Well, I arrived in Bratislava last night. This is the first time I’ve travelled abroad solo for many years, and so I decided to swap the backpack and dormitory for something safer and more comfortable. The building used to belong to the Slovak Women’s Union, boasts the now contemporary, arty hotel that makes the most amazing pea soup.
I rushed out to do Bratislava this morning, heading for the cobbled old town. I was struck by how quiet the place was…until the touring groups descended, which was when I exited to roam a wider area – off the beaten track is always where the goodies are but Bratislava really is tiny. A lot of the galleries didn’t open until the afternoon so once I’d walked just about every street, and stopped briefly for garlic soup (soup seems to be featuring a lot so far), I headed down to the Danube, where I caught a bus to Devin Castle.
Devin Castle sits on the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers, and on the border with Austria. I was particularly interested because I’d heard there were a couple of Tinkers who hung out near the castle entrance, and I wanted to go see what they were doing. A couple of Celts resurrected from the 1st century AD had nabbed their gig, so I didn’t get to do any tinkering. But the castle and the views were great and I did get to dribble over some iron artefacts from the 13th to 17th centuries in the exposition caves. I fitted in a stroll along the Danube and quick paddle in the edge of the Morava floodplains before heading back to Bratislava.
My working day ended with a few quick dips into small exhibitions and an accidental stumble into an artists’ studio complex. They were all painters who knew no sculptors/wire workers, but gave me a couple of pointers for tomorrow – fingers crossed.
And here are some photos of the closest I could get to wire today!