Thursday, September 27, 2012


I should really take more vacations, going to Bratislava was so much more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined. I didn't get any work done- but I didn't really expect to. That's the beauty of vacation! 

Let's start from the beginning. I dropped Copper off at the kennel on Wednesday and on Thursday right after class I flew from Poland to Munich and then to Vienna. Once I got to Vienna it got kind of interesting. I had gotten instructions on how to take a train from Vienna to Bratislava off the internet and intended to do that as it was only an hour ride and 14 euro. So following the instructions I took the train from the Vienna airport to the main train station in the city.

The directions said to buy a ticket for Bratislava and then get on the train from here, I bought the ticket at an automated ticket machine because the office was closed and then looked to see what platform I needed to go to. I stood baffled for about fifteen minutes trying to find where I needed to be by looking at a big screen with all the departures listed- this is when I realized there was a problem. There were no trains going to Bratislava from this train station. So I walked around until I found some guy selling newspapers and asked him where I was supposed to be- my German being nearly as bad as my Polish got me as far as take the tram to (Insert weird German name of stop here) and go to the office and ask. 
So I went downstairs asked another person to make sure I was going in the semi right direction and got on the tram which took me across the city to the train office. By now an hour and fourty-five minutes has passed since I landed at 8pm so it's 9:45. I get to the train office wait in line like a good little girl and then ask the biggest jerk in the world what train station I need to go to. The response I get is a very rude thrusting of the train schedule in my face and another name of a station I can't remember the name of and him telling me that I'm going to miss the last train because it leaves in 15 minutes and I'm all the way across town. I ask him for a refund because it's late, I'm tired, and I've decided at this point to take a cab no matter how much it's going to cost. To which he rudely replies, you'll just have to go quickly. I then make him write down the trams that I have to take to get to this new station which he does begrudgingly and then thank him for being an arrogant asshole (I didn't say that...but I wanted to). The time is now about 10:10 pm the train leaves at 10:26 pm I sprint to the tram and then pray for the thing to go faster and hurry up! At 10:24 I make it at the station and sprint to the platform where I find the train waiting. Thank goodness I made it on time!!!! 

Anyway, I got to Bratislava at about 11:30pm happy to see my stepmom - Sharon and even more happy to see the back of my eyelids. In the end I spent nearly three hours underground Vienna because the MAIN train station had no one working at it. In addition to this, why in the world would you sell a ticket for a train that doesn't even come to said station? 

The next day I got to meet the kids that Sharon was chaperoning at the European Union Competition for Young Scientists (EUCYS) as well as a few of her friends and colleagues from other countries. Basically, if you've never heard of it before EUCYS is big science fair for the best high school science projects from all over the world. It's not as big as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, but it's still a nice size. Because Sharon was working, most of the time I was there was spent in the Incheba Convention Center; but we also got to walk in the old square and down town a bit too. 
The city itself surprised me quite a bit. I was expecting something out of Euro Trip (the movie- if you haven't seen it, it's quite a good laugh). Instead it was quite nice and very clean; much cleaner than where I live in Poland. They also have a huge castle which can be seen from most of the city. I didn't get up to it until the last day I was there. But, I took took the self guided tour and got to see a bunch of cool stuff, not to mention the spectacular views of the city. 
\Speaking of views one the the highlights of Bratislava is a huge bridge, which arches over the Danube river and has a huge UFO looking thing on top where there's a restaurant and viewing platform. Sharon and I went up with a few of her co-workers- which made for a good time (as you can see from the picture of us...). The UFO was really neat, but I wouldn't recommend it to those faint of heart; I could feel the thing swaying back and forth and every now and then it seemed to lurch in one direction or the other. 

Besides these two attractions, the town square and a few museums there wasn't too much to see right in downtown Bratislava. But, there were certainly quite a few German tourist groups on river cruises. Our hotel which must have anticipated this had a very nice spa facing the river. In the window was not your normal spa day activity, but fish. Now, I've seen this before on National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, but I've never actually seen it in real life. Fish, which clean your feet and give you a 'pedicure.' Sharon was amazed by this and insisted that we all go in and try it. The kids while not as gung-ho about it as Sharon were more than excited about it, I on the other hand couldn't even stand to put my finger in the tank. Needless to say, that as they sat with their feet in the water letting the fish attack them like hungry sharks, I simply watched and took pictures. What can I say, I'm a wimp!
The last day I was in Bratislava, I got to eat some of my favorite food- Weiner Schnitzel! And I did some sight seeing on my own. It was a Sunday so not much was open, but I saw some churches and walked around the town square. It was all very nice. I even talked to a Slovakian woman for about twenty minutes, speaking only Polish while she spoke Slovakian (apparently, they're very similar languages). When I was done being a tourist, I bought myself ice cream and headed back to the hotel for one final business diner with Sharon.

St. Martins Cathedral 

Monday morning I left at 3:00am to ride back to Vienna and catch my plane which left at 5:50 - the first flight to Germany that morning. From Frankfurt, Germany I flew to Poland, hopped in a cab and then rode to a pathology lecture.

Talk about no time to relax! ;-)

This is what Copper did the whole time I was gone. 

No comments:

Post a Comment