Bratislava

9 05 2009
Bratislava

Bratislava

We made it out of Hungary slightly delayed by a train strike, but no worse off for it. We spent a day in the Slovakian  capital of Bratislava, before heading up the Vah River valley.  Bratislava has a nice downtown with another well connected light rail system and a pedestrian core.  The main castle was under reconstruction, but we walked around the city and visited a national museum.  From the castle, we had views of the Danube river and of the plains in Hungary and Austria to the south, where we saw many modern wind turbines for electricity generation.

Public art, communist style

Public art, communist style

The city has shed much of the communist buildings in the core and you can see many new, post-communist era buildings that have recently been built or are under construction, in addition to some remnant inhuman communist architecture, ‘art’ and plazas.

Three stage pedestrian crossing

Three stage pedestrian crossing

Similar to cities we visited in Czech, Bratislava has a well connected light rail system that ties in nicely with the main train station.  The downtown is very pedestrian friendly, although the complex street network makes for some tricky intersections.  One particular intersection had two major roadways at odd angles, with an additional small side street entering the intersection, with all kinds of different turning lanes.  The major lanes had separate right turn lanes, but the traffic engineering was impressive and was super pedestrian friendly.  Crossing the vehicle traffic lanes involved stopping at midpoints through the lanes and the traffic control changes, but each small crosswalk section had its own light and islands to pause in.  It was actually very intuitive and user friendly, even though it was very complex.

***click to enlarge***

"the Photographer", modern sculpture

"the Photographer", modern sculpture

Bratislava old town

Bratislava old town


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