One of the things that has continually struck me on my travels to date is how similar languages can be. I know that Czech, Slovakian, Austrian and others round here would be close, with a shared Germanic origin but last year all my journal entries started "Nameste", well here “Namestie” means Square. The main square here has a statue of St. Roland (Dubrovnik also has one on its main street, but it isn’t on such a grand scale as Bratislava’s) and the hostel bar has a clock advertising the "Hotel du Commerce" in the centre ville which is shades of Sarlat-la-Caneda.
Enough of coincidences, it has been another fantastic day weather-wise, and for once I am very glad that the Crowded House song "Weather with you" has been proven wrong. I have been up to the train station and sorted out my train ticket for Tuesday so that is good to have got arranged. So how was my attempt at Slovakian? The ticket window I went to had a sign "I speak English" so it seemed cruel to waste her learning and also embarrass her with my unintentional crucifying of their language.
I have visited two museums today, with contrasting satisfaction levels. Firstly I went to the City museum in the old town hall and was very impressed; although it did leave me asking myself the question (not for the first time on my travels) 'Just what is it that people see in relics and reliquaries?' There were some fine examples in the early rooms of the museum although I cannot get my head around the thought that people could (and still do) venerate the bones of a long dead saint. I may well have posed this question on these websites before, but if someone has lived such a blame-free and good life, or even been martyred in such a cruel and inventive manner that has led them to be venerated and deified, then surely they deserve to be left in peace and not suffer the indignity of quartering (or even smaller percentages) which would have been carried out on the most treasonous criminal.
From there I headed up to the Hrad (castle) to visit the Slovakian History museum, but of this there was only one small exhibit open which showed a series of historical artifacts from the region. Looking at a case full of flint axe and arrow heads from 2,500BC (the museum used the term BCE, but like Boris Johnson
I plain refuse) was interesting, but the thought that by this same moment of history, just across the Mediterranean, the Egyptians had already constructed the great pyramid, and it never really recovered from that moment.
I am off on a day out tomorrow, to the scenic Devin (with its ruined castle) which includes a cruise along the Danube which should be interesting.