The second stop after Prague on my Eastern European tour was Bratislava. With less than a third of the population of Prague, Bratislava offered a much more subdued atmosphere, however my companions and I were determined to make the most of our short time in a new city. Arriving on a frigid Sunday evening, we quickly settled into our hostel and wandered out into the city. We zealously sampled the local cuisine in a small establishment recommended by our hostel staff, however, the bryndzové halušky–potato dumplings with sheep’s-milk cheese–had a disastrous effect on our appetites and our enthusiasm. So we retreated to the hostel to sleep it off. In the light of day, we endured the extreme cold and explored the city center. The highlight of our venture was the vast panoramas of the city and the Danube River from the Bratislavský hrad (the castle itself was closed for reconstruction). After this experience, the next time I visit Bratislava will be in summertime and I will pack a bag lunch.