First time to a new country in years! – Bratislava (Slovakia)

Today was the big day….the one in which we actually left Vienna…for the first time since arriving (and yes, I know, it’s been sooo tough to keep busy here!) – we ventured to a new country that neither one of us had been to before (and where we did not speak the local language….also a first in a long time!). 

Still without a car, we made use of the super efficient, easy, and affordable European railway system (14 Euros roundtrip for adults, kids free – no complaints!) – some of us may have been more excited than others to ride the hour long train into new territories.

I am still a bit rusty on Eastern European countries and cities (in my defense… the last time I lived on this side of the Atlantic (like 20 years ago but who’s really counting?), the European map looked a bit different….) but one thing we had been looking forward to are taking daytrips outside of Vienna to explore some of these to us “new” parts of Europe…so today, was day 1 of said mission … and what a fun one it was, indeed!

Once in town, we walked by the Presidential Palace where we learned what the Slovakian flag looked like. Luca, our household’s flag collector and connoisseur, of course knew what it was before we got there…(not all of us did….*ahem*)

…we visited St. Martin’s Cathedral in which one of the kids (the one known for his love of flags and all things geographic and space-related) was in no way whatsoever going to go down those dark stairs to the crypt…no M’am…not going to happen…

…we walked around the beautiful cobblestone historic center…

…some of us complained about the fall weather and bundled up to fend off the cold…

…more historic and curvy streets to explore…

…until we reached the market where today’s prized souvenir possession was not the purchase of 1 but 2 Slovakian flags so that each kid could wave it all day long…and wave it, they did…

…it also turns out that I need to brush up on my European history as well as I convincingly told Luca (who was utterly fascinated by the Bratislava castle) that there was once a king and a queen who lived in the castle (isn’t that a prerequisite for a castle? The presence of a king and queen who live there happily ever after?)….apparently that was not exactly the case. I also told him something about knights and people in armor hanging out there … I guess that was a bit more accurate. Mental note – brush up on European geography and history & leave all history-related questions for John to answer….

…I quickly redeemed myself by finding the best chocolate cafe in all of Bratislava….right on the main square, can you spot it behind the fountain?

…yup, they served chocolate fondue. And we ate it….all of it….some of us may have licked the bowl clean…

And there you have it. Bratislava – city of cathedrals, cobblestone streets, chocolate, castles, kings, queens, princes & princesses who all lived happily ever after to cater to all the happy visitors!

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