Here I am in my room at the Hotel Dominika in the Bratislava suburb of Petržalka, early on a Sunday morning after having had a good sleep, that came and went as I drifted through ‘television-land’ Czech and Slovak style on the room’s TV.
Here are the photographic highlights.
My overnight musical entertainment at Birmingham International Airport…what else??? 😉
A couple of views of the Wash from the plane, therefore somewhere over the home of my beloved Norwich City, who I see lost at lowly Rotherham yesterday 😦
An aerial encounter…the first time I’ve ever seen a plane from another.
The first indication that the weather was going to be exciting on the Continental Mainland….another ‘first’…the first time I’ve ever seen snow from the air.
A couple of views on the Danube as we approached Bratislava.
A selection of views around the Starý Most (Old Bridge) over the Danube from the City Centre to Petržalka, including the return of Jana Kocianová (or rather, her 1975 LP, ‘Každý deň’) to the place where she was filmed for the video of ‘Nekonečná láska’ (her version of The New Seekers’ ‘Never-ending Song Of Love’)…which was clearly on a warmer day than this!
Finally, like last year when I was last here, I’ve popped out to the Moja Samoška supermarket across the way (it’s brilliant that one could actually do that, making it, in my books, the very best hotel in Bratislava. It’s so much more personal than the faceless ones in the City Centre, too) to see if I could spy any GOTGE in any current magazines and I got a two-for-the-price-of-one offer in the case of ‘Noviny do pohody’ – Marie Rottrová being the cover girl (and she still is quite one at 75!) with an additional bonus of a story on Eva Pilarová inside.
Not only that, but I got a direct Valérie Čižmárová connection in ‘Tele plus’..via a story on Libuše Šafránková (also not doing too bad for 63!)…the star of none other than probably now my favourite film ever – well, it did feature Valinka’s ‘Koňskou Dráhou’ (track off eponymous LP) and ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (single), as probably the best-ever background music…and Valinka was in it herself, too 🙂 – ‘Jak utopit Dr. Mráčka aneb Konec vodníků v Čechách’ (‘How To Drown Dr. Mráček – Or The End Of The River Sprites In The Czech Lands’), so that’s her with the previously-featured Milena Steinmasslová at the riverside café on the Střelecký ostrov (Marksman’s Island), Prague-Staré Město, by the River Vltava as ‘Koňskou Dráhou’ was being played in the background and that’s her again with Milena as ‘Tak měj mě rád’ was being played in the background (Milena is on the left in the dark blue bikini and Libuše is in the one-piece at the rear) ….again, in rather warmer weather than I am currently experiencing! (Interspersed with a couple of images of Valinka as the Singing Water Sprite).
What can one say about ‘Czecho-Slovakia’, for in GOTGE terms it sort of still is one country?
It’s got everything! Well, they could make films with titles like that, scenery like that and background music like that!…and music videos like that one for Jana Kocianová’s ‘Nekonečná láska’, which, very fittingly, is Slovak for ‘Never-ending Love’!
Indeed, as Lucy Mallows writes on the front cover of ‘Bratislava City Guide’…and I quote…
“Bratislava doesn’t bellow its beauty, but states its case quietly and insistently, until you wake one morning and realise you’re in love.”
Although – when it comes to scenery – the views from my room at the Hotel Dominika aren’t of the usually picturesque nature, but I don’t really care. I think that views from hotel rooms are an overrated feature in any case, my thinking being as follows: “who goes on holiday just to stare out of their hotel room? Haven’t they got better things to do?”
…and where else can one pop across the road for magazine stories on some of the most interesting stars (of music and screen) that have ever lived? There are a couple of photos there showing the snow gathered on the roof of the Moja Samoška supermarket. Oh, the slogan, ‘…denne čerstvá’, is Slovak for ‘…fresh every day’.