Bratislava Castle is the Worst Type of Castle

Posted on April 25, 2013


This is not a castle.

This is not a castle.


I’m in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It is unfortunately better known for being the town in which the terrible film ‘Hostel’ is based. Side note, if you’ve formed your opinion of hostels based solely on that film, you are the worst type of idiot. I’m staying at Hostel Blues, recommended to me by the glorious Canadian Dave in Olomouc. Its a pretty decent hostel, very big, good common room, great staff, top work. I went out for lunch last night with a few people (A Frenchman, a French Canadian, 2 Americans, a Kiwi and an Aussie), and a few pivos. I ended up going back to the hostel and drinking waaaaaay too many pivos with a Turkish guy. Defeated him at Table Football eventually though, so GET IN.

My hangover cure today has been walking, and oh boy have I walked. I left the hostel at about midday, and as I sit now 6 hours later my legs are numb. I wandered aimlessley around the old town to begin with, and it is pretty in a fairly generic way. That seems to be the thing with Bratislava, its okay, it’ll do. I can’t imagine anyone falling in love with this place. After bumping into the French Canadian, I made the decision to walk up to the castle, and then to the Soviet monument. The castle was, as always, a long uphill walk, and the view from the top was pretty nice. It was my first acknowledgment of the Danube this summer, the river that runs through 5 (I think) European cities, including my beloved Belgrade.  It’s one of my favourite rivers.

The castle however is the worst type of castle, as the title of this blog would infer. When visiting Eastern Europe, you very quickly get castle fatigue. Every major town seems to have a castle or a fortress that is the towns big crowd puller, and good lord they get tired quick. You either need to spice them up with Pivo (Kalmegeddan) or avoid them. However, Bratislava castle is a level below all others, for one simple reason. It is new. It is modern. It is untouched.

No one, I repeat no one, goes to a castle to see it untarnished. The only type of castle anyone wants to see is a ruined castle from the 14th century or earlier. Going to a modern castle is essentially like going to look at a palace. It is oh so pointless. Sure, its well built, but jesus christ. Knock a wall out or something, make it interesting. I spent a total of 8 minutes there, before beginning the long arduous walk towards the Slavin (Soviet Monument.)

I didn’t reach it.

One of the quotes that I always remember when walking to places is ‘follow your gut or wrench it out’. Well, today I followed my gut, and all it brought me was an hour and a half of walking in no particular direction and no god damn Soviet monument. I walked so far that I stopped seeing people. To make matters worse, I walked the wrong friggin way back as well, ending up closer to the bus station than the bloody hostel. Ja sam Idiot. Seriously.

So I’m now sat in Slovak Pub (thats its name), I just ate some chicken mushroom sauce ensemble, and I’m solidly refreshed. Pivo helps, oh lord pivo helps. Tonight, I sit down and not get as drunk as last night. Honest.