Sunday, 18 October 2015

Eating my way through Central Europe

I would be lying if I were to say that I’ve been eager to travel to Central Europe. I haven’t had much interest in the region, mainly because I had little knowledge of the history and culture. My only experience of the food had come from Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian friends who are all proud of their cultural cuisine, and with whom I have been fortunate enough to have cooked with.

So when I was invited to go to Slovakia for a folk food festival, I knew it was a good opportunity to delve into a new cuisine. It would also be a great opportunity to go back to Prague, discover Budapest and see a couple of good friends who had recently moved out to these cities.

Our trip started in the great city of Prague where my travel buddy, Laura, and I stayed with a good friend who lived very close to Prague Castle. As we had both been to the city before, we dedicated most of the two days we were there to drinking and eating, then lazily strolling around the city till we were ready for the next meal. We were blessed with sunshine throughout, which made an already beautiful city look even more picturesque.

Prague in the sunshine

We took the afternoon train from Prague to Bratislava. We didn’t reserve seat, instead we sat in their retro chic dining carriage where you can sip a fine Czech beer/Hungarian goulash whilst taking in the stunning countryside scenery.

Dining carriage on the Prague to Bratislava train 

Our travel duo had become a travel trio as our good friend Jessica joined us in Bratislava.

As far as cities in Central Europe go, Bratislava isn’t the picture postcard city that Prague and Budapest are. Despite this it has an unshameful grittiness about it, which I really like. People don’t smile like they do in Prague, instead their weathered faces make you question whether they have actually seen better days. The ex-soviet influenced country seems to have embraced capitalism rather reluctantly. Bratislava, with its mismatch of buildings tells a story of a city that is eager to welcome large international corporations in large fancy glass towers, whilst the rest of Bratislava resides in crumbling 60s social housing blocks.

The one night we spent in the city was pleasant enough, although we were eager to get on the road and head into central Slovakia for the folk food festival.

No comments:

Post a Comment