Readjusting to a European winter after two years of perpetual summer in India has been harder than I thought. I’m not sure why, because I like winter. For the last few months in Mumbai I’d been looking forward to feeling cold – dreaming of it, even. I couldn’t wait to wear thick black tights with knee high boots, cute knitted hats, and snug mittens, and imagined lying on a sofa, wrapped warmly in a blanket and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows. I looked forward to fairy-tale winter scenes.
But this winter hasn’t been so very cold. The snow, when it came, lasted only a day before it melted, leaving me pining for Sweden’s endless, white winters. Mostly, however, the streets remained grey and the mist lingered (although this was actually pretty picturesque too).
I became lethargic: I was exhausted, having been running on empty for months. My job is intense – teaching always is, and the first year in a new place is especially difficult. I hadn’t written a blog post in months even though I’ve done amazing things, such as visiting Slovakia’s gorgeous Tatra mountains, eating my way around the Christmas Markets, spending New Year in Cornwall, and visiting Iceland.
But now, spring has arrived.
In under a week, the temperature has risen so that afternoons are warm enough to go out without a coat. I’ve bought my sunglasses out of the closet and my beloved Havaianas are on stand-by. I’ll wear them again in a matter of
weeks, days, oh, okay – I already wore them yesterday.
Slowly, but surely, life creeps back into the Historic Town Centre as each restaurant puts the tables back out tentatively into the streets; only one or two at a time, but enough to put a smile back on people’s faces. More tourists are around, and although I have to side-step huge camera-toting groups when I carry my shopping home I’m pleased to see the place busy once more.
There is even a line at the ice-cream parlour again!
With spring comes an influx of energy. I can feel my body waking from its seasonal slumber even before the flowers have fully awoken from theirs. I’m shaking off my winter lethargy and getting ready to enjoy spring since I last saw it in 2014 (and that was a rainy, miserable one).
Why you should visit Bratislava in spring
Bratislava is a wonderful city to visit in the spring. It is a small capital city with plenty going on. Yesterday, I noticed new food stalls outside the market and street musicians are springing up on every street corner. The cafes are doing a roaring trade in deliciously-flavoured lemonades, while ice-cream parlours that have sat empty for months burst at the seams keeping up with the increased demand. The beautiful Danube is drawing picnickers back to its blue banks again.
As Ryanair adds new routes into Slovakia’s pretty capital all the time, it looks like Bratislava is on more people’s radar than ever before. It’s easy to see why. With plenty of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants, the Old Town is a dream for coffee-lovers by day, and for night-owls after dark. Cheap beer and wine makes it all-too-easy for party-goers to emerge bleary-eyed from a cavernous cellar bar when the sun comes up. The late-rising town doesn’t wake up again until 10 am, so you’ll even get a few hours’ sleep before heading back out for lunch.
Bratislava is small, so you can see it in a weekend, but it’s big enough not to get bored. What are you waiting for?
Have you been to Bratislava? Maybe you should come and see for yourself!