My inspiration for visiting Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was to relive the scene above from one of my favorite travel movies, Eurotrip.
It's not the first time a movie has inspired me to visit a new place.
Unfortunately for Bratislava, I was visiting as Winter was rearing it's grey and chilly head.
After taking a short train ride from Vienna, I was greeted with a giant “Welcome to Slovakia” sign at the Bratislava train station.
On a tight schedule, I immediately decided to allocate just one night in Bratislava and proceeded to make the most of it.
I dropped off my stuff at a guest house, picked up a map at the local tourism office, and began walking around the medieval city center.
According to Wikitravel, many of the buildings have undergone renovations in recent years.
As I walked around, I couldn't help but note all the bars. Despite the dreary weather, I had to cut Bratislava some slack.
The historic center had the potential to be a lot of fun during the warmer months of Spring and Summer.
Short on time, I didn't even make an effort to visit Bratislava Castle. Dating as far back as 907 AD, it's situated on a hill with a commanding view of the city.
Instead, I wandered the streets, looking for interesting photos.
Eventually, I wound my way back to the central plaza and popped into a crowded cafe as the sun began to set.
A long list of hot chocolate variations filled a page of the menu. I kept it simple, opting for a classic hot chocolate.
The consistency was thick and rich. Heavy on the chocolate and milk, or maybe it was cream.
When I asked my waitress for a restaurant recommendation, somewhere I could get authentic Slovak food, she pointed me next door.
The restaurant, also overlooking the main plaza, was practically empty.
I ordered the goulash of deer meat with thyme and homemade dumplings.
The presentation, akin to slop on a plate, left a little to be desired, but the actual flavors and meat were delicious.
By the time I stepped out of the restaurant with a full belly, it was completely dark. The colorful buildings of the main plaza, including St. Clare's Church, were nicely lit.
I walked back to the guest house, anxious to board a train to Budapest the following day.
My travel to/from Bratislava by train was made possible by a Global Eurail Pass, courtesy of Eurail.com.