After a whirlwind weekend with Ray we had another day together. I had Monday off and had already decided beforehand to take him to Bratislava. Bratislava has two factors speaking in its favor: it is in another country and it’s only 50 minutes away. Perfect for a one day trip.
We met in the morning at the Twin City Liner station to get the tickets for the 9 o’clock boat. Ha, we were in for a surprise because all other tourists in Vienna had apparently planned the same. Nonetheless we got tickets for the return boat at 4pm and made our way hastily to the main railway station. Within 20 min we were on the way to Bratislava.
The evening before we had agreed (ok, I suggested and Ray agreed) to partake in the free walking tour and then visit the castle. The only time I was there before, I didn’t get to see it and now it was one of my reasons for going again.
We took a bus (X13) from the train station to the old centre. I thought it would be a piece of cake getting there, but in the end it was harder than expected. I read online that we would have to take the tram no.13, but no tram was in sight near the train station. Actually no rails as well.
So, no problem we will take a bus. Far away from no problem, we already struggled with buying a bus ticket. There were machines all over, we lined up for one. The people in front of us bought tickets. When it’s our turn, we put in a coin. It came back out. We played this 10 times. Then a homeless guy came selling newspapers, indicating a fast flashing green light. We had no idea what he meant and just kept trying. Finally someone took pity on us and told us that the fast flashing light means that there is no change available. Makes sense, we wanted two tickets for 0,70 and only had a 2 euro coin.
In the end we managed to get the tickets and get on the right bus. After 2 stations all tourists got off, we of course knew better and stayed on. Not the best choice, we had to walk back. Also the tour was starting at 11am and we only had a 30 minutes window to begin with. We were so late already. Power-walking was on the menu, always guided by Ray’s GPS. Thank God for jobs where your phone is part of the salary package! Anyway, long story short! We made it just in time. What a lovely view when I finally saw this sign!
Within minutes we started the tour and finished two hours later somewhere near the Danube. The tour really gave us a pretty good overview on what to see later close up and also of the layout of the city. Here are my highlights.
I love the idea of free books with seating right next to it. Doesn’t that look inviting? Maybe that was the reason I wanted to browse for bit. Though I ceased after a quick look around since all books were of course in Slovakian.
Just across from the books were a couple of restaurants with terraces. We settled on one and went for lunch. I have to apologize at this point for my prejudice to Slovakian cuisine. It turned out to be way more tasty than what I experienced in Cesky Krumlov and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Of course these are two different nations, so I could have expected different food. But…mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa. Always try something first and judge then. So once we sat and shared a meal there was no way we would get up again and walk to the castle. I feared and hoped that because it gives me a reason to come again. I still have to see the castle. Still a shame though that we didn’t put the overview from the tour to good use!
We made it on to the boat just in time before the great downpour (Great downpour you ask? True, there is now one almost every day). 90 minutes later we were in Vienna again. Amazing how fast the day went by. Ray had a business call to attend to so we decided to meet for dinner again. Why do I get the feeling when writing about it that the only thing we did that day was eating? Not true at all but Ray still had to try the apricot dumpling which I had promised him the day before. On Julia’s recommendation we made our way to Mill for the best dumplings in town. Sorry to say that I cannot agree with that. The place is super nice and stylish, has a cute garden and a lovely decor. I just didn’t like their food. It’s average at best and with some dishes it even falls below. Maybe it was just me, expecting so much more due to the recommendation, but I was sorely disappointed. I have pictures from every course but even they look unappealing. So I am not going to put them up here. Except for the dumpling which looked great but tasted bland. Excellent priced wines were available though! On second thought, just looking at the garden makes me want to give them another chance.