Previous posts:
30.9.2018


Bra - tis - la - va


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.

This is not about comparing with Košice or Piešťany. 

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


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 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.

And it was beautiful. It still is. And parallel parking is death. It still is:D

 

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.

 
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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?

Well, I know nothing about rose an cabbage, but this place is offering nice view despite the fact its called “Župné námestie”.

 

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. We do have synchronicity. Enjoying the great miracles.


I love You, Bratislava.

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.

 
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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.

He used to say that Bratislava was love at first sight. That if you fall in love with her, she'll make it impossible to leave her. That's what happened to him.  


Reason number one: people.

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.

Smart girls - I think this happened mainly because my English was so weak back then, so he had to misinterpret the silly stuff I did talk to him about and gave me a credit which I do not really deserve:D


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.

 

Reason number two: The Old Town.

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.


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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.

If only I knew I'd seen him last time that night, I might have done a lot of things differently.

When I found out that was the last time, I thanked the universe for sending him to walk by the fountain that evening.



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.

 
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Summary for you - a truly subjective ranking of top places in Bratislava:

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.


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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.

 

The point is - give it a chance. Bratislava - and every other town - is worth it.

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.

 


Previous posts

2.9.2018:






"What did you like the most about that island?"

"I do not know, but we've seen everything."

 

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.  


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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:)

 

So, I ask: "Malta? What did you like the most? "

Answer: "I do not know, but we've seen everything."

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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.

I admit we have not seen much of the main tourist sights.

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.

It is all good that everyone travels their own way and with a crew that has similar goals.

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.

And because people are people, everywhere, I fall in love with most places and want to go back.

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:)

 

The types of travelers I have identified so far:

 

(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)

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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).

 

Conclusion:

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.

The point is:

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.

What kind of Traveler Are You?