Vienna, Austria to Bratislava, Slovakia

4 & 5 August 2017

Due to the weather we decided to break up our journey to Budapest and spotted a lovely looking campsite on a lake in Bratislava, Slovakia. The idea of a swim rather than walking around a hot sweaty city was more appealing.
We left Vienna early hoping to get to Bratislava before lunch and before our cab hit 40degrees again. Fully serviced and fuelled up we were well on our way by 9am, as we approached the border to Slovakia we pulled into a parking area where Neil tried to send me in to the police station to pay the Vignet tolls, I refused and in he went. I was starting to get warm and was worried we’d be sat there for hours, previously at the Polish border it had taken an age to sort tolls, but out Neil came within minutes. Tolls sorted for only €10 for ten days and we were off.
We arrived at Zlaté Piesky camping in Bratislava before 10:30am and reluctantly I agreed to go in to check for spaces. All turned out fine and the lovely receptionist lad spoke perfect English and was very laid back.
It was a free for all camping area but a lucky spot saw a pitch under trees with electric, the nice Dutch couple who had put their deck chairs in the pitch kindly moved them as Neil started reversing onto the pitch. Hooked up with the aircon on we took a walk round to have a look.

A few reviews had been negative about the facilities but we were more than happy, the toilets and showers were dated, old Soviet era buildings but they were clean and fully functional. I even found another laundry room which I would be using.
A very short walk from our pitch was a bar with €1.20 pints and just beyond this was the lake. Our swimmers were on within an hour of being there and we were all in, so refreshing from the heat, the water was lovely and the lake had no reeds or seaweed, beautiful beach. In France Lucy had begged to go on a pedallo but at €25 euros and we were too hot to want to pedal we said no but here at €5 we agreed, we only managed 20 minutes of our hour but it was fun.

Along with swimmers the lake was also home to a wake boarding centre, just watching the people go round was tiring, some of their jumps and flips were amazing. When we walked down to take a look in the centre Lucy begged to have ago but after watching 4 or 5 fully grown buff men fall in and struggle to hold on we suggested she didn’t.

As if the campsite wasn’t enough after our swim we found a huge shopping mall less than 5 minutes walk with a massive Tesco Extra, we could stock up on Lucy’s Tesco own orange juice, she would not run out as predicted. The shopping mall also meant that we no longer required the laundry as we all purchased new clothing, I found a shop with €1 vest tops – no more laundry required all holiday 🙂

As we entered the Tesco at a coffee shop at the entrance we heard a loud commotion of screaming and movement, a little dog had got loose and we’re not sure if it bit a child but it charged towards us and into Tesco. In horror I grabbed Lucy but the dog stupidly tried to get through the closing automatic door and got semi squashed, it squealed and then proceeded to charge round Tesco until someone managed to catch it, luckily it looked unharmed.
Due to the ridiculous cheap prices we decided to eat out and checking out the many different beach restaurants we picked the only one trip advisor had reviews for, the site has many restaurants and bars. It was actually cheaper to drink in the bar than to drink the few Coors lights we had left from Tesco at home in the van.

I bravely picked the schnitzel (not the bull’s testicles) and it was lovely, while in Slovakia do as the Slovaks. Our whole meal including 4 beers and two colas came to €32, just amazing.

As we’d enjoyed our day so much we decided to book in for another day and put Budapest off, Saturday in Budapest might have been busy anyway so we’d give Bratislava Saturday night out a try instead.

As we booked in for our second night the receptionist warned us about a disco that the wake board centre were hosting that night, he said it would be 11pm till 6am and would be loud, we booked in anyway hoping our aircon would drown out the sound – it did.
Our Saturday consisted of more swimming and shopping. We took a stroll to a chandlers to buy a temporary inverter so Lucy could watch movies on the move again and then purchased some fresh bread for lunch and more €1 tops, Neil pushed the boat out to some €5 holiday shirts.

After a dip in the lake we showered and took the tram into Bratislava itself. The friendly campsite receptionist gave us a time table, map and tickets but our tram route did not match his at all and after 20 minutes on the tram we were a little worried but a quick check on google maps showed us near the centre so we got off.

Bratislava was great, a typical tourist city with pubs and restaurants in every direction. We walked round the old town and down to the river, the only slight disappointment was the price of the tat, we would not be purchasing many souvenirs just the obligatory plaque (fridge magnet) for the van and shot glass for my collection.
Food and drink was again cheap so this we had plenty of, we even spotted a Red Lion pub with €1 a pint happy hour but with a good full Subutteo football team of Brits on a stag do in there we gave it a miss.
Following a lovely meal we took the tram back to camp for an early night before our set off to Budapest the following morning.

Overnight Location: AutoCamp Zlaté Piesky, Bratislava, Slovakia
Overnight Cost: €21
Overnight Coordinates: 48.18893°N 17.18794°E
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