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08:23:44 PM

I'm no Ed Brill, that's for sure. My list of countries visited is still quite small. But this morning I was in Paris, and tonight I am in Slovakia. Paris I've been to before, several times. Slovakia is a new one for me. I passed through Prague on the way, but I think the official rules say that airports don't count, so I can't add two countries to the list.

Czech Airlines gets very high marks from me for the journey. The travel agent (captive corporate agency) that set up the trip does not. But that's a long story and there's no time. Very briefly, I was in Paris for future-oriented meetings when a decision was made that my time would be better spent this week dealing with a present hot problem in Slovakia. I hope I have a little time to see this a bit of this country, as I'm sure there are many truly interesting things that I could experience here. I'm afraid that I'll mainly be experiencing code hacking, though. I have my cowboy boots on, as the nature of this mission demands some on-the-fly problem solving.

I return home on Saturday, starting the journey at 5 AM. Ugh. Passing through CDG, which several others have denigrated lately (links when I have time to find them), but which I actually found quite pleasant today. They helped me get past one of two major goofs committed by the travel agent. The other goof -- booking me for business class, against corporate policy -- didn't get noticed until I was boarding, and therefore was not taken care of. What a pity

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Comments :v

1. Ed Brill12/20/2006 09:22:08 AM

I've only spent a day in Bratislava, taking the train over from Vienna. I enjoyed it a lot, it's a great walking city. The castle up on the hill is an impressive walk, even if the museum isn't quite so interesting. I also enjoyed the fact that there are still some very run-down buildings -- great for photography, maybe not for tourism. I suspect there's a lot more to see than I was able to do in a few hours, so hope you get a chance to do so. As for food, I only ate at McDonald's...

Good luck at CDG. It's one thing to arrive there and depart there, it's quite another to connect. You were worried about 1:45 at LHR? CDG requires a lifetime...

2. Richard Schwartz12/20/2006 05:48:11 PM

Thanks Ed. Not sure if I'll have any time for tourist activities, but I'll ask about the castle and maybe my hosts here will take me. This appears to be a city in the midst of transition, with a lot of signs of its immediate past still readily apparent.

As for CDG, I'll just deal with it as it comes. Nothing much more I can do. Maybe I'll be lucky. No holding my breath, though.

3. Michel12/26/2006 01:39:16 PM

We were in Bratislava last night.

I hope you checked-in at the Hotel Carlton - 80 Euros a room until December 29th.

4. Richard Schwartz12/26/2006 05:12:36 PM

No, I wasn't at the Carlton. If I had known about that price, I might have -- but the Holiday Inn was more conveniently located for my hosts.

5. Marvo12/28/2006 04:41:18 PM

Hi Richard,

Holiday-Inn is also quite close to the castle. You can take a cab, which is quite cheap. There is nice view not only from the castle but also to the castle. Perfect one is from Old Bridge (over Danube) including the Saint Martin’s cathedral. The cathedral is the place of coronation of Hungarian kings. This is the reason why there is not a simple cross at the church tower. There is 2.7 m high crown of Saint Stephan lying on 2x2 m big pillow; all gold-plated.

6. Richard Schwartz12/28/2006 06:05:59 PM

Unfortunately, I didn't get to visit the castle on this trip. It will be on my agenda for the next trip, if or when I do return.

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