Where are we? Slovakia. Why you might ask? Well why not! Slovakia is a beautiful little hide away thats landscape is filled with dazzling mountains and wide stretched lakes. It is definitely an easily missed spot nestled somewhere between the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia and Poland. Have no idea where I'm talking about? Well your not alone. Even George W Bush during public speeches throughout his Presidency had openly mistaken Slovakia for Slovenia. Not to mention when the Russians went to attack Berlin in Germany they some how accidentally found themselves in Slovakia instead, completely unaware of where they were. So you see your not the only one who might be a little confused. Statistics show that the average visiting time for a traveller in Slovakia is just one and a half days. However we set up camp in the capital city Bratislava for three nights and haven't regretted the decision for a second.
Before becoming an independent country Slovakia was joined with its neighbour the Czech Republic when it once stood as Czech Slovakia. Originally not knowing to much about the country itself I thrived on learning about the Velvet Revolution and how Slovakia played an important role in World War II and in helping Hitler take over parts of Eastern Europe. Slovakians are very proud people. They love there country and are very quick to inform you of all there achievements, especially there ones as an independent country. Although they still have a very strong relationship with Czech Republic and are extremely proud of the civil relationship that exists between both countries after the split.
The city itself has a beautiful old town area filled with many bars and superb little cafes. Up on a hill over looking it all is the castle district. From the very top the views stretch out so far and wide you can see both Austria and Hungary in the distance. Unfortunately The Castle itself no longer sits proudly upon the hill. After surviving numerous attacks, bombings and wars. It wasn't until the Italians had come to visit Slovakia that the castle was accidentally burnt down whilst hosting a dinner party. Apparently they had a few too many vino's and forgot the stove was on. Non the less it is still a must see whilst visiting Bratislava.
Jumping on tram number 4 we took it to the end of the line. Just 20 minutes out from the city is a great lake where the locals like to spend there down time. Be sure to get down there early to get involved with the wake boarding that goes on. It is set up perfectly for beginners, if you fall off before you complete a full circle you don't have to pay a cent. Although theres plenty of jumps to keep the professionals entertained as well. If water sports are not your thing there are numerous water front bars filled with traditional foods and great beer to keep you entertained all day long. Not to mention the lake itself is just simply divine. We had a wonderful time just laying out all day swimming and taking in the scenery around us. It was a fantastic little find, reassuring me what a great idea Slovakia was to visit.
Why wouldn't you just take a leap of faith and go places no one else might particularly dream of? Whats the worst that could happen? I always find the beauty in things that are odd and imperfect, they are much more interesting. Slovakia was a great little stop I'm so glad I took the time to venture out there and experience it for myself.
The Wanderers Daughter xx