Bratislava the Safest
- 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
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.
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 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
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.