Monday, October 30, 2006

Weekend in Bratislava and Vienna

One of the great advantages of living somewhere like London is you can actually travel to two or more different countries in one weekend.

If you have been fortunate to wait at the arrivals in Stanstead airport recently, you could not have missed the parade of East European beauties currently flooding into London. What a delightful site it is :) But its nothing compared to what you see in Bratislava itself. Really stunning girls.

We took a cheap flight to Bratislava from Stanstead on Friday. It only takes a couple of hours to get there. I had been to Slovakia before but never really stopped at Bratislava itself. Only 10 minutes from the airport and opposite the Opera House is a historic hotel building, Inn at The Three Green Trees, dating back to 1820. Now it has been fully reconstructed & renovated to the highest standards of a modern hotel while maintaining the reputation and history of days gone by. Outside the hotel there are pictures of famous people who have stayed there before.

Names like Albert Einstein, Thomas Eddison, Roosevelt, Elton John and few others that have skipped my mind for now. The masseuse in the fitness centre told me that in 2002 the England football team had stayed there and she had massaged David Beckham's legs for three hours before the match. Four years later she was still excited by her experience :)

Within a short walk from the hotel, there are busy and lively bars and night clubs. I saw no police on the streets but everyone seemed to be well behaved despite the large amounts of alcohol they must have consumed. Actually that was with the exception of one Austrian bloke I came across in the Malecon bar. Full of Dutch courage and probably some other banned substances, he kept pushing into me while I was standing next to him, and then he had the cheek to turn around and tell me "excuse me, but I got the feeling that you keep pushing into my back." He stood while expanding his pidgeon chest into my face as if trying to intimidate me :)
"Well I dont know how you got that impression, coz I am just holding my ground here while your elbows are flying everywhere." I told him while his chest slowly deflated. He asked me where I was from and bought me a drink. Normally if someone buys me a drink, I have to buy him a drink back but this time I was happy to drop my principles.
He told me he was from Austria and he was a lawyer. I hate lawyers, I always tell my son he can become anything he likes but not a lawyer. I find them unproductive leeches that feed off other people's hard work and do nothing good for the world.

After he bought me a drink I saw no reason to continue conversing with him, until he started insulting the people working behind the bar that is. At which time, I pinned his arm down with the full weight of my forearm and elbow, I thought he was going to throw a glass at them, and told him sternly "Hey dont say things like that, you might be an Austrian and a lawyer and think they are lower than you, but they are not begging or stealing, they are working hard for their living, so show them some respect.." It seemed to sober him up a little bit and he went away from the bar to join his friends. Then one of his friends got close to me and started having a loud conversation on his mobile so I could hear him. I dont know why he thought his conversation impressed me.
"Bring us few grams of Coccaine, make sure its ze good stuff, none of zat cheap shit" and then he put his hand on my shoulder and said "Vell you might as vell have ze gut stuff hey?" I put on a false smile briefly, as if I could care less what crap he got himself! I just wanted to enjoy the delightful scenery. I am not kidding every single girl in that bar was ravishing to say the least.

We had a few drinks there and left. Ending up in the Cocoloco Cocktail bar. From the outside and judging by the noise you think this is a big club but it is actually quite tiny. I found it too dark and the heating was turned on so high that with all the smoke it was actually quite uncomfortable. Next to our table there were five or six young Slovak lads, sharing a bottle of Vodka in small shots with some snacks and having a laugh and unlike our Austrian lawyers, really decent and well behaved chaps. The rest of the punters were all couples busy dancing together or having a drink at the tables. Cocoloco was our last stop, and I was really tired.

The next day we headed off to Vienna. We are so priviliged to live in this day and age. I mean it is so easy to travel now. Our parents couldn't even dream of it. Brief passport checks at the border, none of those US immigration idiots, a windscreen display for the motorway tolls and if you have a GPS navigator, you can go anywhere in Vienna you fancy, all within an hour. I had never been to Austria before, and so this was now the 25th country I visited. I can't complain, I have had a good exciting full life and I am always grateful for it.

The first place we visited was the magnificent Schonbrunn castle. I always thought the English were the best gardeners but just take a look at the The Great Parterre, in the link and you see how magnificent it is. So we took loads of pictures which included one of me doing a royal wave from the balcony. First time I got an imagined sense of how it must feel to have the multitudes of the crowds longing to see your simple wave from the above. So tempting and intoxicating :))

Then we went to Stephansplatz. Parking was murder and just like London, the no parking signs were not clear at all. The local authorities in Vienna like in London must purposely aim not to be clear so they can collect more revenue from the innocent drivers. In search of a legal place to park, I came across a young friendly Austrian couple who put themselves out to find out if we could park outside a bookshop. What lovely helpful couple, a credit to their country, unlike their charlie consuming compatriots from the night before.

Stephanplatz reminded me of Covent Garden in London. Busy bustling place with street performers, expensive shops, coffee bars on the pavements and really chick Viennese men and women out on a weekend stroll. We had a drink at one of the coffee shops in the main square, enjoyed the scenery and finally called it a day. Back to Bratislava for great beer, costing less than a pound, and a Slovak dish I enjoy called halušky.

Nice rest and a great weekend in a peaceful free Europe. The way all countries should be.


Anonymous said...

it sounds like a nice weekend and I liked the Arnold's accent in your post too. lol

hey, I hope Europe stays peaceful and free as you said but it is highly unlikely cuz Islamists are rising up in France and Britain.
There is an intifida going on there right now.

Anonymous said...

Fuck off asshole.
Who the fuck do you think you are, the fucking Marco polo.
95 % of your fucking brain is filled with sheet.
You are just a fucking bitch who never understood what the fuck is going on in this world.
A peaceful free Europe. The way all countries should be.
What a fuck a Idiot, like to be Marco polo like you knows about Europe, What the hell a stupid guy like you knows about the world.

Fuck you and your fucking weekend.

Anonymous said...

I like the definition of solicitors
and lawyers,you are absolutely right,nice one!