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Bratislava, Slovakia Early one morning while still docked in Vienna, we boarded a bus for an hour’s drive to Bratislava, Slovakia for a half day tour to explore the local Christmas market in Old Town. While driving into the city, it was hard to miss the UFO, an observation deck rising above the SNP Bridge and river. We then disembarked and followed the cobble stone-lined streets which led us past the Bratislava Castle set high above a hill and to the Old Town Hall. Here in the main square, red and white striped stalls lined the area showcasing more local delicacies and crafts. 32

We tried two pastries—a strudel like pastry filled with a ricotta-like cheese and whole cherries, while the other was a deliciously warm pastry filled with nuts, sugar and spices and rolled into a long stick shape. After finishing these treats, we headed towards the Opera House with giant Christmas tree standing before it and discovered more stalls selling treats and crafts. This time, we finally gave in and tried the fried potato pancake. It was deliciously crispy and lightly seasoned, somewhat similar to a hashbrown and large enough to share. continued on page 34

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VRAI Magazine -- The Summer Travel Issue June 2019