July 22, 2017: Comic statues, Bratislava, Slovakia


Bratislava, Slovakia's capital, has many serious monuments (as all capitals do) and a few that are just plain fun, even if, like the one above, they are meant to evoke memories of a serious past, in this case, Napoleon's invasion, with one of his soldiers leaning on a bench in the city's central square.

And below, a presumably local soldier on guard today against Napoleon's return.


But not all the memories are military: This statue commemorates Schone Naci, who until his death in 1967, roamed the streets in top hat and tails, greeting the public and spreading cheer. Grandson of a famous clown, he mad a small living doing cleaning work and was fed by a number of local cafes.


And my ultimate Bratislava statue, which has appeared here before: the utility worker, on his break, watching the life of the city pass by.



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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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When my wife and I revisited Bratislava a couple of years ago, our last visit there had been some 30 years previously. What a difference! Our memories were of a drab, grey place and what we found this time was a pleasant, vibrant city with lots of interesting corners. We are going to Vienna in a couple of weeks' time. There is a good (and very cheap) train link from there to Bratislava and we will probably go back.