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Monday: Bratislava Birthday

Monday, October 12th, 2009

to infinity Bratislava and beyond
In the vans from 9:30 to 5pm, with a couple of hours in Bratislava

Tomorrow I will turn forty.
Tomorrow we plan to be in the Czech Republic sans local currency.
And so today – but when it is already tomorrow in New Zealand – we celebrate.

We leave Hungary, head into Slovakia and take our tiki-tour of Bratislava.

It might be a capital city, but it’s not a big one. Creatively painted apartment blocks in green grassy parklike settings making suburban living beautiful surround the medieval town. Old stone walls with wooden structures protruding from them overhanging the street below….a castle on the hill….cobblestones….churches ~ it all oozes character.

We thought we’d buy a cake at a little bakery, but we can’t find one. We do, however, see a mall. A big modern mall. We can’t get in to the carpark, but there is McDonalds next door without any height restriction. Ironical really. Mrs Don’t Feed Me Junk Food buys a few cheap chicken burgers in exchange for the privilege of using the carpark so that we can go in to the supermall and wander round a megamarket full of Made In China Junk. Finally we find a food section and come out with a cake of sorts.

Hoping to spend the day tomorrow in Prague we decide to skip Vienna and just drive straight on towards Budapest today. We cross the border into the Czech Republic, wondering if it will be any less grey and dismal than when we were here twenty years ago. Despite the constant drizzle, it is; colourful billboards and crisp European Union road signs have changed the landscape, but not necessarily for the better.
We hope to find a quieter-than-the-last-two-nights truck stop, and, thankfully, we do.