[How lovely Bratislava [part I] = here.]
I got a surprise present in the morning – Lubica gave me a most lovely doll made of corn leaves, and the doll carries a tiny cradle, the latter being made of half a nut shell. This looks like a rather fragile thing to carry for my long journey, but I didn’t mention this and decided that I’ll send it home by post at some point of my journey (most likely in Budapest) anyway, so as to make sure that it stays intact. Lubica also gave me a chin-on-shoulder hug and wished me good luck.
When I sweated a lot on the way walking to the train station did I realize that I forgot my hiking easy-dry scarf at Lubica’s place. Let’s hope that I didn’t lose other things. Gosh I’m so stupid sometimes.
I typed a couple of blog entries on the train. It was very hot on the train, and the young mother (that kind of perfectly-shaped TV commercial figure who would make her entrance in the kind of fitting white shirt and skirt) SHUT THE WINDOW. At some point I really couldn’t stand it anymore and told them (no matter whether they understood me or not ) in English that it’s way too hot and I need to crack a bit of the window.
Of course, way before we reached Bratislava I already sweated over and over. No wonder these days my backpack smells like SWEAT. Arriving in Bratislava I quickly located myself and found the hostel. The Slovak clerk in this A1 Hostel is extremely nice and helpful, and he told me while the room won’t be ready until 1pm, there’s a “Free Walking Tour” at 11am in front of the Old National Theater. I read about that and decided it’s a good idea.
The city was pretty quite – today is a “bank holiday,” meaning a national holiday when lots of things shut down. It was only when I was about to reach the square did quite some tourists appear. And aside from them, there were only a couple of tour touts – one of the young blond girl is very beautiful and has a winning smile, and yet that “Free Tour” was nowhere to be seen. Eventually I decided to take a walk by myself.
I found one of the tourist information center, and although the clerks aren’t that young, they seem to – at least the one I talked to – be equipped with very reasonable English and German. I tried to ask the clerk about that Free Tour (“It isn’t related to us; I don’t recommend any other tours; we have licensed guides here”), and then asked her to recommend some cafes and/or diners – the ones lining on the major streets in the old town look like total tourist traps, and it’s better to have a local’s opinion. Originally she told me I could go “for anyone on the big streets,” but that’s the time when I need to stress I want a “personal preference” from her. Aside from these, she’s quite very helpful and kind and didn’t hesitate to point out on the map at my request where the funny sculptures are.
The old town really doesn’t take much time; before 1pm I already “finished” almost everything including Bratislava Castle. On the way to the castle there are two young women in light dresses and rather over-painted eyebrows (and lips and everything else, but what do I know about makeup). I thought they must be Korean, but before soon I heard them speak and realized they’re Taiwanese. Now that’s funny.
The sun was absolutely blazing. I was more like a walking fountain than a man when I went to the ticket/info office of the castle, and even the very old ladies here speak some English. Oh, both here and in St. Martin’s Church I was immediately recognized as “a student,” but frankly neither places interested me much. My guess is that there’re rather few tourists that wanted to go inside to visit.
Having had an early stop and quite enough sweating, I returned early to hostel to enjoy some quite time as well as an internet phone call – of course, the persisting perspiration on the neck soon proved to be a distinct nuisance. OMG. Oh, the clerk that takes my passport to check me in then was another one, an older American, who “never knew how to spell Taiwan properly.” He’s VERY helpful, very nice, but all the hyper-exaggerated tones and curling-tone sounds gave me an impulse to shake him violently or something. Yes, I’m a horrible person.
After rushing to Tesco and checking out some place, I wandered to a main shopping street. A chain café named “Greentree Caffe” looks very nice but was very empty. No wonder: they’re closing in 20 minutes, and it was barely 7pm. Most places have earlier closing time today.
Before I went into that famed Slovak Pub, two most lovely girls in traditional costumes came down the staircases and offered me BREAD. That’s some advertisement – after all I think it’d be difficult not to glance at such beauties. As for the restaurant itself, the food was fine. But in the end that means way too much food: a supermarket sandwich, an unscheduled dinner, and then more chocolate waffle cookies back in the hostel…
總計：39.59EUR <= 吃太多