Good Morning Boys & Ghouls! And a very Happy Halloween to you all! We will not be dressing up this Halloween 😦 because we have no costumes, no party and are in Bratislava. But there was this one time that Kristin dressed up like Lady Gaga.
Ok, maybe she was just wearing one of our Grandama’s weird, furry, colorful, dog-like, Kleenex box covers on her head(when Grandma saw she told her “That’s not what that is for” very seriously), but that’s kinda Gaga isn’t it? And speaking of Lady Gaga & Halloween… If you enjoy those two things you should watch this video by our favorite YouTube video makers: The Hillywoood Show…
We started our spookiest of days with a hostel breakfast, followed by brisk walk up a large hill. It are several hundred steps up to the Bratislava Castle…a healthy way to start our day! The Bratislava castle is a perfectly situated castle. It towers above the city and the Danube river. The site has been in use since Celtic times and under the reign of Maria Theresa the castle underwent large-scale reconstruction. A fire destroyed much of the castle is 1811 and it remained in ruin for 150 years. After WWII the castle was rebuilt. There wasn’t very much to do at the castle. All of the coties museums are closed on Mondays, not that we really wanted to go to any of them. It seems to still be in the reconstruction phase as well, but the outside looked nice and the park & walls around it were lovely. The fall colors are on full display here so everywhere you look is bright & gorgeous. Mix that with the leaves on the ground & the crisp air and you have the perfect recipe for a fall walk. We wandered the area admiring the views:
We walked back to the city center, hitting the tacky tourist shops as we went. Eventually we sat down for lunch. We shared a Margherita pizza and a Bratislava pizza, half & half, with some Fanta. (As a side note, we ❤ Fanta!) A Bratislavan pizza, for those of you who are wondering, is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham, corn and chilli peppers. Both pizzas were delicious and we have come to the conclusion that we need to cook with corn more.
We then headed to the largest square to meet up with the free walking tour. It wasn’t a Sandemans tour…sad face…they don’t run in small places like this yet. The company was BeFree Tours and the quality wasn’t quite as high, but it was free so we won’t complain. Before we begin the tour with you at home though, here is a little bit of background info on the city of Bratislava so you can better enjoy our time here 😉
Bratislava is the largest and capital city of Slovakia. The city is the only national capital that borders two independent states. From the height of the castle you could see both Hungary and Austria as well as Slovakia. The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary for many years and later an important city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
There are many quirky statues around the centre of Bratislava. We stumbled upon many ourselves and our tour guide led us to some others. The Watcher peaks out of a manhole on the corner of a street. He is the most popular statue in the city. A “Man at Work” sign had to be put up above him because he had lost his head twice to drivers. We made sure to rub his cap as tradition dictates this means you’ll return to Bratislava in the future. The French army soldier statue looks a lot like Napoleon, who attacked the city twice…but why isn’t he wearing any shoes? The third statue was Schooner Naci. He is a man who, after failing to make a living as a clown or actor, began walking the streets of Bratislava. Always dressed in a suit with a top hat, he would give flowers to ladies passing by. The last statue is the Paparazzi. He peaks around the corner with no historical significance to the city.
Michael’s Gate is the only gate still from the medieval fortifications of the city. The gates dates from 1300 and it is a Bratislavan legend that talking while walking through the gate will bring bad luck. We tried our best to be super silent walking under it…but when someone tells you you can’t talk, all you want to do is talk…even if you above nothing to say!
The next stop was the church of St. Elizabeth or the Blue Church. This church in consecrated to Elizabeth of Hungary who worked for and helped the poor and needy. After her death, miracles occurred when people visited her grave. She was canonized and the Blue Church was built. No one really knows why it is blue, but the do know it was not because Smurfs built it.
After our tour we walked along the riverside path and enjoyed the lovely fall day. The Danube flows through the city. This river is the second largest in Europe and flows from the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea. We had planned to ascend the UFO building on the other side of the river so we crossed the Novy Most bridge. The building may have been closed, or we just couldn’t find the entrance so we walked back along the other side of the bridge. It was a lovely walk, even if it ended up being pointless. Check out the once view of the castle:
It was still much to early for supper but we had nothing else to do so we sat down at a nice little restaurant for a drink. We were quite surprised but very excited to see hockey playing on one of the tv’s inside, St. Petersburg was playing Moscow. We sat side by side so we could both see the tv, not because we particularly cared about the game but because it been 77 days since we were in Canada & we like things that make us feel at home. For supper we had bryndzové halušky or potato dumplings with sheep cheese and pieces of bacon. Ths is a sueor traditional Slovak dish tha is incredibly delicious!
Try not to overload on the tricks & treats tonight!
Love, Luck & Little Monsters,