It’s funny that I had to leave Slovakia in order to fly home, but I did.
The cheapest, most convenient way for me to get back was to leave Slovakia and fly out of Vienna and, as far as journeys go, all went smoothly, but of course there are observations to be made…
I got up far too early and was ready, quite literally with my bags packed, hair done, and breakfast eaten by 9 am. Some of you may wonder if this is indeed Grace writing this, but Slovakia has not allowed me such a thing as a lie-in since arriving and it’s now something my body doesn’t seem to be able to do.
I left the house with my (heavy) suitcase and headed to the bus stop. When it arrived, I watched the people get on and as I struggled onto the bus, the doors starting to close, no one blinked an eye. Thanks.
On my way to the bus station, I was controlled* twice (once on each bus). This never happens to me, and what are the chances that it happens the day I am carrying my weight in winter clothing with my wallet and bus pass safely tucked away in the bottom of my bag.
Bratislava bus station. Main entry point for all international buses into Slovakia. Observations: No cash point: No stalls or shops take cards. Toilets are on the second floor: No lift. Escalators out of order.
Food: Two stalls offering different versions of the same thing: Slovak sandwiches. Coffee bar on second floor, not possible. Seedy bar on ground floor with workers already on the beer. I opt for a ham and cheese baguette. The two words I can understand from the list. I hand over €1.50 and watch as the unfriendly lady makes me sandwich. It goes like this: toasted white baguette, large dollop of mayo, 3 slices of processed ham, 2 slices of processed cheese, 3 slices of thickly cut tomato (we all know I don’t want that)2 slices of cucumber (proportions?!) and all topped off with…. Sliced cabbage! Slovakia! In actual fact it was rather tasty, did the job and only pissed me off a little bit when I realised the mayo was on my scarf, my top and the sleeve of coat…
Bus ride to Vienna, fairly hassle free, except for the fact I had no idea we had arrived at the airport. Even the couple next to me looked quizzically about for a clue as to where we were. When the bus driver started unloading our bags we all got the point.
Vienna airport is a bit odd. I don’t find it very logical and it’s an important transit airport as far as I know. You don’t go through security until you are at the gate, which struck me as a bit odd, and the scales as check-in were broken, which annoyed me immensely thinking about what else could have come home with me.
Then I have to mention something about our train service in Blightly. First of all the most helpful person in Gatwick was an Italian man working for British Rail, who helped me find the cheapest easiest way to get home. I again struggled with a suitcase that no one helped me with, but what struck me as most odd was the fact that I had to wait 50 minutes for a connecting train home! Slovakia may be backward in some of its logic, but my, every connection I have made as been smooth, convenient and on time!
Final observation: Had awesome trip home for a very special occasion which fully refreshed me for the last leg of my Slovak adventure.
Over and out!
*This means that a man usually in a tracksuit and a shaven head, someone you wouldn’t want to argue with, gets on the bus and checks everyone’s ticket. It can be quite a hefty fine if you don’t have or don’t stamp your ticket.