WALES AWAY: Slovakia 2024 Part Four – Four Weddings and a UFO (08/06/24)

First full day in Bratislava. Things start to actually get a bit footbally today.

First off, hi to Alan. Or was it Dave? No it was definitely Alan who complimented me on my blogs. Well, he said he recognised me, which is good enough for me.

Oh, and hi to Dave as well. Thank you for not pointing out that I’m an idiot for not reading the correct e-mail about the Wonky Sheep buses.

Anyway.  The day started with a soak in a bath so big it has it’s own shoreline. It’s actually tidal.

Then we were up and out, bright tailed and bushy eyed, ready for whatever the day had in store for us. It was likely to be a long day, so we had coffee with our healthy breakfast, rather than beer. Got to pace yourself you know. Don’t want to peak too early. (There you go dear reader, first travel tip of the day. Pace yourself.  Actually if you want more travel tips, click on the ‘Bratislava’ tag and you will see loads of useful tips from our last visit. I don’t want to repeat it all here.)

After breakfast we wander down to the Park Inn to collect our tickets and start to bump into familiar faces. The Red Wall* is finally starting to arrive.

(*The Red Wall, as in the name given by the players to the wall of red shirts on the terraces at Euro 2016, when we got as far as the semi-final.  Not the Red Wall constituencies in the north of England that Labour lost in the last election. Or last but one, depending on when you read this. Or last election depending on the result of the next election.)

The Park Inn is next to the Danube. Yes the river that was too wet for our scheduled boat to drive down yesterday. So now would be the best tine to squeeze in a visit to the UFO that hovers above the bridge.

UFO observation deckIconic building, symbol of Bratislava.

Our elevator will take you in 45 seconds from 0 to speechless amazement. At the height of 95 meters (nearly 104 yards), with a line of sight to 100 km (62 miles) you will truly know the magic of the building, which finishes the inherent part of the city’s silhouette on Danube.

It costs 9 Euros to get to the top, but they very kindly throw in a free trip back down.

We marvel at the views, take some selfies then hit the bar. I said pace yourself, not go teetotal. The restaurant looked a bit posh, with table cloths and shit, so we eventually head back down and have a light salad in another French gaff. Turns out Mondieu is part of a chain. Highly recommend for those that want a bit more than McDonald’s on tour.

The Bargoed Massive arrive to collect their tickets and pop into the French restaurant to lower the tone for five minutes before going to check in to their hotel.

Once our salad is done, we head up to the pub next to the St Michael’s Tower,  set up camp on seats outside and wait to see what happens.

First a wedding party pose for some photographs by the gate. Not sure where they came from, there must be a registry office near by, because another wedding party start to gather. The groom is in what appears to be a military-style uniform.

Then a hen party of girls dressed as American police walk up the street handling out shots. Of what I’m not sure. Possibly rohipnol. But possibly not.

Then, what I can only assume is the stag party of the same couple walk down the road and everyone gets giddy and excited.  After a while it appears that they reenact the proposal cos the stag goes down on one knee.

The wedding party look a bit pissed off at being upstaged and I turn to my wife and say, “I love just sitting around watching the world go by. Something interesting always comes along”.

And then – three fire trucks come up the street giving it blues and twos, or whatever the Slovakian equivalent of lights and sirens is.

They stop in front of us and – the bride jumps out of a fire truck! I can almost hear the groom in his fireman’s best uniform thinking “take that joking American police, this is how it’s done”.

Then they get married and all that jazz. Blah blah blah.

The Bargoed Massive arrives and Mel says “anything happened?”

“Nah, not much”

Mel looks over at the hen party and comments, “they all need a bloody good dinner. What’s the matter with them?”

As we sit there, eventually the whole of the Red Wall pops by at some point. Adam, an Italian busker stops to play us a tune on his ancient flute. Apparently it’s the second largest type of flute in the world.

Now – do you remember what I said about pacing yourself? Well, just to emphasise that point for you, I peaked to early. I don’t really know how this story ends. I’ve seen WhatsApp messages that refer to the KGB bar and a Scottish Pub, but as I write this I have no idea if I went. I do recall having the presence of mind to settle up the bar bill half way through the night because the round appeared to be getting bigger and more confusing.  I do know it took me ages to find my glasses in the morning and I appear to have ended the night wearing different clothes to the ones I went out in.

Let that be a lesson to you, dear reader. Don’t run, walk. Take your time and pace yourself. Learn from my mistakes.  I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I make to bring you this sound travel advice.