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Published: July 22nd 2017
I had a very all over the place day today..! But it was all based in history.
I headed down into the Old Town to get things started this morning - hit up Billa (grocery store) for my yogurt drink and breakfast croissant and off I went lol. I did the "Be Free" Walking Tour - I always enjoy these - doesn't matter what city I'm in, if they have a free walking tour I'm there. We started in Hviezdoslavovo square (they taught us how to say it... I already forget) and walked for a bit more than an hour. My God it was hot and humid though... at least the tour guide tried to keep us in the shade the most she could.
We saw the usual spots, but I was honestly so hot that I didn't do my usual run about with the camera in between their spiels... Old Town is tiny - I can easily retrace my steps tomorrow or Monday lol. I enjoyed the walk more so for the history of the city and the country. I'll be honest, didn't know much about Slovakia or its past, so that's another reason why the walking tours
are so great - good insight into the people and their past.
We walked down towards the Danube and the castle, back up to where the old synagogue used to be (they demolished it when they build the UFO bridge and highway... Bratislava is one of verrrry few European cities with a proper highway going right through Old Town area) and St Martin's Cathedral where they used to do all the Hungarian coronations when it was all one country.
Of course we stopped by to see Cumil - apparently the 'warning' sign is relatively new as cars accidentally hit him once. Woops. We also learned more about their communist past - how grey and drab the entire inner city used to be, so it's a good time for us to visit now that they've bothered to renovate and paint a bit. We also heard about current politics near the Presidential Palace - I guess like more places the young do not have the same views as the old, but the old hold the balance of power... and you know, actually vote. I guess their extreme right-wing party got quite a few seats in their elections last year during
the refugee crisis... I still think it's scary how many people are xenophobic in this world... but that's a discussion for other days.
And we wrapped things up with traditions and such (uhm throwing water on girls at Easter?), and a quick visit at the stunning Blue Church. From there I retraced some of my steps for some photos - the rest will be done tomorrow. There are so many interesting little statues and nooks and crannies in this city - I absolutely love it. I made my way to the Danube to sit and people watch a bit as I had a cold drink. I saw the coolest thing down by the river: they have solar powered charging benches..!! They have USB plugs and the bench itself has solar panels under the cover... like, that's ingenious. Especially in a tourist area.
Then I went to see Dunkirk - it was the only movie I could tell was for sure in English - it was really good and lives up to the hype, I think.
Now I'm back at the hostel where I have two new roomies (thank God... the British girls who were in here yesterday
were the queens of antisocialness... and that says a lot coming from me lol). One's from Vegas and one's from Germany, so we spent the last hour or so just chatting. It feels so good to just sit back, relax and speak English.
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