Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bratislava. We Came for the Food.

Central Europe may not be on many people's "Top Foodie Destinations," and that is too bad for them. Give us the promise of a sunny afternoon, and some great food and drink in the form of a Slovak Food Festival, and we're there. Even better was that we left behind gray and drizzly Vienna for sunny and blue skies Bratislava. Our destination: Bratislavsky Hrad (Bratislava Castle), host for the festival.

The Vienna Gate of Bratislavsky Hrad.
Across the street from the castle sits this lovely social times structure, which does not befit this diplomatic quarter of the city at all but is part of Bratislava's charm nonetheless.
Walking along the castle walls, the SNP Most (Bridge) and its alien spaceship landing pad can be viewed in the background.
But onto the food.
We have picked up enough of the Slavic language since living here to navigate menus, thankfully. 
Tony, in particular, knows how to find the beer menu in at least six languages. 
Sharp smoked and grilled cheese is common here, especially with a side of preserves. Lots of national costumes, too, on display today.

Our first "small plate" came with a beautiful view.

Aromatic strudels tempted us.
The grilled caraway pork was more compelling, though, and we gave in. 
Though we were convinced we could not eat another bite, the delicious aromas from the "Goose Hut" changed our mind. Roast goose, palacinka, sauerkraut and a potato pancake for good measure. 
Though the festival was primarily a showcase of Slovakian fare, a few "international" cuisines had rather large followings. Like, each of the two American burgers stalls.

Beef. It's What's for Dinner a Slovak Food Festival.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

All Aboard! The Tram Museum, Remise

Our second visit to the museum, following the renovation, was like visiting the museum for the first time. This time around one finds an engaging chronology of the city's transportation system. Well done, WienerLinien!
I admired the fancy canvas of this early tram.
An early Erdapfel (Potato) Car. Of course.
One of the early trains between Vienna and Pressburg (now Bratislava). No information was given on how long the trip took, though.
A smattering of references to the role women played during the wars, and how they were "unceremoniously" dumped from the workforce once the men returned.
A vintage photo of an intersection not far from our house. Even today the scene doesn't look all that different, just a bit more contemporary.
Vienna, Hitler's "Pearl of the Reich." This was to be the showpiece city at the Eastern Front. A corresponding exhibit at the Architecture Museum here in Vienna showcases Nazi plans for public transportation, ones that were ultimately used in designing Vienna's current network.
A few photos showed the devastation to the city, and its public transportation system, at the end of WWII.
The public bus to AIS in the 1960's, and today.
Air-conditioning, cushioned seats, and televisions. All that's missing is Business Class seating and on-board snacks. Hard to believe some students choose the private AIS bus service!
Photo courtesy of WienerLinien
The second half of the 1960's saw exponential growth in Vienna's underground system. This station at Karlsplatz, where three separate underground lines converge, was the largest construction project in Europe at the time.
The U-Bahn station nearest the Tram Museum, seen during construction. Imagine living in that high-rise.
The Silver Arrow, Vienna's underground train since 1971.
Little has changed on the interior in 40 years, believe me.  
This really wasn't the "Wiener Diplomat" tram. Or, was it? The information provided only helps to maintain the mystery.
To wrap up our visit, the U-Bahn simulator. Fun for all ages!