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I love my people; we can take three basic ingredients and make a gourmet meal. Perogies, glorious perogies, with our secret ingredient—sheep cheese. Of course, the perogies are served with a side of sour cream that mixes delightfully with the wild mushroom and wine sauce.  We do bread. We do game. We do these dessert things I didn’t even know we did that caused me to have a religious experience.

Not having arrived until nearly midnight Saturday night, Sunday’s explorations started early and forewarned that museums were closed on Mondays. Let me state unequivocally that the Danube is green. It is NOT blue. That musical note was brought to you as I started my tour de museums at the Slovak National Museum where they were having a special exhibition of items from their music archives. Rooms of instruments, scores, and painting on themes of music were beautifully coordinated. There were violins in shapes I’ve never seen before and recreations of music rooms from the city’s musical elite.

For several hours after that, I mucked around Old City, prying into churches, city walls, and quirky museums. The ticket to the Red Crayfish Pharmacy Museum, yes really, also got me into St. Michael’s gate museum which had the requisite, nearly impossible stairs, which upon climbing earned an amazing view if the city.

Hot and tired, I headed back to the hotel for a refresher break. After watching Nadal finish off Thiem, I headed out again toward the castle, well, the castle on the hill. Castles everywhere around here. So glad I did. Not only is there a great view, the museum was one of the most eclectic I’ve seen. There was an entire floor dedicated to advertising signs, another to the separation from communism and a third to separation from the Czech Republic. The castle itself, while a reconstruction does have impressive stair cases.

On the way down from the castle, I saw a restaurant the hotel staff recommended and had a “Why not?” moment as it was nearly 6 and I had foregone lunch in the heat. The outdoor seating overlooked the river and caught what few breezes there were. The rabbit in mushroom and wine sauce was amazing and though full, I ordered a dessert that, as described, was going to be awful or great. The description was “hot dumplings with poppyseed or walnut topping” Hum, tough choice, the waiter offered both toppings and I accepted. Transcendence. The dumplings were warm and sweet and light. Half were slathered in poppy seed and half in sugared, ground walnuts. I still don’t know which I liked better.

Walking down the hillside, I told myself, I’d walk it all off, uh huh. Passing through old city on my way back, I stopped to hear some music. I smiled to myself. When a Hungarian band is playing New Orleans jazz in Bratislava and that does not even make the top 100 weird things you’ve experience, you know you travel too much.

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