Welcome 2016 and happy new year from Bratislava!
Bratislava on New Year’s Eve
Welcome to Bratislava! The narrow cobblestoned streets in the city’s historical centre is where everyone meets and greets. Locals and visitors alike marvel at the cosy streets and the picturesque buildings. Happiness and an air of expectation are everywhere. The hot wine flows and concerts take place on the main square, Hlavné námestie. Everyone is here, gathering around the Danube. Young people shooting fireworks, older people holding hands. Small plastic glasses and bottle of sparkling wine. Let the party begin!
We were there too!
The Bratislava Castle, overlooking the Danube, is one of the most visible monuments of the city. On New Year’s Eve the castle is dressed in the colours of the Slovak flag – blue, white and red. Like so many other people yesterday, we enjoyed the show from the UFO bridge (or Most Slovenského národného povstania, as it is officially called. The English name would be
Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising) over the Danube.
We crossed the bridge and landed in the borough of Petržalka right on time to enjoy the fireworks that lit up the river.
New Year is also the anneversary for the Slovak Republic who gained independece on the first of January 1993. As a result of the Velvet Revolution, Czechoslovakia ceased to exist as a state and the Czech and Slovak Republics were formed. We celebrated New Year’s in Bratislava three years ago, which was also the 20th anniversary for Slovakia as an independent state. That time the New Year was marked with a wonderful firework display right at the castle, this year the spectacle was organised the traditional way – from a boat on the Danube.
On the way back home we see boys kicking street signs, men throwing up on the street. Bare legs shiver in the cold and the happy voices are suddenly slightly too shrill. The stardust is slowly fading and on the next day Bratislava wakes to heavy, grey skies. Let’s hope that some of the stardust remains througout 2016 for all of us!
Want to know more about Slovakia and the places mentioned in this post?