Europe daily blog #1: Back on the road

Bratislava Central Station underneath the clouds this afternoon.

Bratislava Central Station underneath the clouds this afternoon.

Perhaps it’s premature of me to start off this blog at a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet. Maybe.

We’re not even in Bratislava yet, but it feels like I have so much to say already. I suppose that’s what happens when you travel frequently and then take a ‘break’.

I would estimate that I’ve been back on the road within three weeks of my last outing, on average, this year, and so the wait of one month and four days has been a personal eternity; relatively speaking, of course

It is perhaps no wonder, then, that I sit here with an itchy trigger finger, eager to type my thoughts into a word processor, reflecting my impatience when it comes to waiting for the next trip. Especially when it’s one like this, a trip which I’ve been looking forward to with the utmost enthusiasm since I thought it up at the tail end of last year.

The year before that, I probably would never have even considered this trip – flying out to Bratislava, then joining up the legs to Vienna, Prague and Berlin by coach before flying home. Not because I lacked the imagination, but because the knowledge I’d required to create such an itinerary was non-existent in my mind at that point.

To be able to visit the four countries on the cheap has also enabled this trip. Altogether it cost us approximately £400 each – and that includes flights, hold luggage, hotels and coach transportation in between each country. It may seem like a bargain to some, but for me, it’s just standard fare.

To make matters worse on the patience front, we had to wait an extra 55 minutes for our flight this morning, a delay which ended up adding a total of one hour and five minutes to the total journey time.

Being delayed is not only frustrating, but for some can be stressful. Flying, for many, isn’t the most relaxing activity, so to have to wait even longer than necessary is just a pain.

The line 61 bus connecting Bratislava Airport to the city centre. It's a bargain, too, at just €0.90 per person.

The line 61 bus connecting Bratislava Airport to the city centre. It's a bargain, too, at just €0.90 per person.

I wasn't too bothered though, especially when we got to the other end and found that the bus from the airport to Bratislava city centre cost just €0.45, with my fare costing half of the adult premium because I’m a student.

Once we arrived at the main station we needed a map due to the absence of Wi-Fi, yet I got stuck behind a southerner at the information desk.

From what she was saying, she had received an email without an attachment to allow her to collect train tickets to Prague (a fact I highly doubt).

Instead, she’d printed a copy of the email and had a screenshot of her bank statement as ‘proof,’ (instead of just showing the email on her phone).

Unfortunately for her and her boyfriend, the Slovak transport authorities wouldn’t budge. This left her one of two options  to book onto the following train, which had sold out of seats but would allow her to stand for the four hour trip, and pay again, or sort a coach to the Czech capital instead.

What happened to her was anybody’s guess, as I was served soon after, and left with a map and directions to our hotel.

The UFO tower standing high above Bratislava's new bridge, where the restaurant we will be eating in is located.

The UFO tower standing high above Bratislava's new bridge, where the restaurant we will be eating in is located.

Which brings me to now, just about to get in the shower and head out for a meal, finally ready to explore Bratislava. But now for a freshen up, then food.

Priorities, eh?!