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Pete's Trip

Slovakia: skiing and eating (mostly the latter)

SLOVAKIA | Friday, 8 February 2013 | Views [249]

We arrived in Bratislava (the first word I can roll my R's in so I walked around town saying it repeatedly) very early one morning and headed to the hostel to dump our bags before the sun came up. We'd caught the overnight train from Berlin and a guy from Budapest who was in our compartment made us lock the door so the gypsies couldn't get in… 

We did the usual get a map and a quick briefing from the hostel girl before she warned us nothing would be open and we could hang around for a couple of hours. We figured this was the case as it was 6am so we asked if things would be open around 8. Her response was "Yes. Or nine…. Or ten" so I decided to have a little nap in a baggage area, on the floor, behind a curtain, while the boys laughed at me and played chess. When the sun had come out and there were a couple of people on the street we decided to go explore.

Bratislava is tiny. We walked around the city rather quickly and had breakfast at the only open cafe we could find. Here we learnt that 'chocolate' in Slovakian is 'kokos' and 'cocos' is 'coconut' when I had my first ever coconut cappuccino. The city is sweet though, it was still snowing and covered in snow when we were there. The people were friendly and best of all, it was cheap. 

We went to the biggest pub in Slovakia for dinner. It only had 7 rooms… But woah, the food! I had an amazing garlic soup with goat's cheese in a bowl of bread for a dollar followed by potato dumplings that were less than a centimetre long (I have no idea how they got the potato in them) covered in a creamy sauce. So delicious but so rich that even with the boys' help, I couldn't finish it. 

The hostel we stayed in had a creepy bar themed after the horror movie 'Hostel'. There were fake severed limbs and one table was just glass over a bathtub with fake bloody handprints, just what you want in a place that you have to sleep in. 

The next day we took two trains and bus to the town that we were going skiing in and arrived at dinnertime. We had again sat somewhere we shouldn't have, apparently it was a compartment for mothers and children but no-one bothered us and I'm getting quite the gut I could pass as pregnant if needed. The train trip was incredibly scenic in a way. For most of it you could see nothing but white which was cool because you couldn't tell where the sky stopped and the ground began until we saw the cutest little bunny rabbits and deer. 

Zdiar was a small town and we got off the bus on the side of the road where someone had told us to (they could tell by the backpacks that we were staying in the only hostel in town) and walked down the road, standing in the snow on the edge whenever a car had to pass. The hostel was probably the best I've stayed in. There were a couple of beautiful dogs to greet us and friendly folks. We joined a guy from Melbourne, a guy from USA and a girl from Canada for a fun and funny dinner at a traditional local restaurant where the garlic soup had goats' cheese and an egg, so tasty.

We went skiing the next day after spending almost a whole morning admiring our 90's onsies, Donald having a construction worker yellow one, and me a bright pink masterpiece. I wanted to keep it, I really did. Donald and I had never been skiing so we had a lesson from a young man who kept mixing up his rights and lefts. Despite making Donald fall over once, I got the hang of it pretty quickly and was zigzagging through the obstacle poles by myself in no time. 

The most fun of the day however was after we'd dropped our skis off and found a hill on the way back to the hostel. We slid, raced and tackled each other down it for longer than we spent on the mountain skiing. After utterly exhausting ourselves, we watched old Western movies and went out to dinner with the Melbournite to the pizza place we'd heard so much about. It was definitely in the list of best pizzas I've had. So, so amazing and $5. 

We spent the next day on a big hill playing in the snow. We had intended to take the dog for a bit of a walk and ended up trudging through knee deep snow up this big hill. The dog loved it though, we took a sled (and after watching the 60's Western Django we sang as we pulled it behind us like a coffin) and every time someone went down the hill, the dog would chase and tackle them. Walking was a lot harder than you'd think; some steps your foot would be on an almost solid surface and then with the next you're knee deep and deciding to roll instead. 

We spent the late afternoon playing ice hockey on a frozen tennis court with a 6 year old local girl. The ice had started to melt so I gave up on the skates and even just on sliding around in my shoes after the 4th time ice cracked beneath my feet. I left Donald and Steph (the guy from Melbourne) to play against the 6 year old girl and the game continued for a good half hour before they destroyed the ice.

We were again exhausted and ravenous by dinner time and had decided that the pizza challenge possibly wouldn't be that hard. It was only 50cm in diameter and looking back, I wish I had of done it but because we went out with a few more people, we were being polite and didn't want to look like pigs. So instead, I finished the tastiest 32cm pizza and radler (beer and lemonade), ate half of a giant nutella calzone (which was as amazing as it sounds) and then had a berry sundae. I don't know why I'm getting fat here!

We had to leave the next day but we had time for another amazing meal in this incredible town. I had inch long dumplings filled with goat's cheese and then covered in sour cream and bacon (grandpa, I'll come back just to take you here for the food). 

Oh goodness, I've fallen in love with Slovakia.




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