May 18, 2014
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I noticed an interesting phenomenon as I was traveling through Switzerland, Austria, and Slovakia. Whether voluntarily or not, I began associating certain points of interest with songs as I hopped from place to place. Sometimes a very obviously related song would automatically pop into my head while sometimes the connection came later, as I reflected. Some even become stuck in my head for a while. I noted these songs and the respective landmarks each one is linked to, and I thought I’d share them here.
Song: Johann Strauss II – The Blue Danube
Location: Danube river, Vienna and Bratislava
Whenever I passed by the Danube, whether it was in Vienna or Bratislava, the orchestral masterpiece by Strauss sounded in my head. My dad loved this piece and he would always ask me where in Europe the river is located, so when I actually got to see it, the song immediately began to ring. The gentle flow of the Danube accompanied by the light, fluttering beats of the dancing instruments…with a majestic sunset over the river, seen from the Novy Most in Bratislava – perfection at its best!
April 28, 2014
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One coincidence that I have noticed these years is that my favourite destinations in Europe and some of the most memorable ones all start with the letter “B” – Bordeaux, Brussels, Barcelona, Bologna…and now, I arrive in Bratislava. From Vienna, it was a choice between Bratislava, Prague, and Budapest as a day trip, but it was not much a choice at all as Bratislava is the closest one and doesn’t take too much time to reach. An hour by bus and you jump conveniently from Austria to Slovakia.
It took a while to get to this post, but I’m glad I’m finally writing about Bratislava three months after the visit. Somehow, unexpectedly, I left a piece of my heart in this blue, melancholic city.
Slovakia is perhaps the second most mysterious (if not the most mysterious) country I’ve visited, next to Latvia. First impression of the old town: some areas were tattered with an air of sorrow, and strangely, it attracted me. A friend once told me that I gave off a strong aura of pensiveness with a touch of sadness surrounding me. Is this my “style”?