste-Up
The Sea CaptainThe Sea Captain
The Sea Captain

Koala Ted admires the Street Sculptures. Yep he's a problem. Now I'm not one for thinking I haven't been to a place if I don't have a photo of me there, but this is K.Ted's first trip.
The WatcherThe Watcher
The Watcher

Koala Ted has got to get in there again. This particular sulpture is photographed more than anything else in Brataslava.
Top Hat GentlemanTop Hat Gentleman
Top Hat Gentleman

Koala Ted Admires the Street Sculpture. He's still proud to be Australian and wants to fly the flag at every opportunity. I try to tell him that it is excessive patriotitism that leads to wars.
The Paparazzi The Paparazzi
The Paparazzi

Street Sculpture, Brataslava
Bedfellows, Brataslava Youth HostelBedfellows, Brataslava Youth Hostel
Bedfellows, Brataslava Youth Hostel

I thought I was seeing double when I got up the next morning and there were more feet than there should be.
Cafe Advertising SignCafe Advertising Sign
Cafe Advertising Sign

The arts & crafts and souvenirs are also quite creative
Soviet Inspired HousingSoviet Inspired Housing
Soviet Inspired Housing

First View of Brataslava from the Cycle Way

29th October 2007

Good to hear that you and Ted arrived home safetly.... I guess Ted will have to have a big rest to recover from jet lag? See you all soon Carole xox
30th October 2007

Koala Ted
Yes he's happy to be home. He's in the kitchen on the palm. He's putting pressue on me though to put up the rest of the pictures of him so he can show "Been there, done that". You know first time OS and all that.

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