13 Sep 2015

Four days in Slovakia

A small confession: before a couple of months ago I knew next to nothing about Slovakia, let alone had ever considered it as a holiday destination. But then some friends announced they were getting married there and I figured it was high time I educated myself and accepted their v.kind invitation :)

The wedding was on the Saturday but we decided to fly out early Thursday morning and spend a day in the capital, Bratislava. I really liked what I saw of the city - beautiful architecture (such colourful tile work!), a lot of history (churches, squares and the castle of course) and culture - so many restaurants had live music and there were tonnes of cute little cafes and bars dotted about many with basements and subbasements to nose around in. There were also lots of little random shops to seek out, tucked away in courtyards reached by winding alleyways off the main streets. 

Almost everyone we encountered in Bratislava spoke English and were very friendly. The food was guuuuud. The Slovaks seem to be v.into hearty foods - meaty, cheesey and potato-y dishes were the thing (good news for me) and also soups (so many delicious soups!). Lots of the bars we visited (both in Bratislava and Nitra) had impressive beer and spirit selections. I felt there quite a lot of similarities between Bratislava and Budapest, particularly in terms of bridges, food, architecture and the price of stuff. Slovakia was pretty damn cheap - half a litre of good beer for €1.50! Bargainous :) To top it all off, the Airbnb place we stayed in had the most spectacular view of the old town.

On Friday we headed to Nitra, first to drop our stuff at the fabulous hotel where the reception was taking place and second to get some grub and a cocktail or two. The old part of Nitra was v.beautiful, especially the cathedral our friends got married in - decorated with statues and paintings and the most ornate ceilings and walls - quite a feast for the eyes!

After the ceremony we all headed back to the hotel for food. Before we could take our seats the newly weds carried out a Slovakian tradition: a shot of vodka with the hotel manager and then a plate was smashed and the couple had to work as a team to sweep up all the pieces whilst simulataneously fending off family and friends who tried to further smash the pieces. Turns out Slovaks love to party. After lots of booze, hours of dancing and SO much food (a three course meal at around 4pm and then a hog roast at midnight) I called it a night at 3:30 but the party was still in full swing! Unsurprisingly, Sunday was a bit of a sleepy-hungover haze and we caught the plane home in the late afternoon.

I'd never been to a wedding abroad before but I'm hoping there'll be more to come!

4 comments:

  1. Wow!!!! That wedding looks amazing!

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  2. I've never been to Slovakia but it sounds really interesting. We went to a wedding in Macedonia a couple of years ago and it was fascinating to see the traditions there, I loved the whole experience of being in a country so far removed from the UK but still within Europe, seeing how people there celebrate marriage.

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    Replies
    1. You're right, it's super interesting to see other countries traditions, particularly wedding stuff :) I know what you mean about Europe as well, we're such a diverse bunch considering how close in distance we all are!

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Ta v.much :)

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