The usual Ryanair efficiency basics got me and a plane full of Slovakians to Bratislava on time.  As promised,  Juraj who’d contacted me to finalise the detail of the booking, was in the arrivals hall holding a placard with my name on it.

After a successful jaunt over to an ATM he led me to his car and drove me from airport to accommodation.  My initial thoughts as the car progressed was that this is a thoroughly modern and clean country.  It also appears to have numerous brands that I’ve never heard of, only IKEA and McDonald’s standing my test of international globalism.

It also crossed my mind that there didn’t seem to be any run down inner city areas.  Approach Manchester from any angle and you’ll get to an area that most wouldn’t choose to live in unless they’d been raised there.  As I was thinking this the graffiti started, Juraj turned his car to the left and pulled over in a narrow road.  Yes, we’d reached the apartment!

Rather nervously I followed him across the street to a large but dark building.  He opened the door, we walked through the entrance and out of another door into a courtyard.  At this point I remembered my accommodation is called “The Courtyard”.  He unlocked the door to my apartment.  I’d envisaged a bedroom with a kitchenette.  I got something much better.  Imagine Monica’s apartment in Friends but with a huge bathroom and you’d hit the jackpot.

Juraj handed me a map, pointed out where Tesco is and explained which tram leads to the railway station.  Wednesday’s trip to Vienna just got easier.  I paid him for the room and the taxi service and set out to further explore my massive home for the next four nights!

Although it was dark outside I felt safe and walked towards Tesco.  Discovering a Lidl on the way as well as numerous places to eat.  Cheap.  A Vietnamese restaurant offering a fabulous noodles meal for €3.50.  Elsewhere, pizza and a beer for €1.50.  I don’t think I’ll be using my apartment’s oven, hob or microwave!

As i was tired I turned back and bought a carton of milk from an unbranded local shop.  I think Tesco and Lidl can do without my money here.  Back to the apartment, a coffee as supplied by Juraj and then a shower.  Cold water.  So I left it running for two minutes while I emptied out my bag.

On returning to the bathroom I realised that the shower had been angled away from the drainage area.  My huge bathroom didn’t take well to this and there was half an inch of water across the whole floor area.  That is some design fault.  It must be somebody else’s fault, right?

Twenty minutes mopping up with the towels.  Hopefully the bits left behind will disappear overnight.  I filled the bathtub instead of showering, got in and promptly fell asleep.  Bloody frozen when I awoke an hour later!

Lots to explore tomorrow and I’m rather excited about it.

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