I didn't really sleep the night before I left Spain, but was lucky enough to score an empty row towards the back of the plane, so I inflated my travel pillow, pulled the eye cover down over my eyes like a lil princess, and passed out for the entire three hour flight from Málaga. It was snowing very lightly when I got there, which was quite a shock considering I'd spent the previous day at the beach. So I geared up mentally, and stepped off the plane. After waiting an absurdly long time for my bag to come out onto the belt (I boarded the plane too late for it to make it into overhead storage), I found a bus that would take me to the train station. For just one night in my entire 10 day trip, I was actually going to pay for a place to sleep, and was pretty excited to get to my hotel and see if I'd done myself as right as I thought I had. (My amazing, incredible, wild hotel, which will be written about towards the end of the post, and is worth sticking around to get to.;)
After going completely mental upon seeing it, I left my stuff, grocked out a little more on its craziness, and headed out for a full day of wandering around and exploration. I was surprisingly energized and excited, and left with the same expectation/thought I always have before I walk out the door: I wonder what adventure we'll have today! And I've gotta admit, I spent the greater part of my journey into the city center thinking, "This is probably the ugliest city I've ever intentionally visited." (Sorry to any who live/are from there. I promise this gets better.) I was so relieved I'd only be staying for one night, and was really grateful I'd been told to only spend about a day there, because it became seemingly apparent I wouldn't want or need more time. But then I entered the center, and my opinion started to change quite quickly.
I began to see why people might go to visit Bratislava, and understand why it would be considered the capital. The castle, the churches, other monuments and large squares, long stretches of pedestrian ways full of pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops -- okay, I get it now. But I wasn't really loving it either.
In spite of feeling a little agitated by the wild, cold wind that was blowing, I was a little bored by the place. It was so charming, but so incredibly quite. I'd just spent the previous day in major meditation, therapy, connection and interaction mode with someone incredibly wonderful, and arrived so full of good energy and desire to run around a new place, meet cool people, and explore, so it was hard to hold it back and feel the need to reel it in a bit. (Which you'll soon read I didn't exactly do anyways...)
The people were so kind and helpful when asked, going quite out of their way to help me, but not very smiley otherwise. And it's such a small place, I realized quite quickly there wasn't an excessive amount of stuff to do/see. It's not a bad thing, I guess I just went into it expecting it to be much louder and larger since it is the country's capital city and has been considered very important throughout the past. Which, as it would turn out, would be some things I really missed about it and longed for whilst wandering around the much larger and somewhat pretentious Vienna the next day.
Overall, I did enjoy my time in Bratislava. When I was walking around I had my earphones in and was playing The Polish Ambassador's Diplomatic Dispatch Vol. 2 mix on repeat, dancing around like I was there by myself. (Which I was, so hey, dance on!) (This is what I mean by I didn't exactly hold my energy back.;) I liked the food, prices, and people I interacted with, and it was enjoyable to be in an easy-to-navigate place. And by the time my trip finished, I loved the city and the experience I'd had there!
I spent my first and last nights in Bratislava because I was flying in/out from their airport. The first night, I booked a room at the Hotel Galería Spirit, which was fantastic! I got to sleep on an inverted pyramid, in a hotel that also doubles as an art gallery/tripadelic place (you can pay 22€ for a canvas and use all the paints/supplies they have, then take it with you. Something I would have done, but I wasn't prepared to pay to ship a canvas to California), that has a supplement company underneath it, and sells supplements in the lobby (I got a massive bottle of spirulina pills for 4€ -- 50% off for clients, and ridiculously cheap prices otherwise!!!). I mean, the place couldn't have been more perfect for me, and was the only reason I actually stayed that first night in the city. I did a Google search of Bratislava, looked at the images and saw this colorful, abstract place, to discover it was the hotel, which I knew I would have to stay in. I ended up paying less than 12€, had the entire room to myself, the gals that work there are great, and highly recommend the experience if you're in Bratislava!
The last night of my trip I couch surfed there, and scored an incredible host! He's a certified Awesome Being, whose passion is the circus, spreading smiles and love, and making people feel. He taught me a couple of juggling tricks and how to turn a plastic bag into a toy, did some much needed work on my I've-been-traveling-and-walking-with-a-pack-on-too-long sore back, I did some energy work on his broken wrist, and many bright ideas were exchanged. And I have to say, as great as the hotel experience was, sprinting circles of excitement around my pyramid bed by myself, being surrounded by different colored and shaped lights, Guillaume, his friends, and his roommates were the perfect way to finish the trip!
We went out to this amazing, literally-under-the-ground pub, and I got to talk to some locals, and get a feel for the social life in the city. And I've gotta say, I really like it!
I'm a fan of anywhere where there is a solid pub culture, and appreciate a place that doesn't have a lot to do, but can offer you really cool, unique places to go and hang out with friends. I love a good beer, but hate the affects of alcohol (one of the few, if not the only, thing(s) I will actually apply the H-word to), so I'm not big on a place that centers around going out and getting wasted. I much rather spend a little more money on one great, flavorful beer, enjoy it for an hour (or two), have some tea, and just engage in good conversations with people. (My gosh, how I've changed!! Thank You, Lord!!!) Bratislava, in the short time I was there, seemed to be able to offer all that.
So, I finished my time in Bratislava really well, and left it with incredibly positive thoughts and memories. Thank you to all who contributed :-* If you're considering going, I'd recommend it. I wouldn't say you need to spend a long time there, but spend a couple days of your holiday, and it will enable you to really relax, and just hang out in a truly charming city. :)
And if you need proof of how awesome my host, new friend, and future farm partner is, check this out (and support them!!!!)...
Pumping out major blessings, love, light, & wonder to you all!
May you have a beautiful weekend, full of play, smiles, and be surrounded be sweet souls!
Love You Family,