“The only thing I know about Slovakia is what I learned
first-hand from your foreign minister, who came to Texas.”
—Then governor George W. Bush replying to a Slovak journalist.
Actually, Bush met the Prime Minister of Slovenia, not Slovakia.
OK. You’d think that he’d know better, but, let’s not be too hasty with our criticism of President Bush. Slovakia, and its capital Bratislava, are probably unknown to lots of folks, and even experienced travelers might have difficulty picking it out on a map. But if you’re traveling in Central Europe, and need a relaxing break from tourist hot spots, Bratislava makes the perfect decompression stop.
After the daily rush in the visitor-packed twins of Prague and Vienna, it was a joy to wander around a small, yet significant historic area, and not feel driven to work our way through a “must see” checklist. Bratislava is small for a European capital, and its size is certainly part of its allure.
We rambled cobblestone streets lined with historic buildings and marveled at small architectural details. We loafed and savored our coffees in sidewalk cafes, soaked up the sun on riverside benches, and watched boats on the busy Danube.
Bratislava is only an hour by train from Vienna, so for us, a quick trip was a no-brainer. It’s not in a league with the tourist heavyweights in the region, but don’t sell it short and if you need a traveler’s slow-down, it’s an easy option.
James & Terri