Next I headed to Bratislava in Slovakia. I really like Bratislava: it’s a bit like Prague or Budapest but quieter and more compact. There’s a castle, a bridge with a giant UFO on top, and a really cute old town. It’s also really easy to get a bus out to the countryside where there’s another castle. It even has a TV tower but alas I didn’t have time to visit it.

The hotel I stayed at, Hotel Kyjev, is a glorious/monstrous Soviet construction which proudly boasts of the “retro experience” of staying somewhere not renovated since 1972. It is also epically cheap. Perhaps for the same reason.

Speaking of communists, I saw some real life ones while I was in Bratislava on Labour day. Sadly, they were a bit disappointing. It would be generous to say there was 100 of them, and the average age was perhaps about 60. They did have some rather good banners which they waved around for a bit while a rotund man in a red T-shirt held forth on the subject of kapitalizmus. After he was done they all applauded, rolled up their banners, and went their separate ways. Not going to spark world revolution any time soon methinks.

When I was leaving my train was delayed. Not, I think, an uncommon occurrence: Slovakian trains are cute but trundle along at their own ponderous pace. I saw one train stop and a large man in an orange boiler suit got out and began bashing it with a hammer; then he got back in and the train left. Anyway, it was lucky my train was delayed or I wouldn’t have noticed this amazing mural in the hall of the train station depicting the achievements of socialism:

Here’s another collection of photos: