Monday, 1 April 2013

My Cheapest Europe City – Bratislava

My Detour Continues ….

Let the wind guide your feet to the next destination .. NOT !! So train tickets price seams to be guiding my route marker on the Europe map and once again or in this case a bus ticket. It was 6.60 euro on a local bus from Vienna to Bratislava and it took merely an hour ride. Prague would have to wait and meanwhile I am adding another country to the counter.

The first view of Bratislava was its massive huge River and all the new modern bridges that cuts across connecting the old town to the new urban development areas. Hopping down the bus stop the place was a drastic change from beauty spec clean Vienna. This was more down to earth with some dirt everywhere and graffiti at the undercarriage of the flyovers.


So I headed out searching for the hostel I had research to be having a dorm bed for 7 euro a night. I found the place without difficulty and asked for a room and just in case ask how much it would be.

“Its 13 euro a night Sir”, The Cheeky receptionist replied

No its not !!.. And I would have stood there and used their own wi-fi to book the room through at 7euro a night I told them.  After conversing with his supervisor they came back and offered 8euros a night knowing I would have to pay about 1euro more for the booking fee online anyway.

Smart bastards! Still the hostel was good and barely anyone around during winter season.

Muahahaha … Cheap Ticket to Prague !!!

Train Station Bratislava
Next up was to check out my options after Bratislava. I took a walk to the train station which was a good 1 hour and struggle trying to understand any of the system for the train station. I gave it 10 minutes and gave up and join in a random queue until I was at the front of the counter and naturally the lady could’nt speak English. By some magical baby talk and my ragged look she finally understood I wanted the CHEAPEST ticket to Prague.

25.20 EURO …. (It was half price considering if I wanted to go from Salzburg or Vienna)

So everything worked out and I got to explore two awesome city Vienna and Bratislava in my search to reach Prague. My days in Bratislava was numbered as a I bought the ticket to Prague for two days later.

Old Town - Bratislava

Napoleon Soldier
The central old town Bratislava is a maze which I got lost every time I entered. Old cobbled stone pavements with shops of all kinds and antique feel makes this place a wonderful place to explore. The lack of people might have been due to winter season but it is definitely not as popular as Rome or Vienna. As I see it, this place is a hidden gem for it has easy access, cheap food, drinks, lodgings, and has just enough antique vibe to keep you interested for a few days.

The idea of the town council to put up modern metal sculpture around the old town also made it interesting to find and grab yourself a snapshot for it is like a landmark
Man In the Hole

“I have been to Bratislava”.

One of the pizza place was called the half shop. If the guide map from the hostel did not mention it I would have never found it. The shop was sandwich between two buildings and was only half the width of an ordinary building having only enough space for a single door.

Food was also great in Bratislava. The local dish that was recommended to me was called the Bryndzové halušky made up of potato dumplings topped with sheep cheese and some minced bacon, It was delicious. Although a strong taste to the cheese which sometimes put off other people from liking it. The arrangement could be seen without any meat sometime which is the actual staple diet for the country. In other words poor people diet, potato and cheese. Still poor people diet are the most delicious sometimes as more ingenuity is required in the cooking process.
Bryndzové halušky

I went back to a restaurant called Solvak Pub every night for meals as it was good food and for once within my budget. A typical dine in meal would cost 5 euros and for lunches a kebab on the streets for 2 euro.

To this point most people told me Prague was cheap for Europe but Bratislava was definitely much easy going on the budget. People were friendly, food and lodging cost was low and I felt pretty save walking around alone even at nights.


More Gambling in Bratislava

If there is one thing I would have considered a bad mark it would be the casino. That was my poison. I could never stay very long in a place that has a casino. I knew it was trouble waiting to happen. Still if you can resist the temptation it was a good place to be.

Nights are a bore in Europe. Everything closes except the pubs and then to entertain or be entertain you would need to spend money. No night markets to explore unless its near Christmas and almost zit activities after 8pm.

On the second night I made my way to the casino to find there was only four players in the whole casino. If you wanted to play blackjack and the table was closed, you could point to the table and the supervisor would open it for you. For a moment I thought I was at the VIP casino. Bratislava was not doing so well in the Europe dept crisis I guess.

Rules were different too in the casino. The usual Texes Hol-em Poker had a different twist to the game and I had to learn on the spot all the rules. Good thing was they gave lesson without me putting down any chips so I had to work the calculation fast in my head to see the best way of not losing everything in one hand.

Work the odds, the payoff, the probability of winnings, the risk, the favors of the casino, the traps, and of coz, if I could cheat full proof. The last one normally never works. If I knew I wouldn’t be working right now.

Shepherd Bag
I also had a near miss in Vienna and manage to come out alive with a net profit of 70euro so I was not that eager to jump back into the lions pit the first day I was in Bratislava. The second day I was too bored and was trying to kill time. Good Luck gave me another 50euro profit and with dinner earned …

of to  Solvak Pub for a nice Shepherd Bag Dinner … delicious

(Pork with cheese and many things I have no idea wrapped with bread to form a bag)

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