Have I told you the story of how I went to Bratislava (for those of you who are drawing a blank right now: it’s the capital of Slovakia, for those of you still drawing a blank: buy an atlas) and didn’t really fall in love? Probably not, because I’ve been so busy telling you about all the places I do fall in love with. Not that I dislike or hate Bratislava, it just doesn’t do it for me. No travel boner.
Worst thing about traveling, ladies and gentlemen, except maybe getting violated by aggressive monkeys, is not really caring. I always prefer to love a city. And if I really can’t, I will try to hate it (like I do with Copenhagen and Cancun for instance). I find it very important to associate feelings with destinations, that’s just how romantic I am. And with Bratislava, I just didn’t succeed. The closest I come to any form of passion for Bratislava is the proximity of Vienna (only 60 kilometres!) and the presence of a cheap airport.
I really don’t want to be mean. Bratislava isn’t that bad. It has a castle, a cathedral, some other old building which look rather nice, a fountain, a palace, a tower, … Everything a good old Eastern European capital must have. But the comparison with Prague for instance, or Budapest ends there. If you would have to make a choice between Prague Castle and Bratislava Castle, or between St. Stephens Basilica in Budapest and St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, or … Well, you get the picture. Bratislava is alright, without making you want to ever go back. The city offers quite a few nice restaurants and bars (this might actually be the highlight of Bratislava), and this will keep you going for a few days, but then you won’t mind going home. Also the public transport, with the cool looking trams, is quite good. And Slovak National Theatre looks nice. You see, I’m already trying to trick myself into loving Bratislava. But that won’t work.
No sir, in this Eastern European line of capitals – starting with Berlin (I actually do know this technically isn’t Eastern Europe) to Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and ending in Belgrade – Slovakia’s capital has the least amount of charm. Of course you can disagree with the.ego.tripper, I encourage that, but it’s just the way it is for me. I wish it was different. I wish I loved Bratislava with the intensity of my love for Prague or Budapest. But I can’t. I just can’t. (*imagine dramatic music at the end of this blogpost*)
(Sorry to say I stole the first picture from Google, but it was actually more decent than my own attempts to portray Bratislava as an amazing city. I do apologize to the maker of this picture, who clearly had a bigger passion for the city than I did. Therefore I thank him or her.)