Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Morning in Bratislava

Our flight back to Bucharest didn't leave Bratislava until around 2:30pm so we had the morning to explore. I'm ashamed to admit that when we booked this trip I had to look on the map to figure out where in the world Slovakia is located! I was concerned that it wouldn't be safe. It just sounds so...well...foreign! Actually the contrary is true, we felt very welcomed and safe. We spent the morning exploring and might even come back for a weekend!

We took a tour through the city center which is a beautiful and quaint older part of town. The little tram was fun and the historical information from the guide was very interesting. We were the only ones on the tram - English didn't seem to be the language of choice! Ha ha

This is St. Martin's Cathedral. It was once used to crown the Kings and Queens. It is still owned by the Catholic Church. That is the predominant religion here. Several of the Evangelical buildings have been taken over by the Jesuits.

All through the city center are these fun little statues. Some are of "local legends" that they have placed where the actually person frequented. They certainly added to the uniqueness of the area.

This church was built in the 1400s! It is the oldest standing building from the Hungarian Empire. It has been renovated and extended over the years but the original structure is still visible. It is used for a museum presently.

After our tour we stopped at a local restaurant and ate some of the cuisine from the area. Steve had a goulash that he raved about! I had a roast beef with cabbage which was ok. Maria had fried turkey which was good as well.

As we were finding our way back to the tram stop, I stopped to look in a store window at beautiful cut lead crystal bowls and glasses. Steve asked if I wanted to go in and I laughed and told him we couldn't afford it. I said that bowl there is 965! He looked and said the price was in Slovakian Crowns, in US dollars it would be around $30. So in we went - and out we came with a pretty little bowl! All these different currencies are starting to blow my mind.