21st September 2014
I left Opatova with a plateful of breakfast and a lovely gift (Trencin castle picture in a wooden frame) from Pali’s family. Pali and his father drove me to Trencin train station. The train to Bratislava was to leave at 10:37.
It was half past 12 when I reached Bratislava. Lucia and Anicka were waiting for me. They both are Kate’s sisters and Kate is my good friend from Amsterdam. We had planned to spend the day together. From the train station we headed to Lucia’s apartment home. I dropped my luggage there and off we went to explore the city from their point of view.
We lunched at the famous Flagship restaurant.
Beer and food both were good. Post lunch, we saw some Iranian and Indian exhibitions in the market area. There was a 1 Euro thrift store. Every single thing there could be bought for 1 Euro. I was amazed. That was dirt cheap! While we were shopping there (obviously), it started raining. Actually rain forced us to stay more in the shop.
After spending couple of Euros on things we did not really need, it was then time to spend some Euros on a drink we needed the most in the charming afternoon – Coffee! (rain had stopped by then!) A new restaurant in one of the parks had good reviews and Lucia recommended that. The coffee there was good, especially with a brownie.
Anicka then returned to her home and Lucia came to the old town area with me. I bought some souvenirs, chocolate-nuts biscuits, a Slovak speciality. We talked a lot about Lucia’s recent trip to Pune (India), which happens to be my home-city. I shared my impression of Slovakia. Old town of Bratislava is full of curious sculptures including the following: This man was famous for wandering the streets of the city, elegant in morning suit and top hat. He would frequently doff his hat to the ladies he passed and offer them flowers or a song.
My flight to Rome was to leave at 9:30 PM. We had to hurry up a little bit: Going home, taking bags, coming back to bus stop for Airport. Lucia kindly came to see me off. And all this process was smooth (I did not have to figure out bus numbers and bus stops and terminals).
Bratislava Airport is small and beautiful. Flight took two hours and I was in Rome at 11:30 ish. I took a shuttle bus from Rome Ciampino Airport to Rome Termini station. The hostel that I had booked (M&J hostel) was literally 4 minutes walk away. The staff was very professional but not rude. The hostel room I booked had 6 beds and all of them were occupied by guys!
I made some rough plans of sight seeing and went to have much needed sleep. Slovakia days were well spent. I met everyone I planned to. I saw the things they wanted to show me. The affection and welcoming I received there touched me deep. As I said earlier, the people I knew from Slovakia made the feel of country hospitable.
(to be continued…)