Thursday, March 22, 2012

Touring Bratislava

Getting ready to head out of Austria for a few hours to tour Bratislava, Slovakia. On the drive, Ottmar tells us that Slovakia is a center for auto manufacturing. After the Slovaks built up their economy, they were garnered entrance into the EU. I wonder if this has anything to do with Germany, Volkswagen is one of the plants Ottmar mentioned is in Slovakia.

There is a large Hungarian population in Slovakia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austria were once part of Hungary. These territories were lost in WWI. There is also a large gypsy, Roma, population in Eastern Slovakia. They live, as Ottmar puts it, in ghettos where electricity is a rarity.

Franz Liszt, famous for composing for leftys, was the best friend of left-hand pianist, , who live down the street There is one of Napoleon's cannonballs stuck in the wall of the old town hall.

Bratislava is my favorite so far! It is everything I pictured about Europe and the people are lovely. Our tour guide Elena is so funny and extremely animated. She pointed out a crystal shop full of Swavorsky crystals cut in Bratislava, a joking Czech Republic and Slovakian effort) where Hilary Clinton has shopped... I may have picked something up.

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