Warning: I do like Bratislava. It does not mean that I do not like other towns. Also, am not saying that one town is better than the other. I just want to say, I do love Bratislava.
Not comparing to any other town, not saying which one is better, at all.
A huge part of my life took place in this town, that’s why I have a relationship with it. It does not make it better or worse than another town. It just makes it part of my story. End of announcement:D
I´ve arrived to Bratislava during lunchtime. I park my car in the location, where I am supposed to end the day. For the end of the day, when it is dark, cold and I am tired, the car needs to be close so I can get home quickly. I than walk to a place where the tour starts. It is not very often that I have an opportunity to spend time in Bratislava. That's why I carefully plan meetings into my favourite places here:)
Today, my day finishes at Palisady, close to the Castle. Old Town all day, yay. Finding a parking lot is easy, I know this place well. We used to live here.
Well known routes down to the centre. There is
a smile on my face. No need to rush but I have to move, I cannot stop on every
place where I would like to. In some places, I just stare at certain points,
slowing down, turning my head until I lose them from the sight. (note: while
reading, this song is recommended. Even though I have no idea if it will make
sense for foreigner, please give it a try and let me know;)
Through the subway at Zochova, walk by the Ministry building, passing Pulitzer, down to Klariska. No, wait. I'm going back - upstairs, I've changed my mind, I want to see the old “Hlbočina” pub. Do you remember the place? From this place there is a nice view of the castle. This used to be my way to work every day. Looking to the map I find out that it' s called the Župné námestie? (Name of the square) It does not affect the beautiful view, however I must admit it is a strange name. Very strange.
Did we just solve the Anne’s dilemma? Do you remember Anne of Green Gables asking Marilla, if the Rose would have been so posh and would smell so nice even if it was named “cabbage”? Does the name influence the qualities of things?
I move to the second place on today's map and start writing. About Bratislava. Opening Insta and finding out one of my friends just made a confession to this city as well. Synchronicity. Enjoying the great miracles.
I cannot stop it. My roots are in other town, but I do not like to hear when somebody's talking about this town in a negative way. Or says that he / she does not like it here. I still have the feeling that its just that she / he does not know BA too well.
It has its special absurdities here, but some of them belong to this town for ages. For example, this metal ugly fence has been here for years. At least 8, maybe more. Such a special form of “art”, isn’t it? This view has its own poetry. Messy, absurd and weird, but a poetry.
Very special person taught me how to love The Old Town. He was from a real city in the big world and is in heaven now. And he was the biggest ambassador of Bratislava I have ever met. He lived in the Caribbean previously. For work, he needed his head, internet, and computer. As many people do today. Once he came here for a weekend, just to have a look. He met one couple who recommended him where to go and joined him visiting some places. In the evening, they took him out, introduced to some of their friends.
After that weekend, he couldn’t leave. He said it is statistically impossible to happen to meet such kind people if they do not represent most of the population. Within a month he left the island and moved there.
Really. He came to Slovakia, and someone
welcomed him warmly. I really know someone who experienced this. This is what I
would like for Slovaks to be known for:) Thanks to the fact that someone was
welcoming him, I could meet him too. He meant - and still means - a lot to me. When I will meet the couple
once, I certainly owe them huge “thank you” for making this happen.
He used to say, (like everyone;) that there are beautiful and smart women.
According to him, people here works a lot, many of them still go to school. He said its too much. And he often reminded me that it was not healthy. That if we still want the point about the beautiful and smart women to be true, we must relax more and slow down a bit.
According to him, was the perfect combination of small and big town.
Small: Because everything you could possibly need is maximum 30 minutes walking distance from the centre. Even a shopping mall, if necessary.
Big town: It is easy to get here by plane and
everyone understands English and German language. You already have all you need
for a living.
He loved Bratislava and went to walk the Old Town whenever he had a free time. So it happened that during the celebration of my birthday, (really a long time ago) as we moved from one bar to another, we met him close to Roland's fountain. We grabbed him with the crew of bit drunk friends;) and took him to the “tour de bar” with us. No chance to escape once we caught him there. We did laugh a lot. Even then. Always.
Here I am, having a coffee at Mondieu. In the one that used to be Paparazzi before. With a view on the table, where we used to go to eat together. I really miss this. I do miss him and I do miss Bratislava as well. Will plan to visit Bratislava more often.
Old Town - always. That table in Mondieu - all year round.
Summer at Rosnička.
Summer nights on The Castle with a view of the town lights. The castle used to be open until 2 a.m. in summer. It was nice.
Sunsets on the castle, all year round.
Kuchajda. First of my favourite places.
We used to live in Dubravka also. Close to the Ice hockey stadium. There was an old shopping centre, such a haunted socialist building. And there was a pub outside this building. Terrible place, but when there was no other place to go for a beer, what can you do? I believe Luvra was its name?
Petržalka has never happened to me. Well, it did happen, but just for a few days. Not enough time to fall in love.
Christmas market. I ended up in one job and was advised to take all the left vacation days. So, I was on holiday from December 13 until the end of the year. I lived at Palisády back then. Giving the details: morning without an alarm clock, you wake up around tenth. Nothing for breakfast here. You put second layer to cover your pyjamas - trousers, sweater, jacket, hat. Hood, sunglasses - just to cover yourself fully. Walk down to the Main Square. The smell of warm wine, sausage, roasted chestnuts. You will have breakfast under the Christmas tree - three poppy lokša (sorry, did not find any translation. It’s kind of like potato pancake?), hot tea. After finishing the tea you go back to bed. These were great moments. How Bratislava took good care of me. She brought me everything I could possibly need under my nose. And with a nice smell. Everything under the lights of a Christmas tree.
Bratislava. 9 years and few months. The longest time - Palisady (3 years and a bit), the shortest - Petržalka - 10 days. Together in 6 flats. During that time, 23 flat mates had happened to me.
It is all good. When the relationship to the town is formed through people, it will always be good. People are always "just" people. You cannot “Not like” them. Well, I'm lucky I'm always surrounded by Men M and Women W. And thanks to them you really like the town. Any strange location you ever visited. SO it can happen that you are taught to love Your capital by someone who has nothing to do with Slovakia. And even an ugly cheap pub in the suburbs can remind you of pleasant situations.
Now it’s your turn.
Tell me about the places You really love here:)
If you do not mind me going to see them. Because I will.
I did. I will not bother you with details such as after how many years it has been. To make a long story short, it did happen. And that is the only important thing:)
A meeting from high school means you return to
the town where you grew up. Nothing has changed, and in the same time, everything
is completely different.
Everything is smaller. When you were a kid and you were playing outside of the house, that meadow was huge. Now it's a normal little meadow between two blocks of flats. The trees are taller. They have grown. They were my height when I played here in at the age of 7. You cannot see through them today.
I promised that it will be brief today. So let’s get to the point.
One of our classmates is doing this:
Every year, during Christmas holidays, he carefully and repeatedly books that table in that pub and lets the rest of the class know, that its booked. He did create such a tradition and a habit, that if you do appear in this town during Christmas, even if only once in five years, then, surely, when you come to that place, you will meet someone from the class. That's great thing Pišta did for us.
We were one class at an eight-year grammar
school. This means that we have seen each other almost every day since we were
babies. The first puberty attacks and the first menstruation (I mean, really,
these boys played sports with us for 8 years. One year, we have been going
swimming with them weekly, every Thursday. Are we going to lie to ourselves or
are we going to accept, that these boys knew a lot about us.) until the time we
were all adults.
Even if the question "how are you"
comes up, then there is the eye contact. Both the poses and the formalities are
put away and you say it just as it is.
We do not compeed who is the bigger manager
here, better dad, better mom. There are just people who may have given birth a
couple of times, may have seen the birth of their kid, someone of them do not
have any kids by now, some assist births professionally, someone has more
wrinkles and silver hair, and that's the only thing that has changed.
Is that because of the long time we spent together? That we are so close that even after X years, and even when we just see each other for a few hours, we get to the conversation straightly and honestly? That all these people were truly there. Sure, there were not all of us.
One of them is now learning to play chess, the other one is going to move, the third has to leave for a while, because her baby couldn’t stop crying. She made him sleep and did return. Our teacher was there, too. The boys who have a wife at home talks about them in their absence with respect. Obviously, it is possible.
Admirable people. Every one of them. So it happens that they have topics to talk about all the time. One of them is in the non-profit area working with grazing, the other one manages the team of auditors in exactly one of those big companies and the third one is on maternity leave. They have things to talk about whole evening. Some of the boys are on maternity leave. Do you understand? Me neither. How can I be so lucky to know such wise men?
Well, I'm not saying there was a group of motivational speakers, not at all. There were big laughs from one side of the table and smile on those faces. Nor will I be so brave to proclaim that those people, who met around one table yesterday, do not have problems in their lives. They surely do. Some of them maybe have big worries these days. But what they brought there is so much.
I'm a non-contact person. Physically. Touchs, hugs, touching shoulders. But yesterday I felt like I wanted to hug certain people while we talked. Several times. The closeness was so natural. And strong.
Tearjerkers. A lot of them. What these people created and sent to the universe yesterday was hours and hours of intense good energy.
The last moment was when I was leaving. The pub did close:D In small town, the meeting ends when the staff says „we are closing". Well, when I was leaving, I started my car and I saw them in the rearview mirror as they stood there in the parking lot in the ring and wondered if there was something open in the "city" and where they were going.
I am very happy to have you in my life. It is all good. You are one of the happiness that I do not even know how this could happened to me. And it is great.
I can see how one of you, boys from yesterday, is reading this, and you say:
"What? Where was she? At the same meeting where I was? She said she was not drinking alcohol:D "
That's why I am into you.
That you accept me as I am. With this whole insane view at the world. This is also a great happiness. To know you - people who accept me as I am:)
When discussing this with my friends, I got the answer to this question: "When I went to bed last night, I was putting some food in the pantry first. I saw the pickles I have made a week ago. It was Friday night, 10 p.m. and I was on my way to bed. In the pantry, there were my homemade pickles. That's when I realised I am a grown up already. "
Hm. I have no pickles at home. Neither did I ever made some by myself. I don’t even have a photo of them.
And I still make some plans saying: "when I grow up..." Sometimes I wonder if I happen to be there already. Or, should I be? A few recent situations led me to reflect the answer to this tricky question. The situations were:
The “grown up” question comes to your mind immediately. It has always been somewhere in the back of your mind and in a moment like this it just pops up. It's coming to the front. You are there already, there is nothing you can do about it from now on. But you don’t feel like confirming it just because of this. You have not done all you wanted before “growing up,” so you are postponing it.
But you still do not know whether you are. Well, the member of risk group you probably are already, but does that make you a grown up?
The Woman I have admired used to:
Wearing the royal blue colour. As a girl, you have nothing in the royal blue colour. Simply because it is only available in men's clothing or if in female fashion - only adult pieces. At least that was the case when I was a kid. And I do not feel like seeing little girls on the streets wearing the royal blue, purple, emerald, olive, or mustard colour nowadays. These are the colours that occur (or when I was the kid they did) only in adult women's clothing. I do not know why, but it is a fact.
She had her characteristic fragrance. You know you already have this when a colleague comes to work saying "I knew you were there already. I did smell you in the elevator.“
Grown up women "had their hairdresser". Every one of them had their own and during coloring / cutting / whatever, they were discussing various topics. When I was young, I always wanted to start the sentence saying "my hairdresser says,..." There you are, finding yourself in the situations when you start your sentence using exactly these words. I smile inside and I really enjoy the moment.
Sometimes she used to swear. As a child, I was giggling at it, because one should not be saying such things;) And she did. Not very often, but when she made her point, she just said it. Quite naturally.
And she ate as much candy as she ever wanted. This is my most popular adult activity. (Trying to make joke here: Question: How many calories are in this picture? Answer: Two times Zero, Haha.)
Other symptoms of being „grown up“:
It just does not stretch so well anymore:D
This is the hardest part of growing up in my case. Some people didn't even notice, but for me, its a huge deal. Please do not get me wrong here. I do love to see my friends. Food is also a good idea. It just never occurred to me to place this to someones home. The natural process for me is that when I want to meet someone and / or eat at the same time, we go out. But - the invitation is to join your friends for dinner. At their home. I am scared.
Not the “we are having a party, come join us” (as it used to be back in the old days:D), but “we would like to invite you to our home for a dinner together”. Somehow, the parties just disappeared from my life. We only do visits these days. It’s all good. I do not miss the partying and I do like my social life the way it is now. I do appreciate the invite to someone’s home, of course I do. It’s an honor. And I am more than happy to see you. But for some reason I do panic.
When did this happen? How? Out of nowhere you are being invited for a dinner to friends. You know what I mean? Don’t you? OK. Is this natural? Probably it is. I do not know. I was surprised. Stressed. And I panicked.
Why am I so confused with this concept? Is it because I cannot imagine I would do it? Please do not be angry if I do not invite you to lunch. I just don’t know how to do it yet.
It has been a long-time unsolved mystery in my head. Why does it seem to me so strange, why do I avoid that? "Not yet, let's go out for a while, I still do not want to be in the world where people are visiting each other at home."
And then I found out. Well, probably. This is exactly the situation I remember my parents doing when I was a kid.
I remember my parents’ friends visiting us sometimes. I liked it. We were playing while the adults talked. At 7 p.m. we came to the living room to see the regular evening fairy-tale. You could also have some snack from the table, that was nice:D
And when going to bed, I could hear their conversations from the living room. And my mum’s laugh. I liked that. My mum is awesome, and she is not the loudly laughing at everything woman. She is a smiley yet does not laugh very loud and often. And when there were visitors in the living room, I heard my mum’s laugh a few times while falling asleep that night. I remember that it was a good feeling.
And this is the reason why I do not like to do it myself. It is a proof that I am a grownup already.
You know, I don’t feel like growing up yet. “grow up” is not a question of "when" or "where," neither it is a question of "what am I doing".
Am I already the person I desired to be “when I grow up”? The answer is: No. Not yet. That's why I'm postponing the "grownup” confirmation.
Although external circumstances suggest that I already am, I still do not feel that way. According to outside world: age, activities, habits, people around – I should be. But not inside.
So I'm probably not "grownup" yet. Maybe I will never be. And that's good. Well, I believe, for me it is:)
Let me know, I'm curious:)
"Oh, weekend, finally. I will not do anything in the next two days." I am more than happy to declare this almost every Friday evening.
"Excuse me?" I ask the supplementary question, trying to look neutral, but in the back of my head I'm starting to boil.
"Well, my question is, are you really going to do nothing at all, or will it be such a weekend when you say “nothing”, but you really do not even sit down for a moment?"
"What do you mean?" I am a little confused about the direction where this is all going.
"Well, usually when you say you are doing nothing on Saturday, you're up since the morning, doing all the stuff whole day until the evening. So I am just asking if this is the "nothing" you have planned for this weekend. "
By the way, weekend. Sometimes I do have a champagne for breakfast during the weekend. Because of the feeling. Then I realize, its alcohol-free anyway (as I do not drink alcohol, more details next time;).
Why I do not have alcohol-free champagne for breakfast every day? Why not?
I mean, we should do this. Just to have that “peace of mind champagne breakfast” feeling every day. Shouldn’t we?
Because it's a weekend and You do not have to go to work. And its bubbly.
So, what was the question about, and how does the weekend look like when we do "nothing"?
alarm clock in the morning, exercise. Then shower, wash your hair, twice, put the hair mask on and off. It's been two hours so far. Maybe more. Face mask, nails. Manicure, pedicure. Washing machine in between. Second time. The third time. Done. Hang it on. Depilation. Breakfast should be done, lunch also. Eat. Wash up the dishes. Once you are there, clean the kitchen. You sit for a while in the living room. With coffee. But you see the dust. You must clean the floor. And hoover. The whole apartment. You get back to your coffee when it's cold already. You need to get the ironing done. Shirts. A lot of them. Unpack after a week away, pack for the next week. Maybe you have a time to go to the movies. Just to spend some time together. Or just go out to visit some local market. Water the flowers. Talk to your family. Clean the shoes. Last weekends there is also the translating posts for me. (Oh, and we do have a new logo, did you yotice?;)
Of course I am not alone to do all of these. (When I stay alone there are even more things added to this list, as I do not usually do them – trash, ashtrays, third room... ) This list is, i would say, to do list for at least three days. Weekend only has two. Do the math.
I can imagine that many of you have children. 24 hours long activity on the top of all these. My friends told me, that you don’t even know what the day it actually is. And that there is the emergency alert status permanently on, so that's a totally different case. I will not write about this alternative, as I do not have any experiences (and therefore ideas) how does it look like.
There is no need to write more, i do believe. Even if we feel it is "nothing," be sure - it is not. You are doing a lot. Treat yourself. No regrets.
What do you do during the weekends?
Do you also have such a "nothing" where there is a millions of done activities hidden?
Btw, why do I even bother putting questions at the end of the blog, when there is no reply in the comments?
There are not so many answers in the comments (yet still there are some on social networks). And - some of You send me the answer in a message. And that's nice. I learn a lot about you and I respect the privacy:)
So yes, I will probably continue asking questions at the end of the article, even if you do not see the answers.
You know how, when you meet someone who visited the same destination you once did, you are immediately closer to him or her as a person? You have just met him now, and after a few minutes the conversation topic went to the movie you both like. Or the place, you have both visited recently. And suddenly, this makes you feel connected or closer in some way.
I have visited Malta earlier this year. That's why, when I was introduced to this person and I saw the Malta magnets he brought to his friends, I was quite happy. Saying to myself “what a great opportunity to ask a lot of questions”. I'll gain some new info what to see next time, once I return to this amazing place. We'll talk about what we liked. Maltese national dish is rabbit. As I'm a vegetarian, there is an opportunity to find out from this guy how they prepare it.
This happens to me a lot. After returning from any destination, I find myself studying what else can be seen. Just to be prepared, because I'm extremely motivated to go back. After one visit, no place is closed with "seen, done" for me. Just the exact opposite. When I return home, I'm studying what we have not seen yet, and I keep saying to myself that I will return. Maybe not to be sad when leaving? I do not know:)
I smiled, dropped my eyes, and remained silent. (This is the way I react when you really surprise and shock me). On the way home, I was thinking about it a lot. How could I expect everyone to travel the way I do? And why did it surprise me at all?
My traveling looks like this: The plan is to see a few “top” spots. Some of them become "must" - 3 to 5, according to the length of stay. Then there are "nice to have" spots - if there is time and energy, we can visit these as well. The rest of the time we see and explore what we find out once we are there. Or what the locals suggest to us. Or we are just "hanging out". It does not make me any stress this way. Yes, because holiday plans are stressful to me. I cannot explain it:D
I'd rather spend long hours in the restaurant with a nice view if there is a good service and nice people to talk to rather than just finish the meal and continue exploring another point in the list of sights/spots.
When there are some nice museums, I usually choose one and that is just enough. There are exceptions, of course, if the museum is recommended by a local. (for example, in Malaga there were more of them, because of Picasso). Visiting buildings when on vacation do not make me happy as well. So, I'd rather choose one or two. The others we just pass by when walking around and that’s enough.
I totally forgot that there are people who enjoy different way of traveling. There are people with preference to see a lot. Or see "everything". They may not need to plan to return to the same places. Because they could see it all during one visit. I totally forgot about you, because I do not travel with you. Because of compatibility. Please do accept my apology. I was so egoistic.
That is the way it should be. If we push this and try to combine people with dfferent plans, there would probably be conflicts, and miserable holidays. And nobody would be able to relax the way they need to. (Do you know the situation when the group of friends go together for vacation and after the return no one is speaking to anyone for like a month? This is probably it?)
I remember having a classmate who did not only “see everything” but even more. When it was written on the sign/ map that this monument is in this direction 2 hours of walking, it was important for him to make it in shorter time than is written on the tourist board. “Less than 2 hours, here we go” How could I forget?
There is this memory of using not nice words all the way up the mountain very fast, because he wanted to shorten the time to half:D He is still like that. And it's okay. I cannot imagine doing it myself, but it’s OK. I am glad he found someone who also enjoys breaking records with him.
Most likely, my way of enjoying vacation is inappropriate for a lot of people. I do not want to get tired on places with a lot of tourists and I prefer going to places with more local people. I have the opportunity to watch and feel them, talk to them and based on this I “do” or “do not” like the destination.
Not because of the buildings but because of the people and their stories. Because they talk to you. And there is always something you get out of these conversations that blows your mind.
And so, the Chinese Garden of Serenity in Malta is not just a place where the statue of Pacho the Hybsky Zbojnik is, (correct translation is Pacho, the bandit from the Hybe village, but I like the previous form a lot more;) The statue was given to Malta from Hybe village council as a gift (this is a fact, I was surprised as well). This is also a place where the car mechanic will recognize a lost tourist from the distance of 100 meters, and shouts in Maltese- English language mix across the busy crossroad what direction you should go. It is also a home of the old man you meet at the bus stop. He says that you do not have to hurry, because the next bus will arrive in 2-3 minutes. And then, as you enter the bus together, in the bus he tells you about the places you are passing by, about his family, about his trip to Prague in winter. How he saw the snow for the first time and experienced the real minus degrees temperatures:)
(Warning – there is no study behind this whole thing, I just watched and described. It's all very very subjective and just made for accepting the differences and a bit fun:)
Enjoyers – it is not important how many sights they see. They want to enjoy every moment. They may stay on one place half a day just to watch - if there is a nice view and the place has a story (nice people around). Everything adjusts to their comfort. Turning the alarm clock on during vacation is a punishment for them. They want to come back to every country, because they have had beautiful time there. They do not see as much tourist sights, but they don’t mind. They will visit the rest of the tourist spots next time. (the liberating "next time" can possibly mean never, but they do not want to be in hurry and this postponing for “next time” is enough)
See everything - it is important to see as much as possible. They enjoy all day trip and moving from location to location. The alarm clock is not a problem even during the holiday. It is important to see as much as possible. Probably due to this, they do not need to return to the country.
Record breakers – the point is to get to the location in shorter time than is written on the tourist board (in tourist guide). For example, if recommended routes are ½day, 1 or 2 days, they usually combine them and set up a 1.5 day or even 2-day program in one day. At first glance, they can look similar as "See everything" category. However, they differ in the time needed to see the planned sights. Saving time and breaking a record is the motivation for them. They will set the alarm, of course. And they keep quietly and continuously monitoring time. They do not need to return to the country. If so, it’s just to overcome their own record.
Let’s not forget you:
Planner - Has planned time and schedule. The timetable is sometimes detailed up to an hour and marked once completed. The difference from the "record breaker" is, that they do not need to overcome record, they just need to deliver the planned schedule. It is not necessary to see much or to see everything, but it's important to see what's planned for the day. Holiday is considered to be good when the plan meets the reality.
And I still have some more:
Non-contacts - the country is good if you can get what you came for without being forced to be in contact with anyone. Places are being marked well, there are signs how to get to tourists’sights. It is important that the places are clearly labeled so that you can see what you have come to see without the need for emergency contact with anyone. Holiday is considered to be good when they find everything without surprises and without blundering. Searching for assistance of locals is undesirable and unsettling.
Saver – the satisfaction with the vacation is measured by the percentage of the budget he saved vs planned budget. The number of sights visited does not directly influence the quality of the holiday. He will visit some places, maybe a lot of them, if they are at a reasonable price. I have already met a man who has calculated the discount he has received in the restaurant every night, he did count it together, calculated how much he has saved on average per day, how much he has saved for the whole holiday and has declared one holiday for the best. Combining two indicators - the daily average saving and the total amount saved (versus the planned budget).
It is all good. I forgot that people have different way of spending their time, than I do. And that my way is not the best. It's just the best way for me.
I'm glad someone reminded me. And it’s not just in traveling :)
All descriptions above contain a high degree of subjectivity, trying to be funny here. Contains only the types I have met so far. Types can be combined.
Each of these travel approaches is all right. The only wrong approach is to think, that my is the best one. When you do not get in touch with certain types of people for a long time, you will forget that they exist. In your closed bubble. I do not think there is a "right" approach. The "right" one is different for everyone.
Most importantly: enjoy your vacation exactly as you like it:)
And I'm really interested in this:
Did you find yourself here, or did I forget any travel type? Tell me, please. Tell me more.