Both a Slovak friend and my guidebook recommended not staying long in Bratislava. So I spent a day on my way between Vienna and eastern Slovakia. The city center is has a nice mixture of old and new. I didn't see the surrounding area, except the distant view from the castle. (By the way: the train station is a depressing introduction to the city. The airport is a lot nicer. I flew out of town on SkyEurope,which seemed like a good and cheap way to get around this corner of Europe.)
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|Here's a view from the arch
under the old town hall...
|...where this guard keeps an eye on a bench. You'll find fun scupture like this scattered around the city center. Another fun one is a man (not) at work in a manhole -- complete with a fake warning sign -- at the corner of Rybárska brána and Panská.|
|Speaking of sculpture: this one,
outside the Reduta (the home of the Slovak Philharmonic), shows some of
the contrast between old and new that you'll find in the city center...
|...as does this Van Gogh-esque
building on Rudnayovo námestie. Three of its sides might make you
think you're in Amsterdam.
|For some slightly more authentic ;-) art, try the Slovak National
Gallery. (They even encouraged
me to take pictures inside!) It's on the north bank of the Danube...
|...not far from the Nový
most, the "new bridge" from the old city to the socialist-style
"satellite city" of Petržalka across the river.
There were big concrete apartment blocks, something like these, in a ring outside almost every Slovak city I visited. Call them ugly, and a lot of them are... but I think the idea (if I understand it) was good: an affordable place for everyone to live. I'm not sure that's true anymore in the modern (semi-)capitalist Slovakia.
|That view of the bridge was from
Bratislava castle. After an easy climb, you'll get views all around. I
didn't spend much time here, though, because I had to catch a tram to a
city bus to the airport for my flight to eastern Slovakia.
(These photographs are Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Peek. Much higher-resolution versions of most images, and many other images too, are available at Jerry Peek Photography. Photos are available at reduced prices, or free, for non-commercial use.)