In Slovakia we took a tour through the main attractions of the city including Liberty Square, Bratislava Castle and Parliament. We were fortunate with our timing through Bratislava as it was the day that Slovakia took over the presidency of the European Union for a period of 6 months, and as a result a great deal of money was being spent on beautifying certain parts of the city. This area still has remnants of the communist era which ended with the Velvet Revolution, also known as the Gentle Revolution of 1989, while the region was still Czechoslovakia and in 1993 they split in to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Liberty Square, sometimes referred to as ‘Freedom Square’ was the most fascinating area to me. Its fountain sits in the middle of a public space and has seen so much history it is hard to believe it has been allowed to fall into this level of disrepair. However, for economic reasons the square, which is in fact round, remains unkempt and invokes feelings of nostalgia of the socialist era and the home of guerrilla art dedicated to prominent figures in the community.
The Capital of Hungary is a city that has more architectural wonders and cultural diversity than many other cities throughout Europe. The Buda side and the Pest side are separated by the Danube, a river that is at the heart of central European life running 2,860km long starting in Germany and running through or passing by Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and the Ukraine finishing in the Black Sea. Budapest has so many World Heritage listed sites that having the opportunity to travel around and learn about the history and marvel at the ingenuity of the peoples that have lived here was an incredible experience.
With only 2 days in Budapest I intended to make the most of my time and see as much as possible, and as a group we visited the Buda Castle strict and Parliament. Buda Castle District is a collection of the Castle, houses, and churches all linked by cobblestone streets and as you walk through you can just imagine the lords, ladies and kings of the time walking these streets, the men discussing business and politics and the ladies gossiping and remarking on the fashions of the time. The special thing about this part of the world is its ability to transport you to back to another time and allow you to see the area from another perspective.