Slovakia is a funny name! – Sawyer

When my nephew-in-law Sawyer heard we were going to Slovakia, he texted me, “that’s a funny name!” I can’t disagree, and I have to admit that I knew very little about this country except that it used to be part of Czechoslovakia.

Without so much as a guide book, we booked an AirBNB near the city center and started cycling. Crossing the border from Hungary to Slovakia, the half-assed bike path suddenly became a full-fledged bike road, complete with signage, excellent pavement, and even small beer/snack restaurants lining the route! The bike infrastructure in Bratislava turned out to be world class!

As a mentioned in my last post, we were eager to meet other cycle tourists, and it was at one of these beer/snack places that we ran into Kris and Jill. Funny thing is, a mutual friend of ours had introduced us online and let us know we were both headed to Vienna. We saw each other cycling in Hungary, and I had said to Steve, “wouldn’t it be funny if those guys are Jill and Kris?”. Well, sure enough, they were!

We enjoyed getting to know each other and met up for dinner in the town later.

It was so hot that we didn’t do a lot in Bratislava, but I really like its energy. It’s still not too touristy, but it’s very comfortable. We spent a lot of time just walking around and admiring the architecture. I even heard a group of Thai tourists speaking Thai, and it surprised me, brought me back to Asia for a minute!

I think the “blue church” was our favorite, reminding us of some of the buildings in Barcelona designed by Gaudí.

It was fun watching some folks play on the big chess board downtown.

The food in Bratislava is a fusion of Austrian, Hungarian, and Slovakian, being so close to the border. But this dish with pork belly, sauerkraut, and a kind of tortilla, we were told is very traditional, and it was fantastic!

We took a food tour, and we sampled many different local cheese, fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, beets, cucumbers, etc.).

I feel like our time in Bratislava was rushed, being between two of our main destinations, Budapest and Vienna. And I think that honestly defines Bratislava, as the often-overlooked third sibling. I think it’s too bad, because I would like to spend some more time here; it feels like one of the more real and unspoiled capitals that we’ve visited, in a similar way that Zagreb is also.

Next up, Vienna…

One Reply to “Slovakia is a funny name! – Sawyer”

  1. Thanks for sharing, it’s a nice experience when i read your blog and I’m able to place myself somewhere similar from a previous European vacation

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