30 Jul

Old town Bratislava.

“New” town!

We spent 24  hours in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, on our way to Prague where we will spend three days.

We like Bratislava – especially the old town and its architecture. Bratislava is “recovering” more slowly than Budapest and Prague from the 45 years of occupation by the Soviets. But there is a lot of investment going on with dozens of major international corporations, like Volkswagen, building manufacturing facilities.

There is a lot of graffiti, some “organized” as above, but too much of what I would describe as vandalism  tagged on beautiful old buildings . And it has not been removed! There is more litter here compared Budapest and Vienna, both of which have little to none. The outer parts of Bratislava look unattractive to me with buildings like the second one above.


4 Responses to “Bratislava”

  1. Marilyn Raffinot July 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Hi Barry, I’ve been following with your interest your blog. Unfortunately, I missed the first part — WHY 7 weeks in Budapest?

    • barryehrlich July 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

      HI, Marilyn! We were looking for a home exchange with someone, anywhere, for the the summer. We did not find an exchange, but found an apartment in Budapest for a very affordable price, so we “just went for it”. We knew nothing about Budapest before doing this. We love Budapest! It is a somewhat “undiscovered” destination for tourists, especially compared to Prague which is truly OVERRUN with them! So we are spending seven weeks in Budapest with short (2 or 3 day) side trips to Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, with several smaller Hungarian cities coming up.

  2. Susan July 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    How has your rudimentary Hungarian been working out? What has the food been like in Hungary? Traditionally heavy?

    • barryehrlich July 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      We have been able to make our way around Budapest with our rudimentary speaking and reading abilities. It surely helps compared to having absolutely NO understanding of the language! For example, we shop in the Grand Market almost daily for produce, eggs and bread. The other day I was able to ask, “Mennyi?” (How much?) and understand, “Harom hatvan” (360 florins) when buying eggs. Emily was given free admission to a museum after she spoke her best Hungarian instead of us having to pay for two tickets. We were surprised about that! We can read the signs when riding the metro and tram. We know what kinds of stores we are seeing by reading without having to look at the merchandise.

      But we obviously look like tourists and are spoken to in English by many shop keepers even though we try to use our Hungarian.

      The food? For the most part we are cooking and eating in our apartment. We were, though, invited for dinner at the home of Gustav and Nora Hona. Gustav is retired from the Hungarian Radio Orchestra as Principal Trombone and is the chairman of the brass and wind department at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Nora is a school teacher of flute and solfeggio at a music school for children.

      For dinner we had a traditional chicken dish in a creamy white, sour cream like sauce – traditional pickles (light and somewhat sweet) – and a delicious cream cheese like spread on bread.

      We have eaten out a few times and had goulash, of course, and vegetable filled “pancakes” (like ravioli) with cream sauce.

      The bread here is delicious – much tastier than even the best US specialty breads – and we purchase it several times a week at the Grand Market.

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