Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Cheese Stands Alone!

Many of you are familiar with the old children's song, The Farmer in the Dell. In the final verse of the song it refers to the cheese standing alone. i will explain in due time but first here's a recap of our day's activities.

We left the hotel this morning and headed back to Old Town. The town grew in a way that the streets are arranged higgledy piggledy as it were. We go toff the bus at the edge of Old Town, walked up to an overpass and saw this.

It is an underpass that goes through the mountain on top of which sits the Bratislava Castle. It was constructed in beginning in the year 1000 by King Stephen I. The next shot is a picture of the Old Town Wall. These fortifications began in the late 800's.

Here is a different view of the Castle from another angle. It is an imposing structure which looms over the Old Town.

We walked across the overpass, and got a picture of the Old Town wall and the new bridge across the Danube, which has an observation viewpoint called the UFO.

Immediately across the bridge was the Capuchin Church. I would call this the wooden church, because the altar and crypts are carved of wood. There is much less gold in evidence here, and consequently it feels more pious and less showy.

The carving on the sides of the church is ornate, but not ostentatious. It feels a good deal more holy and a good deal less "look at us!!"

Of course since it is a Catholic order there is a requirement for a statue of Jesus on the cross. I don't know if it is to reinforce feelings of guilt in parishioners. Those of us who believe, know He is no longer there, He is risen.

Here is a view towards the BIG CHURCH we were in yesterday. It looms above the other buildings, and acts as a landmark in Old Town.

We wanted to use the washroom and were about ready for a cup of coffee so we stopped at McDonalds. This McD was different. It had the regular counter at which you could order

and also...

It had a McCafe as well at which you could get coffee and cake. How unusual is that. I've never seen the like. I was left to exclaim "well I'll be"!....
What I'll be is not entirely clear at this point.

There was a wall/decor screen with incongruous design. There were glasses filled with wheat, salt and plastic carrots and which included words like TASTE, ENERGY, BALANCE and ORGANIC. At his juncture I was thinking yeah.....no!

But then I turned around and saw this display case. Oh yeah, taste and balance! I manfully resisted the urge to order one of each, and settled for the coffee.

Funnily enough there was something glazed on the inside of the cups, which as the coffee was consumed became revealed.

Mine said Cake + Time = Smile. Even without the cake it made me smile.

Scooterchick's cup said Coffee + Friends = Happy. Well with coffee and Scooterchick I am happy!

As we strolled along, we noticed another picture worthy corner, and we almost managed to get a picture sans people pollution.

We walked a little further and came across a fountain which I call "The Goose Chasers." These young lads are playing havoc with the geese, with obvious delight, and to the obvious consternation of the geese...

There was a building on the other side of the park that was designed by a gentleman in 1907.

We walked down to the end of the next block and got a picture of one of the bridges which cross the Danube.

Turning the corner we found this lovely old building. In view of the number of young people going in and out of the building we imagined it to be some sort of school or junior college.

Here is a detail shot of the roof. Very ornate and decorative.

We proceeded to our next destination, the Slovak National Museum. When we arrived we sought the washrooms first and I had to take this picture because I could actually read the sign. It said thank you for being careful when p---ing and not splashing on the floor. How optimistic is that. Those of us who are careful of such things are almost invariably dodging the result of those who aren't.....eeeew!

In the forests immediately surrounding Bratislava are bears and these fellows. They are crossbred with domestic swine who escape captivity and the numbers are on the increase. There are likely over 30,00 wild boars in Slovakia, and they and the bears are nuisance wildlife on the streets of Bratislava.

Here is a stuffed giraffe. They have put him on a landing between two floors so he can have a little headroom.

Here is a life size Wooly Mammoth. Funnily enough Scooterchick doesn't seem the least bit scared. What a brave girl. It looks like she's offering him some peanuts.

These are Red Deer. They are very common in the forests of Slovakia. Noble looking critters and mighty good eating too I'll wager....

Hera are a family of Red Foxes. Cute little buggers. Too bad they can't be tamed. There is one place in Russia which has bred domesticity into them over many generations, but they are prohibitively expensive and against the law for import to North America. Darn it, I've always fancied a fox for a pet.

Here is a do it yourself Hungarian Royal family portrait. All hail Queen Patsy!

Here are actual clothing that the Hungarian Royal family would have worn. Typically regal and looking somewhat uncomfortable but impressive.

We move on to Slovakia in the 60's, Needless to say the scooters caught my attention. This was a 1966 Stadion 50cc moped. It was a true moped as well, pedals and all. These were 2 strokers which required 32:1 premix to prevent them from burning up.

I am almost ashamed to admit that this was the first bike I ever bought. It was a Jawa 50cc. built in Czechoslovakia, which I rode to death in short order. I think I paid all of $75.00 for it. It was sold briefly in Canada by Sears of all people.

This one is a Tatra 125cc. Note the brain bucket hanging from the handlebars. This one was probably a 2 stroke as well developing perhaps 9-11HP.

There was a display of glass light covers. Being a fan of art glass I found them interesting. Consider if you will these are all 1960's vintage.

This was a sculpture outside the Museum and the front view of it. We found it worth the 3.5E it cost for admission.

Nearby was a little girl doing a dance and imagining herself to be some sort of fairy. She even had some make believe wings to complete the illusion.

This is a statue to honor the brave Slovak soldier of the past. This poor bugger has an eye patch and is desperately trying to support his injured brother in arms and keep his weapon at the ready..

Here is a whimsical zoo advertisement. it shows a wild boar mother sweeping a delectable feast of fruit and veg toward her baby.


We caught a tram at the terrace where we did so yesterday, but elected to travel in the other direction for a change. There is a Soviet Style monument in the square.

We rode out to Dubrovka, which is another town south of Bratislva on the tram, then took a bus back to the hotel. We decided on dinner in the restaurant as this was our last night in town and we would be moving on tomorrow. 

One of the unusual features of the restaurant is the closed circuit TV feed from the kitchen where you get to watch your food being prepared.

I decided on a Squash soup, which came with a spoon of fresh pesto and a small pile of shaved smoked trout, sprinkled with fresh dill.

You remember our title? Well it references the soup. The soup does indeed stand alone. It was delightfully spiced, served at a perfect temperature with a swirl of olive oil, and contained tiny cubes of squash cooked to perfection.  To put the pesto and trout into the soup would be overkill, but I had an elegant solution in mind.

The Pesto, delightfully fresh and Shaved Smoked Trout which tickled the tastebuds with it's impertinent and full flavor, were placed on the Dark Rye bread, which itself contained Caraway and Sunflower Seeds. What a delicate and fullsome concoction. Paired with the soup, it was intensely satisfying.

The Risotto with fresh Chanterelles was a great entree. There was nothing about it which was out of balance. The sauce was creamy without being cloying, and the Chanterelles paired of with the Mascarpone was filling but not heavy.

And now the dessert. While not up to the smashing impression made by the Strawberry delight I had during our last visit, it was satisfying. It showcased fresh diced small peeled rhubarb, like a reminder of summer in it's passing, floating on a bed of hand whipped cream in a tartlette of pastry similar to shortbread. To the right of this delight was a small container of liquid chocolate. This was made by melting sugar into a heavy syrup and then adding raw cocoa until it reached a saturation point. Not thick, but full of flavor contrepuntal to the rhubarb. Last but not least there was coarsely shaved citrus ice to finish. Imaginative and daring, I found the dessert to be satisfying and an able finish to a lovely dinner. All this for far less than dinner in Vancouver, or even in Lawton for that matter.

Well this brings our Bratislava adventure and this blog post to a close. Have a great sleep, and dream of impossible delightful desserts.....Ciao for now.


livin'itup! said...

i was wondering how much things cost over there...dessert looked simply divine!

But the urinals...

Scootard said...

Thanks Livin'. I found the sign interesting. Previous blogs have dealt with Euro Urinals in detail>The dessert surprisingly would have been about $10.

Helen Marie said...

Now how can one actually sleep after dessert experience?!

I love all these beautifully ornate historical buildings and churches.

Oh and about the TV circuit feed in the restaurant kitchen?...yeah we need a lot of those here.


Scootard said...

Thanks Swee'Pea...yeah that was different for sure, and those desserts......yum yum weigh a ton.