As usual Bri is not allowed to go anywhere or do anything without some sort of chaos ensuing! So, this time...
When I was in Budapest I traveled by train from there to Bucharest. I had bought a 2-way ticket because it was cheaper, so I thought that it would be a good idea to see if my ticket was still valid and use that and then just buy a ticket to Bratislava once I arrived in Budapest. The woman at the ticket window in Bucharest said my ticket was still valid. So I get on the train and of course the conductor tells me that my ticket isn't actually valid. It was only valid for 2 months and I had bought my ticket back in November. Luckily the next stop on the train was in a town called Brasov (pronounced Brashov) and they sell international tickets. And even luckier for me, there would be 1 more train heading to Bratislava. So, in the end, I made it to Bratislava no worse for the wear.
Bratislava, in general, was good. I had too many days there though. I spent 3 full days there and I really only needed 1 or 2 full days. But, the hostel I stayed at hand a really nice garden area and they even had lawn chairs (something I haven't seen in almost 2 years) so I took full advantage of those and sat outside and read. I fully enjoyed being able to do that.
One cool thing was the UFO tower that was positioned on top of one of Bratislava's many bridges. There is a viewing platform on top of the UFO and I went up there to take some pictures of the river and the castle.
The guards at the Presidential Palace are all decked out and they even do a little march every hour or so. I managed to catch it while I was taking these pictures.
I also met some cool people at the hostel I was staying at. One of them was even going to Moldova. I tried my best to give him a quick summary of the top things to do for someone who is only spending a day or 2 in the city.
And then it was off to Prague...
I met this group of people from Ireland and pretty much hung out with them while I was in Prague. Apparently Prague holds a theater expo every 4 years and drama departments from universities all over the world use it to showcase their students' work. That was why the group from Ireland was there. They were quite the fun group and made it possible for me to sample some of Prague's nightlife.
Prague, in general, I feel is an absolutely beautiful city. I really wish that I had spent more time there. If I had known I would have cut a day off the Bratislava part and added it to Prague. But, now I have a reason to go back!
While I was there Prague had their annual Museum Night, where most of the museums are free after 7pm and they stay open til 12 or 1 am. There were special exhibitions at some of the galleries and concerts in the main square. We checked out one of the natural history museums. This one had a whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. I was impressed, the thing was HUGE and it weighed over 8000 lbs!
And then it was off to Vienna...
Vienna is another city where I wished I had atleast one more day there...and a ton more money. Vienna has managed to mix it's past quite well with it's present. My hostel was right off the main shopping street and this was a western style shopping street. There was 1 KFC, 3 McD's, 2 Starbucks, and a ton more sandwich and coffee shops. There is also a small english language movie theater playing a selection of recent releases. Of course my first stop was Starbucks...Banana Java Chip Frappacino...and it was good.
I had only planned on having 1 full day in Vienna but my train back to Bucharest didn't leave until 8 pm the following day so I basically had 2 full days and I made good use of them.
The morning of my one real full day there I headed down to the Museum Quarter. And, as one who expect, that is where the musuems are located. The majority of them are attached to eachother. The area is really well marked so you can always figure out where you are and how to get to the next place. The Quarter also is where most of the old architecture has been preserved. There are tons of little corner cafes and knick-knack shops to check out. There were also really nice gardens in the quarter so it was a nice place to just sit and relax. I treated myself to sushi for lunch. That made me happy. Then I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End at the english theater. Also a good thing.
Basically by the time I got to Vienna I pretty much had my fill of walking around and seeing all the cool buildings and taking pictures of the monuments so Vienna became my "western" vacation. Before heading back I hit up Starbucks once more and then saw another movie. I do want to go back. The next time I'll pay more attention to the museums! :)
But now, I'm back in Moldova and ready to finish my term of service with flair :)