We didn’t have a ton of time in Slovakia. In fact, we were here for really only 24 hours as we passed through on our way from Poland to Hungary. We technically could have gotten all the way to Budapest, Hungary in just one day but we thought it’d be nice to get a glimpse (even the tiniest one) of the Slovakian capital, Bratislava. Here’s how that played out.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
[ 10:38 ] Arrive in Poprad, Slovakia off a comfortable mountain bus from Zakopane, Poland. This leg of the journey lasted exactly the length of Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience album. Bri is delighted.
[ 10:50 ] Bri pays .40 Euro to use the train station bathroom. She must collect toilet paper from the bathroom attendant before going into the stalls because there won’t be any available once she’s inside. Bri is told this in Slovakian, which is confusing.
[ 10: 57 ] Matt also pays to use the bathroom. He could have paid just .30 Euro to use the “pessoar” (i.e., “pisser”) instead of the toilet stall, but he lacks the Slovakian language skills to communicate this to the attendant. She makes him take a toilet paper ration as well. He flushes it to keep up appearances.
[ 11:33 ] Matt and Bri board the train bound for Bratislava and get settled in a private compartment in first class because they’re ballers (i.e., the good people at Eurail will not sell second class passes to anyone over 25 years old. “Be an adult for crying out loud.”)
[ 12:15 ] Train attendant with heavy makeup and eyebrows checks our tickets, purses her lips, and leaves.
[ 1:37 ] Train attendant returns with heavily armed police officer in tow. He is wearing full body armor and a sneer. He says something stern and frowny to Matt, which we don’t understand. The officer switches to English and tells Matt he is breaking the law by having his feet on the seat across from him. Matt must remove his shoes or there will be a 50 Euro fine. We choose option 1.
[ 1:38 ] Officer McAngry leaves and the compartment door closes. We now, perhaps unjustly, hate the Slovak people. And Slovak laws.
[ 2:00 ] Realize that what we thought was a 2.5 hour train ride is actually a 4.5 hour train ride. Begin strategizing.
[ 2:05 ] Matt returns from the dining car with a liter of white wine he purchased for 8 Euro. He paid extra for a second styrofoam cup. We’re so classy.
[ 2:06 ] Determine that there’s a reason more people aren’t talking about Slovakian wine (the reason being that it’s awful). Pour tall glasses anyway.
[ 3:00 ] Start watching Breaking Bad on the iPad, season 4 – episode 3. Shit is getting real.
[ 3:42 ] Bri visits scary train bathroom and assumes favorite pose among women everywhere: the squat-n-hover. For balance, she puts her elbow down on the sink counter and regrets it.
[ 3:44 ] Bri shows Matt her soggy shirtsleeve and asks for the Purell.
[ 4:07 ] Train arrives in Bratislava. Train station has free WiFi. Bratislava wins.
[ 4:16 ] Outside of the train station, Bri cannot stop laughing. Probably because she just drank half a liter of wine. People start to stare, so Bri and Matt start walking toward their lodging.
[ 4:18 ] Bri finally gets it under control.
[ 4:35 ] Meet the AirBnB host at the Frogy frozen yogurt joint outside tonight’s apartment and head inside. Apartment is adorable–TWO CLEAN bathrooms WITH SOAP. Everyone’s delighted.
[ 6:45 ] Dinner at “Slovak Pub,” which is both the name of the joint and an accurate description. Slovak beer and Slovak food, which included some excellent pierogi with the best goddamn sour cream anyone has ever eaten in their lives.
[ 6:50] Stop eating pierogi long enough to discover the excellent Slovak sheep cheese dumplings with the crispiest bacon bits ever on the far end of the platter. omgcomfortfood. No one can stop eating it.
[ 7:50 ] Time for a Slovak after-dinner drink called Slivovica, a plum brandy. Matt enjoys this far more than Bri does. He savors it like it’s the harvest.
[ 8:00 ] Nighttime walk of the Bratislava old town! Beautiful city, vibrant street life. Wide streets full of candlelit cafes and restaurant fiddlers wearing bow ties. Charming bronze statues around every corner (see this post’s cover image for an example).
[ 9:00 ] Return to the flat to make some travel arrangements for the next few weeks because, well, turns out we haven’t really figured all of that out yet. How will we get to Turkey? Oops.
[ 10:30 ] Bedtime.
[ 10:31 ] OMG IT’S A REAL BED WITH A MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS! No one has ever been more excited for this level of comfort and pampering after staying in a crappy, chilly hostel in Poland for the past few days.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
[ 8:48 ] Everyone is well rested.
[ 9:30 ] Across the street for breakfast at Bagel & Coffee Story. (Bratislava has very literal restaurant names.) Celebrate that the menu is entirely in English, which is amazing because no one is awake enough to attempt ordering in Slovak.
[ 10:03 ] Shitshitshitwe’relavinginanhourandnothingispackedandnooneisshowered
[ 10:16 ] WHY DID THE SHOWER WATER TURN COLD? Bri is officially awake now.
[ 10:35 ] So is Matt.
[ 10:36 ] Frantic packing ensues.
[ 11:00 ] Host’s brother, probably named Chatty Cathy because he will not stop talking even though we were trying to catch a train, shows up to return our deposit and retrieve the key. Asks why we stay only one night in Slovakia. We’re not sure so, of course, we promise to return.