Photo of the Week – Cumil (The Watcher)

This weeks photo is of one of the most iconic statues in Bratislava. Cumil the watcher peers at the world from a manhole. It is a popular photo opportunity for the visitor.

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It is one of the many quirky statues that can be found in Bratislava.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the Week – Liszt Memorial Tablet, Bratislava

This week’s photo is of the Liszt Memorial Tablet in Bratislava.

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This tablet celebrates the concert that took place at the Leopold de Pauli Palace in 1820 when Liszt was just 9 years old.  At that time Bratislava was known as Pressburg.  This concert led to offers of sponsorship to help finance Liszt’s education.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the Week – The Blue Church

This week’s photo is of the Church of St. Elisabeth in Bratislava.  It is also known as ‘The Blue Church.’  Built in 1907 it is probably my favourite image of my travels in 2012.

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This photo represents the beauty of travel.  Something that you will not see if you stayed at home all the time.  You can only compare with the image of the closed hospital that is opposite the church.

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Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the Week – Celebration in Bratislava

This week’s photo of a meal that took place in Hostel Blues in Bratislava.

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Christmas is a time where we celebrate with family and friends.  It is also a time where we should be counting our blessings too.  I have been fortunate that I met so many people on my travels in 2012.  Wherever you may be I hope you enjoy your day.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the Week – Statue of Napoleon Bonaparte in Bratislava

This week’s photo is of Napoleon Bonaparte in Hlavne Namestie in Bratislava.

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The statue created by Juraj Melis was to commemorate ‘The Piece of Bratislava’ which was signed in 1805.  I see this  as a reminder to the people of Bratislava that Napoleon is always watching them.  More importantly it is a reminder that Bratislava is a city that does not take itself too seriously.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the week – View of the River Danube from Devin Castle

I am sorry there was no photo last week.  I am in the middle of changing computers.  The photo is of a view from Devin Castle of the River Danube.

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The River Danube is the second longest river in Europe.  It runs from Germany to Ukraine.  This photo was taken from Devin Castle near Bratislava.  What this photo cannot show is the speed of the river flowing.  Indeed it is a mighty river.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Bratislava – A Reflection

After Prague I thought that things would not get any better.  Therefore I was totally and pleasantly surprised what I found in Bratislava.  The city itself displays plenty of history yet it is small enough to be able to be explored by foot.

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Initially when I arrived into Bratislava I was left feeling disappointed.  It was Sunday afternoon and when I stepped out of the bus station it was though I was transported back to the 1970s and communism.  The trolley bus looked rickety and dated.  Having said that it did take me to the stop nearest the hostel.

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After being advised by the hostel to take the free walking tour it was then I discovered the delights of Bratislava.  There is a lot of history in Bratislava but there is also a lot to see that made me smile.  The city does not take itself too seriously.  Bratislava was a major city of the Austro-Hungarian empire.  At one point the Emperors were crowned in St. Martin’s Cathedral.  A lot of the old city was demolished during the 1970’s to allow for a flyover.  One could only think how much more beautiful the city would look.

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There are a lot of colours with Bratislava whether it is the bright blue of the St. Elisabeth’s Church or the greens and yellows.  This is something that town planners in the UK should consider.  A splash of colour is a great way of brightening a place.  I suspect that it would not cost too much either.

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It is also a city that does not take itself too seriously.  There are indicators of this with some of the statues you find dotted around the city centre.

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Being so compact Bratislava offers the cafe culture that I loved.  Plenty of bars, cafe’s and coffee shops to enjoy.  It allows you to watch the world pass by.  It has that kind of vibe.

This is an ideal city for a long weekend.  Spend the first day exploring the city centre.  The next day I would go and see the spectacular ruins of Devin Castle.  Spend the afternoon cycling in the surrounding countryside that hugs the Danube river.  It is only a thirty minute bus ride from Bratislava.

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My five must see attractions in Bratislava are:-

  • Bratislava Castle
  • Devin Castle
  • St. Michael’s Cathedral
  • St. Elisabeth’s Church
  • Slavin War Memorial

I would also include a trip to Shtoor Home Made Cafe.  A perfect place for good coffee, sandwiches and excellent cake.  What more can a man want from life.

To sum up Bratislava I would say that it is one of Europe’s secrets.  How long it will stay like this I would not like to say.  Whatever happens it will always have a small city feel that I love.  I cannot wait to go back.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve