The Bratislava Experience
About a month ago, the family I work for told me they would be leaving for a week to Canada and I could take that time off. I immediately grabbed my phone and started typing in Skyscanner.com. Budapest has been very high on my bucketlist since I arrived in Europe, and this was the perfect opportunity to check the city off of my list! Since I had a week off, I decided to visit another close by city as well: Bratislava, Slovakia. I booked the two cities and started my countdown to the holiday.
I decided to only book a day in Bratislava since I heard that it’s a pretty small city with not much to do. But, I was so dang excited to go! My flight was booked for seven in the morning, meaning I had to wake up around three A.M. to jump on a bus to Stansted Airport. The morning of my trip, I woke up feeling a bit nauseous. It was early and I consumed a couple of glasses of wine the night before, so I figured I was just a bit exhausted. I slowly made my way to the airport with my camera charged and my sign packed away. The holiday excitement was real!
I managed to sleep a bit on the flight, but I was still feeling a bit shaky after we landed. Thankfully, I had planned ahead and downloaded the taxi app of the city. If you plan to travel to a new city in Europe, I would highly recommend looking into the BOLT App. It was formerly called Taxify and is such a quick and easy way to get super cheap taxis! With my promo code, my twenty-minute taxi ride from the airport to my hostel was only TWO EUROS!! That’s right, folks. Two Euros.
You can use my promo code GXM3L for 5 euro off your first Bolt taxi ride!
After my taxi driver left me at my hostel, I dropped my bags off and decided to find a place to eat before exploring. This was around eleven in the morning and I was unable to check in until three in the afternoon. The hostel had a restaurant attached to it, so I decided to sit down for a nice burger and beer. That would solve my nausea, right? The view from my hostel was absolutely incredible. I was sat on the balcony overlooking the Danube River with views of the Slovakian churches and house roofs. My happiness level was at an all time high and I could not wait to experience this beautiful city.
Here is the beautiful photo I took of my beer when I was still on cloud nine!
Once my meal was finished, I decided to have a wander around until joining a tour in the afternoon. As I was walking up the Castle Hill to see more views of Bratislava, my nausea began to get slightly worst. Not only that, but my stomach was in actual knots. Out of sight and out of mind was my motto that morning. If I could push the nausea away and ignore it, it would surely go away, right? Wrong.
About thirty minutes later, I desperately needed a bathroom. I was for sure going to be sick and was in such a panic running around the city center looking for a public restroom. My go-to bathroom locations in new cities are Starbucks and McDonalds, and thankfully there was a McDonalds only 7 minutes away. You could say I power walked or you could say I ran, but I made it. It turned out I did not throw up in McDonalds. Good job, Caro. I ended up buying water and decided to sit on a bench in the sunshine and relax until it was time to check in to my hostel.
It was a beautiful, Sunday afternoon in Bratislava and there were crowds of people walking around the streets and eating at the cute cafes and restaurants. By the time I found a bench to sit on, I was sweating and needing to remind myself to take deep breaths. My nausea and stomach pain was the worst it had been all day, so sitting down was a must at this point. About two minutes after I sat down, I felt the panic of my body. My mouth started salivating, my head started pounding, and my stomach might as well been on the teacup ride in Disneyland.
And that’s when it happened. I turned into the bushes behind me and threw up EVERYWHERE! I’m not joking; it was Pitch Perfect status. I glanced up at one point to see if anyone had noticed, and literally everyone was staring straight at me. Let me also mention that it was St. Patrick’s Day. So, everyone sitting at the cafes and restaurants probably assumed I was some drunk American that went a little too hard during breakfast. Thank goodness I had a water bottle with me. I just kept swishing the water around in my mouth and spitting it out. Once I was finished feeding the bushes, I threw my sunglasses on, stood up, and held my head up high as I walked away.
I immediately messaged my sisters and told them about the embarrassing event that just occurred. In my head, I felt better. I was desperately trying to convince myself that my body just needed to get rid of that burger and beer and I would magically feel better. Wrong again, Caro. I walked back to the hostel to sit in the lobby until check in time. There was a bathroom right across from the couch that I was on, just in case. I think I dosed off for a bit, I’m not too sure. But once I snapped back to reality, the nausea came flooding back FAST. I ran as quickly as I could into a bathroom stall and yacked all over that place, again.
That’s when I decided I was not going to deal with this at a hostel. What if I needed to puke and my shared bathroom was occupied? No, thank you. My sisters had found a cheap hotel for me, so I booked it and immediately found a taxi to take me there (thanks, Bolt!). I was absolutely terrified I would throw up in that taxi and my 5 Euro ride would turn into an expensive cleaning fee. But, thankfully, I made it to the hotel. And then I threw up in the parking lot. That’s three!
From here, the story gets a bit repetitive. Meaning I threw up consistently for 15 hours. I would drift off into an exhausted sleep and be instantly woken up and have to race to the bathroom to make it to the toilet. It was absolutely horrible. The worst part was that my toothpaste was confiscated at the airport security earlier that morning, so I had to beg the women at reception to find me some. I was meant to take a bus the next day to Budapest, but I just did not have the energy in me to go.
So, I was left with a decision. Do I stay another night in Bratislava and continue to rest? Do I assume I will be better the next day and book a bus to Budapest for the next day? Or do I just give up and fly back home to London and risk throwing up the whole way?
I think I knew deep down what I was going to choose. My own bed was the only place I wanted to be. Honestly, I have never felt so exhausted and sick in my entire life, and I knew Budapest would have to wait. Unfortunately, my bed also had to wait, as I was still was unable to hold down any food or water. I rang down to reception and asked if it was possible to extend for an extra night and was told that I needed to come downstairs to pay.
That poor woman must have thought I was going to throw up all over her. She took complete pity on me and gave me a free Sprite and some toast and told me to call her if I needed anything else. That was the only conversation I had in Bratislava with another human being (other than ordering that darn burger). Nevertheless, I survived the night without throwing up. Thanks to Ryanair, I found a cheap(ish) flight back to home the next day.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to land in London. Tears of happiness and exhaustion streamed down my face as I collapsed into my bed. I called my family to let them know I had made it home safely, and then I slept until the next day.
And that is the reason why you won’t be reading any other stories from Bratislava. But don’t worry, I made it to Amsterdam without any sickness and found some great stories while I was there! Stay tuned.