June 19, 2018

Slovakia: A Mix Of Histories

The next stop on our trip was Slovakia. In fact, next to Germany on this trip we were in and out of Slovakia more than any other country. In total, we entered and went through different parts of Slovakia 3 times.
Crossing the bridge between Hungary and Slovakia near Esztergom, Hungary

From the top of the Eszergom Basillica. Slovakia is on the right of the river, Hungary on the left

The first time was crossing the border between Austria and Slovakia. Luckily, we were told that we need to get our vignette (toll pass) as we crossed the border to avoid a fine. This stop was a gleaming border station that looked clean and official. It was odd on the next two crossings, it was not quite that way. One of them looked like an eerie forgotten train station. The restaurants were shut down and boarded up, the stalls were empty, weeds crowded the once busy parking lots. It was an odd place to drive.

We were also able to drive through the countryside of Slovakia. Much like Hungary there were fields and fields of corn, sunflowers and poppies. It made for a fun drive. The villages were small and dotted the landscape. Life seemed to be simple outside of the city. Houses were small, some were in poor repair. Others were painted in bright colors. Each town had the basics--a store, a petrol station and a school all clustered around houses. In many ways it reminded my of the provinces of the Philippines.

So Slovakia became our 6th country for the trip! And a new one, we had never been there before.

Bratislava was a bustling city. We found it interesting to see the old city that has Victorian and baroque styled architecture  with cobblestone streets and then there are the gangling rectangle concrete block houses built during the communist era. It as if they two different parts of the city remind us of the sorted pasts.

Even on a weekday evening people were bustling around in their dress clothes presumably off to a dinner or a party.

We met Madre and Kell there and Koala Bear and Lucky Dragon were SO happy to see them. For the next week they did not let their grandparents get too far from them. They took us to one of their favorite restaurants and then we went up to the top of the "UFO tower." This UFO looking building sits on top of a bridge. The view from the top allows for a more expansive idea of the city.

Bratislava Castle

Telling Pluba stories

Vying for Pluba's attention

Walking across the bridge to the UFO tower

View from on top of the tower

 We also stopped to see some LDS Missionaries, one of the missionaries is from the same small town in Hawaii that Lady Hiva and I are from. It was fun to take some photos to send to his mum and dad.

He wants to be a missionary just like Papa. 

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