You remember the one, where they slide past the border guards on a Cello and Timothy Dalton shouts “Nothing to declare”.

Well part of that movie was set in Bratislava and I had my mind set on visiting the concert hall where the Bond girl played her “exquisite” cello.

After a morning of old city like a fairy tale town, castle, palace, river and sore feet I took a break before seeking out seeking out the Bond location.  There’s an opera house, but it wasn’t there.  A little more wandering around revealed nothing, so I turned to google (that Three all you can eat data bundle is coming into its own).  They filmed the scene in Vienna.  Frauds!

The good news is that I’m off to Vienna tomorrow.  The bad news is that I’m not bothered anymore, now that I know it’s not a real Bratislava location.  Who would believe they make things up in James Bond movies?!!!

So I reallocated my afternoon to seeking out the capital’s prime sporting arena.  The home ground of Slovan Bratislava who beat the mighty Barcelona in the 1970 European Cup Winners Cup final.

A mixture of tram (70 cents) and walk got me there.  Feet, back and hips are suffering now!  As I approached the stadium and caught a glimpse of the Coca Cola sponsored floodlights the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.  I looked at the bars and cafes around me and imagined them on matchday.  Football grounds big and small make me feel this way.  Except for MK Dons.  They don’t count.

I was chuffed to see the gate to the stadium open and free access to a stairway leading into the ground.  Until a stern non-English speaking Slovakian told a tired non-Slovakian speaking Englishman that he couldn’t go in.

A few grunts and mentions of the words “English” and “long way” and the still stern faced chap waved me up the stairway, holding up five fingers telling me my time was limited.  It didn’t take that long.  An unimpressive open stadium with a running track around it.  Wembley it wasn’t!

I’ve enjoyed today.  It’s a great city with lots to see.  Definitely recommended.

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