Wednesday, June 16, 2004
|06:00 start. This is really unfair to Budapest: we've spent only a few hours
here - there is still so much to see!
We grab food from the hotel's buffet - the staff are helpful since we're
early and the restaurant isn't really open yet.
We're at the dock
by 07:00, having our passports inspected.
The hydrofoil is styled from something from
the 60's, with solid Russian engineering.
By 08:00 we're on our way, Budapest soon behind us.
GPS measures its speed to be a steady 33 mph. The boat has a very smooth ride.
We meet some Aussies and Yanks. English speaking travellers comparing notes...
where they live, where they've been, where they're going.
"Of course the the Thames is far
wider than this piddling stream!" I lie, referring to the Danube.
We sample liqueurs and "special coffee" at the hydrofoil bar.
Unicum has an acquired taste - and that's being polite!
We pass through a colossal lock, just before arriving in Bratislava.
is the capital and largest city of
Tonight we're staying at the
Gracia (£47:63) The tourist information office charges
60skr (£1) for the privilege of making the reservation.
The Botel is a moored
boat converted to a hotel - never really a boat, but a purpose built
Blackberry has been used to keep us in contact with friends back home.
Email GPRS was fine in Hungary with Vodaphone, but here in Bratislava
the local telephone network "Orange SK" doesn't support the Blackberry's
go to an Internet cafe to check email. Configuring a Slovak version of
Outlook with the Slovak keyboard with a missing enter key is a delight.
We decide that wading through emails from home is "sad", and decide not
to waste time in an Internet cafe again during the rest of our holiday.
We walk to the castle, but find it closed - the Band of the Army Air Corps
from Middle Wallop are performing there for the local
great and good!
Bratislava has several universities... there's a feeling that this
place is not so much of a tourist trap as some of the other cities we
One of the many street side cafe restaurants provides us with good food and cool beer.
All images © N G Hubbard June 2004