June 16th 2010
It was raining when I arrived. My damn rain jacket was at the bottom of my backpack. What was I going to do, I had to unpack everything just to get to it. It always takes me a while to get my bearings straight when I arrive in a new city, so this wasn’t any different. I finally managed to locate the bus that would take me into the direction of my hostel.
Nowadays, after I’ve booked a hostel online, I will write down the name, address, telephone #, reservation #, and directions to the hostel (as given by them). Upon visiting the front desk and checking in (partially), I will find out the following : Where the main train/bus station is and the best way to get there, where the nearest supermarket is, sometimes where the nearest self-service laundry facility is, and what the hostel wifi password is.
It isn’t much fun exploring a town when it’s pouring outside but I was hungry and only had a day to do it anyway. I managed to find a self-service lunch cafe called “U Jakuba” (per Lonely Planet) and was happy to find a place where all the locals went to for lunch. It was cheap and the portions were pretty big. I had a pork thingy and some soup.
I had to secure my ticket to Vienna so I finally found the tram I was supposed to hop on and it would take me all the way to the main train station. Got my ticket to Vienna but was confused as to what time the departure was (and the ticket counter lady wasn’t much help with her impatience and broken English) so I was a lost puppy, looking around the station for some sort of helpful board. A nice Slovakian teacher came up and offered help. I was pleasantly surprised to her such good command of English, I guess I was under the impression Slovakian English was poor but not so. Apparently, lots of the younger generations especially spoke excellent English. So much for assuming. Anyway, the ticket was in such a way I could pick any departure time I wanted.
Decided to go back to the hostel, watch the World Cup, then head out for dinner. Wandered around the town square despite the rain. Tourists with umbrellas showed up as well, I guess when you pay good money for a tour, you want to maximize your time outside sightseeing, whatever the conditions. I wanted to eat some Slovakian food. Found a place called “U Remeselnika” which served the town’s best haluski. It was an interesting dish, very cheesy and milky and sour but it was a good experience.
Another World Cup game with a huge group of people in the hostel lounge rounded off my day. Next day, I checked out early and left for Vienna.