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Published: July 19th 2018
building in the town
We woke up and packed then went down for breakfast. Ah champagne was on the buffet. Of course, I had to make a mimosa. Susan had some too. I checked email and sure enough we got a message back from the hotel in Berlin. It stated
thank you very much for your kind email, after your check out, we just needed to paint the room. It is a normal maintenance handling in our hotel. We want that all of our guests are satisfied with our rooms.
Ha, so we didn’t destroy the room like the family thought.
We checked out, left our suitcases at the hotel desk and took a taxi (nice town car) into town. This was one the hotel set up for us (we thought it was going to be expensive); it was much cheaper than I thought and a lot nicer than a taxi.
We made it to town just in time to get on the first of our 2 city tours. The first tour was of the non-old city and we saw the castle, the City Memorial monument, the blue church plus many of the city
sites. The weather was supposed to be raining but we got lucky and it was only cloudy and windy – rather pleasant. We learned a lot about Bratislava. It used to be a huge wine making region, it also was one of the cultural centers during the Hungarian Empire and for 300 years the coronations of the kings and queens were held in the city. Beethoven, Hayden and Franz Liszt often performed when visiting friends in the area. One thing we thought was weird was that many of the parking places in town were on the sidewalk. At time the lines were even printed on the sidewalks. It looked strange.
After departing the first tour we were told to walk quickly to the next one (a few blocks away). Several other patrons in the first tour were also going and didn’t know the way. Susan and I became their tour guides and we made it location of the old town tour. Susan liked the fact that there was a University in the area that started in 1465 and it was the oldest in the Hungarian Empire. We also saw part of the original city “double” wall and moat area
Susan and I on the tour
that still survived along with the St Clair church with its pentagonal steeple. Tim there was also a lot of broke (Baroque) architecture. Every time I hear someone say that I think of you. Bratislava also had several funny statues. (see the pictures)
After the 2 tours we did a little shopping. I found a couple items with cats on them and Susan found several small items, (necklace, bird tile, Christmas ornament…). Our next stop was food – not for now, for the bus trip later in the day. Then we found a park bench where we could sit and rest for a bit. While we were there, we met Rudy who was from Passau. He had biked a portion of the way to Bratislava and had had one accident along the way. He had some pretty nasty scrapes. We enjoyed talking about cultures, traveling and life while traveling. Then the wind picked up and it started to rain. It was time to head back to the hotel to get our luggage. This “cheap” taxi was twice the price of the town car we took into town. Wow. At the hotel, we took advantage of the free wifi and
did a little research, then we picked up our suitcases and had the front desk call us a taxi for the bus station. Man, the taxis from the hotel are half the price of the other ones.
At the”temporary” bus station we found the gate we were supposed to go to even though the lady at the ticket counter kept saying it was 32, not 33. We figured they were beside each other. About 15 minutes before the bus was to depart, we moved outside into the rain – but under a partially covered area. 5 minutes before no bus, time of departure – no bus. The bus time and city left the signage. What is going on?? We asked others what was up, they too were on the same bus and didn’t know. Then one lady said she got an email that said it was going to be 45 minutes late. A guy walked by and said he heard it was 15 minutes late. There was no announcement, no nothing – we all sat there and waited. Then this one guy said, “oh, it was 1.5 hours late yesterday – you see the bus comes from Prague and
drugs are legal there. We are in Slovakia so they stop the bus at the border and well, do a search. That’s what the delay is”. Hum?? So, don’t take drugs across the border or you make the bus late.
The bus finally arrived about 1 hour late. We checked our bag and boarded. They have movies you can choose from on the bus. I watched Independence Day 2. You are also offered free coffee. All of this for 8 Euro. That’s not a bad deal for a 2.5-hour bus ride. Now, the bus ride was shaky, the road was smooth but something was wrong with the bus. I felt like it had a flat tire or something. It didn’t get any better the entire trip. We arrived in Budapest and asked the taxi driver if he took credit cards or Euros. They took Euros so we took the taxi to the hotel and checked in.
Always take your hotel membership numbers, even if you didn’t buy the room. Since I’m gold with Hilton, we were upgraded to the executive floor with the executive lounge – free food and drinks. It was nice. I’m hoping I’ll get the
Castle from afar
points too for the trip even though the hotel is included in the price of the river cruise. The hotel is right up on the level of the castle in old town, here in Budapest. The location is amazing and the room has a view of the Danube and the parliament building. Wow.
Our next stop was food. We were hungry and it was already about 9. We walked thru old town and found the restaurant Pest Buda. We both had Hungarian dishes. I had stuffed paprika and Susan had paprika chicken. We shared both dishes and enjoyed them both. After dinner we walking around the area to take some pictures, then headed back to the hotel and got ready for the next day. This is when we discovered the wet floor and the AC that didn’t work. We decided it was too late to worry about and we opened the window and went to bed.
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