Memories of Bratislava

by Kelvin Smith

A visit to Bratislava in 1970 entailed a short bus ride from Vienna through barbed wire fences and past watchtowers. The walk up to the castle was a rough path covered with snails of many colours: brown, yellow, green. Up in the castle museum, my companion, a Welsh speaker, was intrigued to find that he could read some of the Slovak signs. We remarked about this evidence of a pan-European culture underlying the differences and conflicts of Cold War Europe. Back down the hill in what was then a sleepy town we enjoyed excellent ice cream before getting on the bus back to Austria.