Sunday, 30 December 2012

Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna, 13.-20.10.2012, Part IV

The following morning we packed our bags and walked to Keleti for our train to Bratislava. The sun was shining and, as we had some time before our train would leave, we just sat outside enjoying the warmth for an hour or so, aaaah! Our train left at 11:25 am and arrived in Bratislava at 2:09 pm so it's not too long of a trip at all. And I have to say that it's just so much fun to be able to catch a train from one country to another! Living in Finland, you just can't do that. The only country you can catch a train to is Russia but then that's not easy at all as you'll need a visa, which seems like a pain to get, so it's not like you can just decide to jump on a train and find yourself in another country a couple of hours later. I wouldn't actually like to live in Central Europe myself but the train aspect of it is great, I can't deny that.

Goodbye to Budapest for now!

The ticket was hand-written and all :D.

Some of the views along the way were pretty gorgeous...




Aaaaand then we were in Bratislava. Everyone had told us not to spend too much time there as apparently it was the most boring one out of the cities we were visiting on this trip...they couldn't have been more wrong! We loved Bratislava! It's quite small but extremely pretty and welcoming, there are lots of coffee shops, restaurants and pubs everywhere, the sights are few but definitely worth seeing, and the shopping is great! We were quite annoyed that we wouldn't even be spending the night as we instantly connected with Bratislava much better than with Budapest. Should never listen to what other people tell you...Oh well, we decided to enjoy the city as long as we could, and after leaving our stuff at the station and getting another return ticket (between Bratislava and Vienna, for 11€), we walked downtown...or, tried to walk downtown, got a bit lost, asked a bunch of uni students for directions, and finally found the extremely idyllic city centre.

The railway station.

Obchodna Street, where we did A LOT of shopping! You can also see the gorgeous castle in the background.

We were starving and decided to go to a place called Burgerland. They had burgers from different countries - I had a Thai burger and Tia had a Greek burger, if I remember right. It was sooo good! Much better than McDonald's or Burger King.
After having something to eat, we decided to do all the sights first and then come back down to Obchodna for shopping. Our train to Vienna wouldn't leave until 6:46 pm so we had quite a few hours to squeeze everything into. The climb up to the castle was quite tough but we made it and it was so worth it! What a gorgeous castle, and amazing views, too!

The Church of the Trinitarians.


Another church.


One of the sights in Bratislava is this bridge, Novy Most, with its top shaped like a UFO.





The gates to the castle!

Slovakia!




I was there, too :).

The Danube.
Then we came back down and had a look at the Old Town. It was a regular old town really, but it would've been fun to have the chance to sit there with a nice meal in the evening. Oh well, maybe there'll be another time...We saw one of the main sights, St Michael's Gate, and also some sort of park full of cats, before heading back to Obchodna for shopping. I spent so much money at Gate and New Yorker! We both did, and as we'd only brought one suitcase to share between us, we were beginning to get worried about all the stuff fitting inside it and Ryanair's weight limits...

The Old Town and some Hare Krishnas :D.

St Michael's Gate.

Cats in a park!

After our shopping session, we headed back to the railway station and on our way there, we accidentally bumped into the Presidential Palace, or the Grassalkovich Palace. Brilliant, now we've seen that as well!



It was a pain to drag everything we'd bought back to the station but somehow we managed to do that, got our suitcase and put everything in there and our other bags. Then it was time to leave Slovakia for Austria! I'd been to Austria once before but that was back in 1989 and it was just a day somewhere in the countryside as we were travelling around with my mum's German friend and her family back then.



Anyway, the trip was very short, just a bit over an hour, and we arrived in Vienna at 7:59 pm. We then caught the tram (#18, a single ticket was 2,20€ and there's a machine on the tram that takes cash) to Mariahilfer Gürtel and went to our hostel to check in. This time we were in luck! We'd booked a room at Happy Hostel without knowing much about the place but it turned out to be an absolutely adorable hostel! We got upgraded to a room with its own bathroom and kitchen as well! The room was huge, sort of like what we had in Stansted back in February. Aaaaah, so heavenly after the horrible Rastel! Also, the older woman working at the reception was the nicest person ever and made us feel like home immediately. We both paid 24€/night so it was more expensive than Rastel, but still, there's no way I'd call it expensive. I really recommend it to everyone, and it was no youth hostel, either, so older people could easily opt for it, too.



We were hungry again and so we decided to go out for a bit, to see if we could find something to eat before going to bed. I immediately fell in love with Vienna! I had no idea it was so similar to London somehow! The main shopping street, Mariahilfer Straße, is amazing! I've never studied German and have, probably as a result, never been interested in German-speaking countries, but I have to say that Vienna quite changed my feelings. At one point I even told Tia that I'd like to take a German course, and I actually might do that at some point, too. I can only imagine how beautiful Vienna is around Christmas, with all the lights and Christmas markets!

Anyway, we got ourselves some pizza and then went back to our room. I was completely knackered and extremely happy to finally be allowed to sleeeeeeeep :).


7 comments:

  1. I'm glad you liked Bratislava! I've always thought it was a lovely place, but everyone else keeps saying it's nothing special. I liked it!

    x Maaike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's what I'd heard, too, but it was just really lovely :)!

      Delete
  2. You will,definitely have to go back to Bratislava if you felt such a strong connection so you can spend more time exploring there xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe at some point I will! It's truly a lovely little town :). xx

      Delete
  3. Bratislava and Vienna seem to be very interesting! Thank you Emilia!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Travelling to Europe at a cheapest cost is nothing new Europe Flight Deals Planning a vacation is a joyful experience whether it's with your family, friends or even if you're travelling alone

    ReplyDelete