Most of central Bratislava was a pedestrian only area,and the roads in the centre of town seemed packed with cars. Not only were all the parks taken, but it seemed people had decided to be really creative with making their own parks. Where the lines clearly marked a parallel park, cars were angle parked. Why not put angle parks in if there’s that many cars? Because the roads were narrow, so not only were the cars stopped clearly at right angles to how they were meant to be, but most of them were also half on the kerb. It was like cops arriving at a hostage situation in an American movie. With this stressful mess of cars, our new found rule sensitivity after our wee issue at the border, we gunned straight for the nearest parking building to simplify the situation.
As we pulled in to what seemed to be the only parking building in the centre of the city, it seemed really secure. As we got to the levels of the cars, that was where we noticed it was suddenly full of a whole different type of cars – the expensive types. From Astin Martins to Mercedes. We looked for a park nowhere near any of these hugely expensive cars!
Hilariously enough, immediately outisde of the parking buildings were the likes of this car. Yet another stark contrast in Slovakia.
There are two sides of the road: the left side and the wrong side. In Europe they drive on the wrong side. I know this is true because rules about which side originated in England, and they drive on the left. Even in Europe they were driving on the left side, until Napoleon, the King of Small Man Syndrome, decided to change the rule completely due to the fact he was left handed, and driving/horse riding rules were based around being able to protect yourself with your sword hand. Aaah the French. Anyway, most of the rest of the world is now stuck with this silly rule, and getting around in a car can sometimes be a bit of a necessity, so they say.
Actually in Denmark they do incredibly well with cycling everywhere and have a pretty decent public transport system. Most people don’t have or need cars, especially living in cities, and the city centre is positively littered with bikes, which I think is great!
However, I had my go at driving on the wrong side of the road. I thought it would be a challenge, but having spent months being a passenger and being around cars going in opposite directions to what I was used to, and given I was concentrating very hard, it was actually fine! The only real difficulty was getting used to my orientation within the lane. I’m used to the centre line being to my right, and my line of vision skewed to the right of the lane, so it felt very strange havng the centre line to my left! I had to keep correcting the car to make sure I didn’t drive in the gutter, as I wasn’t used to being slightly left of centre in the lane!
I’m planning a huge road trip around Europe over summer which I am super excited about, so I’m glad to know it really isn’t that hard to drive on the opposite side of the road!
Also, fear not, the photo above was taken whilst parked.