12.08.2013 - 15.08.2013 24 °C
[[Two Student Agency buses and 5 hours later]After a full day of travelling on two of the posh student agency buses back via Prague we arrived in Slovakia at around 21:00. Arriving at night always makes it tricker to find your hostel so after a slight detour in the wrong direction we made it to Patio Hostel (link).
Arriving at the hostel you could be forgiven if you thought you were in Ikea. A lot of hostels have obviously used Ikea but this place was like the catalogue which was actually quiet nice as it was clean and practical. That is apart from the kitchens which were on three different floors and basically consisted of a camping stove and a sink with barely enough room for two people to stand in. Our room was really nice though. We had opted for a private, albeit a twin. By this point it was getting late so we made our usual first day dinner pasta with pesto and hit the hay.
The next day we went to the centre of the old town (only 10 minutes walk from our hostel) to take part in another free walking tour. This time our guide was a local student who was really enthusiastic, if not a little rehearsed. Three hours later we had visited all the main sights including; the Primate Palace, Old Town Hall, St Michael’s Gate, Man at Work and the Blue Church (which looked like a fairytale church and is nicknamed the Smurf Church!!).
After the tour we went to eat our sandwiches English style on a bench by the river but were soon had to move on as a few persistent wasps who kept following us every time we moved bench!! We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering round doing a spot of shopping and stopping off for a couple of coffees and beers!
That evening we attempted to make dinner again in the ridiculously small kitchen (which was not the nicest stir-fry I’ve ever made, I miss our kitchen!). Once dinner had settled we went for an evening stroll to see the city lit up at night.
After a lazy start we walked up the hill to the Castle which overlooks the Old Town, but as we learnt on the walking tour the previous day hardly any of the original buildings survived the Communist regime meaning the views were not that great! Under the regime Stalin had decided that the then Czechoslovakia needed only one cultural city which became Prague, leaving Bratislava to be the Modern City, therefore all of the old beautiful architecture was destroyed to make way for the new grey Communist buildings. This means you know have a huge dual carriageway right next to the Cathedral!
That evening we decided not to use the crappy kitchen and instead went to try the local dishes our tour guide told us about. We ordered a platter of Perogi, which is a potato dumpling (sort of Gnocchi) stuffed with local sheep’s cheese, cabbage and bacon all with a further layer of cheese on top! Needless to say we did not finish it, and the smell of that cheese still turns our stomachs!
Again our final night was a lazy one, opting to relaxin in our room rather than heading out as we knew that we had a long day of travelling, crossing the majority of Slovakia to make our way to Poland and the Tatra National Park for some much needed country air and exercise!