Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Trip - Day 5: Vienna, Bratislava & Budapest

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I wanted to get to Bratislava by the time they played their soccer game against New Zealand, so I got an early start in Vienna and walked around for a few hours before taking the train.  I liked Vienna and thought it was a rather pretty city (despite what my Dad said).  One thing I noticed: so so many of the local boys (ages 12-15) wore capris.  I almost started laughing in front of them when I saw the ridiculous fashion for these Euro-boys.
I took the train to Bratislava and the city was pretty much exactly how I expected it: really bad.  The whole city was run-down… graffiti everywhere, old buildings & buses etc.  I made the decision on the spot that I wasn’t going to spend a night there; I’d be in Slovakia for their game, and then train out to Budapest.

Unfortunately, the game was also a completely letdown.  I took 4 buses and was in Bratislava for a decent amount of time and saw only 1 person wearing a soccer jersey.  I got off the different buses hoping to find a local bar where a bunch of people would be watching the game but found that almost impossible.  I ended up finding a bar next to the train station where I watched the game.  There were more people sitting outside than inside (where the TV was).  I saw more American soccer fans in Cologne, and even more Brasilian soccer fans in Vienna than I did Slovak fans in their own country.  I guess I was rather disappointed in the city as a whole.  I then took the train to Budapest.  I met some Americans who had just spent the last year in Andalucia.  I got charged for the train ticket on the way from Bratislava to Budapest because I completely forgot that Slovakia wasn’t on the Global Eurail pass.  It wasn’t that much and the conductor on my way into Slovakia didn’t even say anything about it.

I ended up going to the hostel those other Americans were staying at.  It nice and really social (I met a ton of people from all over), but a tad expensive (not that anything in Eastern Europe is all that expensive) so I knew I was going to just book something through for my next night.

Soon after arriving at the hostel we went to a big park to watch the Brasil/Korea game.  They were showing all the games from a big public screen, which is exactly how football should be watched!
After the game we went to a bar to socialize with the rest of the hostel kids, then I came back home.

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