Monday, 11 February 2008

Milujem Slovensko (I love Slovakia)

After three long months, since my last visit, I finally found some time to visit Slovakia again!
On this post you will read all the details of this adventure which also included a quick visit to Vienna!

Everything started when I heard about another national AIESEC conference that would be happening in the surroundings of Bratislava. I had never been to Bratislava before. Only to Zilina and Tatranska Strba(in the mountains). A visit to Bratislava would be a great achievement for my CV. :P

Bratislava, even being the capital, is rather small (only 470,000 inhabitants) comparing to big polish cities. My first difficulties started when I went to the train station to buy tickets. At Wrocław's main train station there is a specific room whereas only international tickets are sold.
Despite the fact that they don't speak any english at all (I don't care! I speak polish!), the guy who was selling also didn't know BRATYSŁAWA ("Bratislava" in polish) - I tried two different declinations: "Do Bratysławy" or "Bratysława" and he insisted on selling me a ticket to "Breclav"! (which is a city located in Czech Republic). Bastard! Then I just took the keyboard and found the city in the system by myself! How couldn't he know the name "Bratislava". Maybe when he studied geography the city was still called "Pressburg".

The funny thing is: few days after I bought my tickets, I thought that a visit to Vienna wouldn't be so bad. It would be rather good and pleasant. When I checked the route of the line I was going to take, I notice that I could switch trains at certain train station before arriving in Bratislava and could get to Vienna one hour earlier then riding from Bratislava. The best city to switch trains is called: "Breclav" (such a coincidence, isn't it?). Imagine my situation: I would get back to the train station and talk to the same guy (who skipped all his geography classes) that I would like to buy a ticket from Breclav to Vienna. LOL. He would possibly reply: "Told ya" ! Grr! That would kill me! eheh! Fortunately when I attempted to buy it there was someone else working. :)
I wanted to try the wagon with beds (just a "test-drive") because I hadn't tried it before. So I also paid for the bed reservation.

[Wednesday 6th, Feb] - Day has come. Let's go! When I got inside the wagon with beds, a friendly old guy asked for my tickets and took me to my room. He also added that he was taking me to ther best room, because the other ones were a bit crapy. The train was empty, perhaps nobody wants to go to Bratislava (only two freak brazillians in love for that country) LOL. My room had three empty beds only for me. See:

[Wednesday 7th, Feb]
I had set my alarm to 4:10... But I was lazy and the train was still moving. I fell asleep again. Suddenly my phone rings, Luis was calling me, and then he asked: "Are you sure you are not going to get off of the train?" - And then I noticed that I had few more minutes to dress up and get off. When I finally reached the door, it was locked! I tried to find the old man, saying: "Hey I need to get off now!" - Fortunately he showed up and unlocked it. Five seconds after I dropped the train it started moving again! :P

Vienna is very nice city! Very similar to german cities I have to admit, but with some special refinements. There are a lot of spots to visit. I just rushed them all and took several pictures. Most of the places I don't even know the history about. :P

Full photo album of Vienna Click here

The ticket from Vienna to Bratislava costs 9 EUR + 1 EUR for each luggage that can't be carried inside the bus. Expensive for one-hour trip but that's ok. Bratislava worth every penny paid. :P
I when I arrived at the bus station in Bratislava I met again two slovakian friends Ivana and Ivona, they helped us to get to the site after a long journey.

Happy to say that I met few more brazilians such as Leleh from @Curitiba, Dio from @Itajuba, and Barbara Basso from MC Czech Republic (former @Salvador coach). Photos below were taken during the masquerade ball party. Starring me as the "Phantom of the Opera".
I also met again: Pheng (China), Andy(Romania), Zuzkita(Brazil/Slovakia), Majocka(Slovakia):

[Wednesday 8th, Feb] Time for a short visit to Nitra!
Nitra is not so far from Bratislava, and is one of what they call "Big cities". Situated at the foot of Zobor mountain in the Nitra river valley with a population of 85,000, is the fifth largest city in Slovakia.

I was guided by Majocka throughout the centre of this calm and self-effacing city. The photos below are from Nitra's city center. I found some bolivians playing bambu-flautes and using some south american natives' costumes.
One city to be remembered (or to be visited again! ;) )

[Wednesday 9th, Feb] AIESEC Time!
Last conference (Highway conference in Tatranska Strba) the romanians were the second most representative delegation (Around seven people) - After slovakians ofcourse. Brazil held the 3rd position having three delegates (I, Luis, Leleh). But for this conference, we were the second most representative delegation! Five people! Pushing romanians down to 3rd. It's a great achievement considering that Romania is very close to Slovakia. :P

Full photo album of AIESEC Reach Conference Click here

[Wednesday 10th, Feb] Sightseeing in Bratislava!
On our last day, we tried to get to know more Bratislava. We had a very good guide: Michal! :)
He showed us around and even took us to a church. I never thought I would attend a mass given in slovak. I slept. Luis also couldn't manage to stay awake. He even had enough time to dream. Afterwards he told me that on his dream the priest said: "I'm gonna speak english because today there are some people from abroad attending" -- LOL.

We met Michal's family and we joined them for a pizza. His father was very proud to tell us that one of the former Brazil's president was half slovak. Who might he be? Juscelino Kubitschek! -- Learning brazilian history through a slovak! Cool! ;P

Full photo album of Bratislava and Nitra Click here

This chapter ends, but more are yet to come. World tour continues! ;)

1 comment:

Nareg said...

Good going, Nano! :-)