Bratislava - Day 3 & 4
June 22-23, 2008
The next morning we woke up and surprisingly didn't feel too bad. We headed out to our same breakfast spot, wanting to try the "meat pie" but they were out. We ended up having another delicious $12-total meal. We walked back to the tourist center to get some more clarification about how to catch the bus to Devin Castle and to the thermal baths we read about on the airplane.
We took a 20-minute HOT bus ride to the town of Devin where we went to the castle ruins. The first parts of this castle was first built back in the 5th Millenium BC (not the stuff we saw though) It was home to several different groups of people (read the info on the pictures) and was partially destroyed by Napoleon in 1809 leaving only the ruins that we saw. It was up on a huge hill and overlooked the converge point of the Danube and Morava Rivers. As were climbing up the castle, we ran into an English speaking couple. We had them take our picture and started talking with them. Turns out they were college students from California who were touring Eastern Europe for about a month. We walked around the rest of the castle with them, had lunch, and took the bus back to Bratislava. We took to them to our ice cream joint and they led us to the other side of town, which was near where we had to catch the bus to go to the thermal park.
When we got dropped off in Senec, 30-45 minutes later and only $2/person, we had a long walk to find the AquaPark. About another 45 minutes later, we got there and paid the 350 skk admission = $17.50. The park was pretty cool. There were lots of waterslides and several pools with different temperatures varying up to about 100 degrees (F). Jumping in the cool water felt AMAZING after walking around and sweating all day again. We went down the slides first and they were a lot of fun. One of them was a tornado slide, where you went down a chute and then got spit out into a funnel where you went around a couple times, gradually getting slower, before being dropped out the middle (see the video). There were also several rolling slides, some of which were pretty fast. One of them made you get air on its hump which Danny amplified by pushing off just as he approached it (again, see video). We then relaxed in the warmer pools before heading back to the bus.
We were worn out from the full day in the hot weather, so we just headed back to our hostel and went to bed because we had a 6:30 am flight the next morning and we were not about to miss it like we almost did coming here.
We called a taxi at 5:00 am and a group of people at the hostel bar were just about to go to bed as we were leaving. As we drove over the UFO bridge we got a nice view of the sun rising over the city. We got to the airport for much cheaper than when we arrived at the airport (340 skk vs. 500 skk). We had some money left over to spend, so we grabbed some food at the airport and got on the plane without any problems.
We arrived in Paris around 8:10, and we first tried to change our TGV reservation back to Metz for an earlier time (we previously booked it for 5:30 pm, not knowing our flight times). Unfortunately there were no more spots for Eurorail holders, so we decided to head to the Eiffel Tower for the afternoon.
On the Orlyval ride from Orly Airport to the Metro station, we met a Canadian girl, who had just finished studying in Vienna and was traveling with her mom in Paris. It was funny because we felt like we had a connection to her just because she spoke English and was from North America. We had briefly discussed that earlier when we met the kids from California - the way your surroundings influence what your "bubble" is…When you go to college you feel connected to someone who may just be from the same state, even though when you are in your state you may not feel connected to them…when you are traveling abroad finding someone from the US makes you feel connected even if they are from California…even just finding people that speak English gives you some type of connection.
On the way to the Eiffel Tower, we bought 2 baguettes (the only thing comparable to the prices we had in Bratislava in Paris sandwiches are 10 euros, not 50 skk). We enjoyed the afternoon lounging in the grass in front of the tower and trying to get a start on some of the week's homework. (See we don't forget about school). After watching the Gypsies scrounge around for food and money, we headed back to the train station and were off to Metz.
-D & L