Photo Friday: Bratislava, Slovakia

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devin castle bratislava

Backpacking through Eastern Europe, I was able to knock quite a few countries off of my bucket-list. Many of them I fell in love with wholeheartedly and I knew then and there I would want to return one day. Other places, not so much. Yup, you guessed it, Bratislava, Slovakia was on that list of places I really don’t want to go back to.

When I was in Austria, I knew I wanted to squeeze in some time to go to Slovakia, since it was so close by. I spent the day wandering around Bratislava, which turned out to be the least memorable city I’ve ever been to. Completely irritated by lunch time, I decided to see if there were any places of interest left to me on the map. Squeezed in the bottom section of sights and activities was listed a place Devin Castle with a crazy address in Slovakian and a bus number.

I like castles and I like adventures. What did I have to lose?

So I asked around until I found out where that bus left from and hung around freezing my ass off til it came. No one spoke any English, and after a lot of pointing and shouting in my god-awful German, the bus driver and local old ladies realized where I wanted to go.

Hopping off the bus in the middle of nowhere, I began to climb a lush green hill towards the ruin of a great castle. With no one around, it felt like I stepped back in time to another age.

The sky was a perfect crisp blue as I explored the great keep. Historic Devin Castle was bathed in a golden yellow light as the sun set over the Danube river and surrounding fields, illuminating it forever in my memory as a peaceful, perfect afternoon jaunt in eastern Europe.

I guess Slovakia wasn’t so bad after all. 

Have you ever been to Slovakia or Devin Castle? Has a country ever let you down or become “forgettable” on your travels?

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18 Comments on “Photo Friday: Bratislava, Slovakia

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  1. I can’t believe you and I were in the same city when I read about your Bratislava experience. Of course it’s not a big deal -even not a regular-size deal-, but it’s cosy, at least.
    The trouble is arriving to Bratislava from Vienna. It’s more or less like going to Zamora after being in Salamanca: yeah, it’s nice, but it’s not THAT nice. So don’t expect a typical European capital city (for God’s sake, not when you arrive from Vienna!), but a small “ciudad de provincias”, as whe say in Spanish.
    Apart from that, I liked Bratislava. Maybe because it was too damn cold and foggy and empty (remember, you arrive from Vienna) or because it’s like travelling back to the Cold War era (that train station, that useless English in Eastern Europe) or because it was my 5th anniversary and I was in the mood for liking anywhere in the World. Even Bratislava.

    1. well said! I definitely need to give it a second chance and maybe spend more time to get to know it better. why did you pick bratislava for your anniversary????

      I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t too memorable for me, though I did LOVE Devín Castle! That made up for everything else! But then again, you and I love any castle, right???

      1. In fact we didn’t pick Bratislava. We were staying at Vienna and we had a spare day, so we chose Bratislava instead of Salzburg just because Bratislava was nearer and it hasn’t got as much to see as Salzburg.
        FYI (in case you didn’t know), our anniversaries consist on going to cities which are/were the capital of (former) kingdoms. I know it’s bizarre, but I mean, being my girlfriend and I historians… well… er…
        Anyway, that means that in our 2011 anniversary we went to a such non-romantic place as Auschwitz. Woo-hoo.

  2. I’ve been to Slovakia many times, to Bratislava itself 3 I guess and well, it’s the most boring of European capitals. 2 hours are enough to see it very well… at least there’re other nice places in the country, mostly Tatra Mountains, Spis region and Kosice. You should give Slovakia a second chance and head to that area next time!

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