There are no coasters. I repeat. NO COASTERS. This is actually
somewhat brief, at least I imagine it'll be.
Again I was up, and this time I needed to find out where the train
station was, since I had never actually been there (came on a bus,
remember). Well, its called Hlavn stanica, and it was at the end of
the 2 metro line. Easy enough. After communicating via writing with
the woman at the ticket counter, I bought my ticket to Brno for the
princely sum of $11US and headed into the Old City. I made a B-line on
foot for the Castle and found myself walking dead up the highest point
in the town. Hey, makes sense. I'd put a castle where I had a tactical
Anyhow, I took a bunch of photos and enjoyed the scenes of Slovakia's
countryside with lots and lots of school children from somewhere. The
way back down I stopped by a bunch of churches and the National
Theater to take pictures, and eventually decided that my best bet was
to go to Novy Most again, seeing as I knew for sure trams would take
me back to the hotel from there. Unfortunately, it took me awhile to
find the bridge (walking towards where you think the water is doesn't
always work) and I ended up with a 15 minute window to get everything
together, checkout, and then make the tram going back to the train
station, otherwise I'd be sitting there for a few hours. I made the
train stop by all of 30 seconds or so and I coasted from there. Phew.
I'd like to spend more time in Bratislava, but I'd like to spend more
Brno was the next stop, and its a city few tourists have discovered
yet. Its the Czech Repbulic's "second city", essentially playing
Albany to Prague's NYC. My hotel room was at the Grand Brno Hotel,
which was quite nice, actually, and had stuff that I hadn't had before
(free comb! a safe!). The picture window outside to the street was
nice too, especially since I was on the quiet backside of the hotel.
The hotel itself, I should add, is right across from the train station
and has a *** across the street one can visit, as well as a very
nice looking restaurant which I planned on eating at as a backup.
The rest was an *** on the old city. In about 5 hours, I was
everywhere. Downtown is comparatively small, which makes it easy to
see in a short time. Spillberk Castle dominates the city from atop a
hill. Its a former castle turned prison that, while it has an ugly
history, is really quite beautiful to walk around in its role now as
city park. The lilac blooms on the walking paths were gorgeous. Petrov
Cathedral and Freedom Square were quick walkthroughs to take pictures,
and both again were tantalizing, as was the fruit and vegetable market
near my hotel. Yum. I then traversed another set of hills into a local
neighborhood where Tugendhat Villa and the Planetarium were located.
Unfortunately, it was around 6pm, and tours of Tugendhat were
unavailable, so I could only look at the outside. Ehhh, what can you
With that, I was hungry, and began walking home. I realized that I had
errored and left my maps at the hotel room. No biggie, just walk
roughly towards Spilberk, then keep going. Not quite. While I got
about 80% of the way there (so said the tourist map), the last 20% was
a different story. I ended up having a ham sandwich from a corner
store to tide me over ($3) while I wandered aimlessly in the city, and
by the time I got back to the hotel, it was about 2 hours after I left
Tugendhat. My legs were very, very tired and sore, and I was exhausted
physically. It wasn't even 9PM and I was out like a light in my hotel
room. I remember waking up at one point in a daze wondering where the
hell I was, then returning to sleep.
Time was again of the essence. Trains don't leave every 30 minutes
back to Vienna, and again I made the time by the skin of my teeth,
jumping on with only a couple minutes to spare. My hotel for the night
this time was a $100 Priceline special: The Rennaissance Penta Hotel.
Now, that was living. A flat screen TV, cushy beds, and a bathtub with
spa quality stuff made me right back at what I was typically used to
these days. So much so, I thought it would be nice to, you know, nap.
I mean, at this point, I walked my ass off and was sick of carrying my
bag (and knew what was ahead), so I'm allowed to skip the museums and
walk the town. I'll be back anyhow.
My lunch was at the hotel itself, with a four course meal themed
around, of all things, asparagus. Hey, now that's different. The meal
was great and super filling, and while more expensive than a night at
the Ibis back in Cologne, I can't say I regret splurging. The desert
of Apple Strudel in a vanilla custard was worth it alone. Walking took
me throughout the city, by Museumsquartier, Hofburg Palace, the main
shopping district, and countless commercial and historical buildings.
I grabbed some yummy gelato and eventually headed back well after
nightfall. Again, it was another early night, but I was nowhere near
done with my adventuring. The next two days were the most hectic yet.
Next Part: Back to Germany with some crossposting fun over to
rec.sport.boxing. 1 scheduled amu***t park and two bonuses. Giant
gas containers, huge shopping malls, and lame dark rides, oh my!