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Bratislava the Safest

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  • Martin Votruba
    A travel column in The Guardian (Britain) a couple of weeks ago cited some personal safety advice for travelers from the new travel guide Bratislava: The
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2006
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      A travel column in The Guardian (Britain) a couple of weeks ago cited
      some personal safety advice for travelers from the new travel guide
      "Bratislava: The Bradt City Guide (Bradt Mini Guide)."

      The Guardian now returned to the matter and published comments by the
      author of the guide, Lucy Mallows, who thought the selections were
      misleading:

      Quote (The Guardian, Feb. 4):

      [...] In these pages [of The Guardian] two weeks ago, I [Simon Calder,
      journalist from The Guardian] extracted from this book a couple of
      safety and security issues for a 'Warning of the Week' column. Lucy
      Mallows, who wrote the book, was dismayed. The extracts, she says,
      "were taken totally out of context and are possibly the only two
      vaguely negative sentences in a book that enthuses about how polite,
      friendly, welcoming and safe Bratislava is. As I wrote in the opening
      line, 'Bratislava is a safe city for travelers, with a low rate of
      violent crime.' It is safer than Prague, Budapest, Vienna or any other
      city in the region yet your selected sentences make it sound like a
      trip to Basra."

      During her research, she says, "I found it to be perfectly safe to
      potter about after dark. Making it out to be the capital of the 'Wild
      East' does no favors to a city which has been making great efforts in
      the last decade to modernize, pedestrianize and make its centre
      visitor-friendly and inviting to travelers. Your unbalanced, highly
      subjective and biased view of Bratislava could put people off visiting
      which would rob them of the opportunity to enjoy one of the
      friendliest, safest cities in Europe."

      End of quote (from The Guardian, Feb. 4).


      The new travel guide "Bratislava: The Bradt City Guide (Bradt Mini
      Guide)" by Lucy Mallows was published in the US on Feb. 1, 2006.
      Below is a review of the guide from a trade site.


      Martin

      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu

      x x x


      Another first from Bradt Travel Guides, and indeed who else would dare
      to publish a guide to Bratislava? Czechoslovakia's tumultuous 'velvet
      revolution' preceded an amicable 'velvet divorce' and the re-emergence
      of Slovakia as an independent state in 1993. The then-somnambulant
      provincial town of Bratislava became overnight the latest capital city
      in the re-drawn map of post-Soviet Central Europe.

      Lucy Mallows's new guide, the first dedicated solely to Bratislava,
      describes a city that since independence has awoken to become the
      go-getting cosmopolitan gateway to the 'Tatra Tiger' of Slovakia. In
      common with many divorcees, the 'little big' city of Bratislava blends
      some history with some hedonism. For more than 300 years the capital
      of Hungary, the city defies its diminutive size, drawing visitors in
      to shop till they drop, stroll museums and galleries, unwind on a
      Danube cruise, visit the opera and, finally, wrap themselves around
      great bistro food and surprisingly fine Slovak wine. Bratislava's
      character is reflected in its population, neither dour nor grim like
      the enduring Eastern Bloc stereotype, but relaxed and positive. As
      Mallows says, 'It doesn't bellow its beauty like Prague but states it
      quietly and insistently¬Ö Bratislava is not the elusive "new Prague"
      and is probably quite happy being itself.'

      The handy pocket-size volume is packed with practical travel
      information, including accommodation in boats on the Danube or villas
      in the hills, full-color city and tram maps, self-guided city walking
      tours and excursions to nearby romantic castles. Restaurants (from
      budget to fine dining) are covered, together with wine and tip-top
      Slovak beers. Slovak, we are told, is not as tricky to pronounce as
      Czech... great! However, attempts at the selection of words and
      phrases in the language section will, at the very least, amuse
      Bratislavans.

      Lucy Mallows is a freelance travel writer and translator. She
      contributes regularly to many international dailies and magazines and
      has written for all the top travel publishers. She is an expert on
      Central Europe and speaks six foreign languages. Her passions are
      travel, soul music and Chelsea FC.
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