Matt Krog & The Eurovelo 6: Day 40

Tuesday 21st August
Rest Day in Bratislava

“Each room in the Downtown Backpackers is named after a famous artist. I was staying in Picasso along with 7 other people and was the first of the Piccasans to wake the next morning. I packed up my things quietly before heading downstairs to check out of the hostel.

I had the whole day to explore the town as I would be staying with a Slovakian family in the evening who lived in Bratislava. I decided to seek out a bike shop that could drill out the broken bolt still wedged in one of the braze-ons. I navigated to a bicycle shop and arrived just as they were opening up. The mechanic took my bike down the street to his workshop round the corner and for a few nervous minutes I waited with my pannier bags outside the shop, wondering whether he would ever return. He did and whatโ€™s more, he had managed to remove the stuck bolt. A small job, that I thought would be free, but still inquired as to the price to be polite. Unfortunately, he charged me 5 euros for his services.

I decided to have a good look around the old town. So I got a map from the tourist office and set off on a self guided tour. After a fair bit of wandering around I decided to visit the National Gallery. The main area was closed due to renovations but they had a smaller 2 floor exhibition, show casing Slovak art from just after the war. It was fantastic! Small enough to engage properly with the pieces, each area had a theme which was described on a pamphlet in English. It was strange how much I was able to learn about the countries history just from one art exhibition.

I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at a graveyard. Now โ€˜Slavinโ€™ isnโ€™t an ordinary cemetery, it sits on a hill just outside the city and has an amazing view. There is a tall monument for the soldiers who fought and died in World War 2 as well as pristine grass lawns lined with their graves. Climbing the hill is tough though, and you have to work for the reward of a serene plaza overlooking the city.

From Slavin, I headed out of the city to where Ivana and her family live. Itโ€™s amazing how in just a few kilometres the whole feel of a place can change. Even though I was riding through vine yards, the roads were tatty and there was a raw rural air about the it. I arrived at the house, a grand place, with light wood paneling, spacious rooms and a magnificent view of the city lights.

They had a meeting with some people in the garden, discussing plans for their Croatian sailing trip happening on the weekend. It was all in a language I could not understand but fortunately when the meeting was over they returned back to English.”

Matt Krog

Read all of Mattโ€™s posts onย his website. All of the posts about Matt on can be foundย here.

Categories: Cycling

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1 reply »

  1. I love reading your Posts. I too have followed the Euro velo 6 from Budapest to the Black Sea Summrr 2014. My favorite psrts are grtting away from the cities and the larger towns. I love the remote coutryside especially Romania and Bulgaria. After reading about Eurovelo 13 the Iron Curtain route i devided to bike that one too. On May 3 2015 I started from Cervelo Bulgaria and followed the route thru every town and turn on the bikeline map. The mounts in southern Bulgaria are ChAllE nGing. Steep and relentless. I do not carry camping gear so had yo make sure I could make it to the towns with listed accomodation. Tight now I am spending 3 days in Brataslava Slovakia before continuing the route NW. I plan to end in Finland by mid Sept. I encounter rain and cold weather in the beginning but no mechanical problems or flats. Just 4 days ago while trying to leave Sopron Hungary the rear cassette just spun. Lucky I was in a city. However the day was a Sunday and the town folds. I found a very good bike shop on Mon and some very rusty bearings were replaced and the cassette fixed. I had a new cassette and chain installed before the trip. I ride a co-motion touring bike with 28 tires. I call her “My Appaloosa”.

What do you think?