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Published: October 11th 2008
Our two-day whirlwind tour of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was a success. Due to our usual dodgy planning, we showed up without a hostel booked and had a chance to see the sights with our packs on as we walked to every hostel in town. We did eventually find a nice little place and just relaxed for the night.
We were looking for something to do on day 2 when we heard that the local hockey team was playing that night. Two Canadians go all the way across the world to experience new cultures and the best thing they can come up with is a hockey game? This was definately a Slovakian experience though. They love their hockey here NEARLY as much as we do back home. It was about $8 CAD for corner seats about half way up in the 7,500 seat arena. The place was about two-thirds full for the regular season match between the local HC Slovan and the visiting Zlicin. The atmosphere was amazing. We were right next to a standing room section crammed with people pounding drums and chanting in unison. At one point they pulled out a massive team flag that covered the whole section. It was the kind of atmosphere that you'd expect to see at a football match not a hockey game. Perhaps it was fuelled by the $1 CAD beers sold all over the arena. I imagine that if they sold 1 dollar beers at the Canucks games it might get pretty crazy in GM Place too!
In the end, the home team lost 5-3 after battling back and forth for much of the game. We had a blast though and it was great to feel like Canadians again. It really felt like a packed Bulldogs game back home.
Now we're in Budapest where there's no hockey but still lots to see. We're heading to one of the city's infamous thermal spas tomorrow so we'll let you know how that goes.
Until then, keep your stick on the ice!
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