Winter was approaching quickly day by day and the possibility to take a trip on my motorcycle was becoming less and less possible. I packed my backpack for a short trip to Bratislava and put on my gear padded with warm linings and double gloves. It was almost the end of October, foggy and below 10°C. Since it would only be an hour away I figured it wouldn’t be too bad, but I quickly realized I was pushing the limit with the weather and my limbs felt numb, but I was already committed.
I was approaching the border between Austria and Slovakia when my gas tank lamp flashed on. I figured no problem, because I knew how long my reserve would last and assumed the next station would come soon enough. The highway stretched through rolling fields and small patches of forest, with dense fog and hardly anyone else on the road. The only sound was the humming of my engine.
I was starting to get nervous that I would run out of gas, but I found a sign saying gas station in the next town, so I got off and slowly drove through small villages in Slovakia. “Not a lot going on here,” I was thinking. It was the typical countryside; one street and a few houses made a town. I stopped a few times to ask for directions, and I followed some, ending up somewhere else and was getting increasingly annoyed. I just hoped I wouldn’t sputter to a stop in the middle of nowhere.
A few minutes later my bike made a gulp, sputtered, throttle didn’t react anymore and I came to a slow rolling stop! Great, now here I was on the side of the road pushing my motorcycle with emergency lights flashing, just hoping the next station wasn’t too far away. A few minutes later I saw an off-road track where people were riding 4×4 trucks, ATVs and bikes through a built course. I stopped and asked around if they could point me to the next gas station, but instead they gave me some gas for free and a Jägermeister for my troubles! Already a plus point for friendly people!
Again, a few more minutes and I was in Bratislava, riding past the iconic castle on the mountain and to my hotel. I changed out of my motorcycle gear and started on the streets with my camera and backpack, looking for something interesting and some food. There seemed to be a lot of construction going on. I counted at least 4 high-rise buildings, new roadways and repaving of main streets, which appeared to be good signs of a healthy economy. In contrast there were a few old factories and rundown buildings where graffiti artists and vegetation was slowly taking over.
Most of the day was spent exploring the old district, going up to the castle and walking around the walls surrounding it. Nice park areas were included with big, tiered layered steps leading back down toward the city, with piles of autumn leafs and brightly colored trees.
I went to eat at a restaurant after inspecting the menu, but wasn’t blown away by that particular meal unfortunately. I ended the evening hopping between bars that I found interesting and had a drink at each.
Maybe it was only on this weekend, or I didn’t find the right spots, but nightlife didn’t seem very lively in Bratislava. I went to bed late and ended my road trip with a nice breakfast the next morning, and left the city again on a day as cloudy, foggy and cold as the one before.