Monthly Archives: May 2011

devine Devin

This is long over due blog post about a beautiful day wandering around the ruins of Devin castle just outside Bratislava.

To finish off our local Easter weekend, we spent Easter Sunday enjoying a picnic on the banks of the Danube after a gander at the 12th century ruins of the castle. The day was complimented with local purchases of honey and wine made in the area. The weather took a sudden stormy turn, which i hope I captured in my images. The clouds rolled in with the wind, which sent us scurrying to the bus stop back to Bratislava.

Check out the pics!

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Viennese Waltz

And so to Vienna on a hot April Saturday to enjoy Easter Markets and Viennese wine…

The first time I went to Vienna was in March with mum and dad. I never had time to blog it and this post is well overdue, but nevertheless here.

So it was a pleasant 15 degrees with ma and pa and we marvelled at the vibrant contrasts of such an alive city back in March. This time at 25 degrees, it was brighter, warmer and tasted a lot better…

First stop was Naschmarkt  – a long street od market stalls offering fresh fruit, vegetables, cakes, cheese, flowers, spices, with restaurants tucked in between them and a flea market at the end with thousands of impractical items at even more impractical prices.

Next stop: Famous Café Central where the likes of Hemingway and Freud wouod frequent to sit and ponder life. Perhaps it was the glass of fizzy wine in the sunshine at the market that clouded my judgement, allowing me to hand over 10 euros in exchange for a cup of ( not very hot) coffee, a piece of cake a very little change. It IS all about the experience though, and one stomachs the price to say that they’ve been there, done that and taken the photo.

Next on the Vienna to-do list was the Easter Egg market in Freyung and market stalls in Am Hof. I had read about the Easter markets of Vienna, where they boast to have the highest number of decorated eggs in Europe. I wasn’t what to expect until I rounded a stall and was confronted with an Aladdin’s cave of decorated eggs! They were the most intricate and beautifully designed eggs I could have ever imagined. All handpainted and on display for up to 8 or 9€ each, people buy them, decorate their houses up until Easter and then give them away as gifts over Easter. I did get a bit snap happy, as I marvelled at their intricacy and couldn’t stop myself talking photos.

A stroll through the centre in amongst the crowds to get a glimpse of Stephansdom Cathedral before jumping on the metro, allowed for a few photos I hadn’t got round to taking last time. The metro took us to Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens where we arrived too late to go inside ( so much time spent at previous distractions) but enjoyed yet another Easter market, complete this time with delicious freshly cooked potato salad, Viennese wine and Elderflower cocktail and a pink cubed cake.

A trip wouldn’t be complete without missing the train because we’d (shock horror) underestimated distances and times, had another glass of wine, chips and generally just had a very good day. Missed train was rectified in a bar, and we arrived back in Bratislava in time for the last bus from the bus station feeling that we had eaten, drunk and sightseen sufficiently to tick all the boxes of Easter weekend, save for tomorrow’s lighter excursion…

a walk in the woods #2

Good Friday

What better way to kill a beer fuzz than to have a brisk walk in “the nature”? Well, my location of choice would indeed be coastal, but Slovakia doesn’t accommodate that need, so Bratislava Forest Park it was.

It was a pleasant 25 degrees when I set off with my flatmate, plenty of water and a smile on my face and I was pleased to be donning a pair of shorts, slapping on the sunscreen and smothering myself in Autan. With a very helpful email from a very enthusiastic student ( concerned I would spend Easter weekend in Petrzalka) complete with bus timetables and her phone “if you will any questions” we made the fairly short commute of 3 bus changes to Železná studnička, one of the many stops in the park.

On arrival we were greeted with a pen of goats, 3 bars offering wonderful Slovak food ( a disgusting hotdog was consumed which I later regretted about halfway up the mountain) hiking trails, picturesque lake and general feeling of people out having a nice time in the countryside.

The Interpretive trail was the aim of the day, with some accidental but nevertheless beautiful detours, from out starting point to Koliba. You may remember a previous entry A walk in the woods was to this part of the park. Then a brown, dead and chilly; today lush green, alive and warm!

The trail, written in Slovak and ( google translate) English, details the various types of Flora and Fauna native to Slovakia and apparently possible to spot. Naturally, I didn’t spot any deer, otters or foxes. The trees were now too abundant with leaves and blossom to see the woodpecker I could hear and though I tried to pay attention to the leaves on the plants or the wild flowers I’m not sure I was able to actually point any out.

As it was Good Friday ( any excuse ) I enjoyed a glass of Frankovka Modra (wine) once we’d reached the summit where I’d previously enjoyed “cooked wine” in February, absorbing the view and breathing in the wonderfully warm spring.

Hopefully my photos capture some of the locally beautiful Slovakia!