Friday, July 26, 2019

Budapest, Bratislava

Today, I will make one of the shortest trips during this vacation. Only 1 train between Budapest and Bratislava. On the other hand, I will have time to visit both cities in one day.
 First, I'm visiting Great Market Hall in Budapest. It opened first in 1897.

 Ganz, CSMG–2
Szabadság híd (in English: Liberty Bridge or Freedom Bridge) in Budapest, Hungary, connects Buda and Pest across the River Danube. It is the third southernmost public road bridge in Budapest, located at the southern end of the City Centre. It was originally named Ferenc József híd (Franz Joseph Bridge). (Wikipedia)

 Ikarus 280T

 Before the train departure, I'm visiting Gellért Thermal Bath
 Budapest is famous for its thermal baths
 The bath complex was built between 1912 and 1918 in the (Secession) Art Nouveau style. It was damaged during World War II, but then rebuilt. References to healing waters in this location are found from as early as the 13th century. A hospital was located on this site during the Middle Ages. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, baths were also built on this particular site. The "magical healing spring" was used by the Turkish during the 16th and 17th centuries. The bath was called Sárosfürdő ("muddy” bath), because the mineral mud settled at the bottom of pools. (Wikipedia)

 The Liberty Statue or Freedom Statue is a monument on the Gellért Hill in Budapest, Hungary. It commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary. It was first erected in 1947 in remembrance of what was then referred to as the Soviet liberation of Hungary during World War II, which ended the occupation by Nazi Germany. Its location upon Gellért Hill makes it a prominent feature of Budapest's cityscape. (Wikipedia)

 The temperature of the water is between 35 °C and 40 °C.The thermal baths are decorated beautifully with mosaic tiles.

 40C bath
 36C bath

 ČKD Tatra T5C5
I'm now taking Metro Line 3 to Nyugati station.

Planning for Line 3 began in 1963 and construction started in 1970 with help of Soviet specialists. The first section, consisting of six stations, opened in 1976. It was extended to the south in 1980 with five additional stations, and to the north in 1981, 1984, and 1990, with nine additional stations. With a length of approximately 16 km and a total of 20 stations, it is the longest line in Budapest. (Wikipedia)
M3 line is the only one still using 81-717/714 cars.

The 81-717 and 81-714 are the Soviet-developed subway car types. The 81-717 is the control car, the 81-714 the motor trailer, which together make up the underground train. The vehicles were first manufactured in 1976 by the Mityiscsi Wagon Factory (MMZ, nowadays Metrovagonmas) and the Yegorov Wagon Factory (nowadays Vagonmas). The types are used by metro lines of Budapest, Prague, Sofia, and Warsaw, as well as the Soviet successor states. (Wikipedia)
In 2014 it was decided that the 40 years old Soviet-made metro vehicles had to be refurbished. In May 2016, the first refurbished train arrives in Budapest. As of April 3, 2018, only refurbished trains are operating the line.

As a flashback, I'm posting a photo of the non-refurbished metro car on Line 3 in Budapest. The photo is taken by me back in 2011 when I first visited Budapest.
I remember that I was struck by the bad condition of the Soviet-built metro cars back then like it was some kind of message that everything from that time should forever look bad.

Back to 2019, I'm arriving to Nyugati station. Unfortunately, I had not much time to visit explore this beautiful station, so I'm heading straight to my train.
The only train I'm taking today is the Eurocity service 276 "Metropolitan" which operates the line between Budapest, Bratislava, and Prague.
ŽSSK Class 362, Škoda 71E
"Metropolitan" travells through 3 countries, thus it is operated by 3 different companies - MÁV, ŽSSK, and ČD.
Today "Metropolitan" train is hauled by  České dráhy ČD 380 AC locomotive from Budapest to Prague, as this avoids the Hungarian-Slovak border change of locomotives and the need for other towing vehicles in the Czech area due to the different voltages.
480 022 at Nyugati

MÁV Class 432 and 415
This "Metropolitan" has eight 2nd class, one 1st class, and one restaurant coaches.

The restaurant is offering Czech beer

I'm traveling now on the line MÁV Nr.70 Budapest-Szob.

The line connecting Vienna and Budapest is one of the oldest and most important railway lines of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and Central Europe. The railway line linking Vienna, and Bratislava was opened on August 10 of the year 1848. In 1846 the Hungarian section was opened between Budapest and Vác. These two railway lines were connected by a railway line built in southern Slovakia, connecting the two most important cities of the Monarchy. The second track was built in 1904 and the line was electrified in 1969. (Wikipedia)

Cake served in the restaurant coach
Last stop in Hungary - Szob
Local train Budapest-Szob is on the other side of the platform
This local train has coaches of type Bhv, manufactured in the 60's and 70's

The first stop in Slovakia is Štúrovo

0400 704, CFR 060-EA (Clasa 40)

Eurocity train has a place for bicycles
2nd class open saloon coach
2nd class compartment coach

1st class coach
Free water bottle distributed in the train for all passengers
It is not possible to reserve seats through Hungarian nor Slovak railway websites for international trains, it was only possible to do that through Czech railways. Hence, it was necessary to reserve a seat from Budapest to any town in Czechia (Breclav in this case).
After a pleasant and non-delayed trip, I have arrived to the capital of Slovakia - Bratislava.
Another Eurocity arriving to Bratislava from Czechia

Bratislava hlavná stanica is the main station in Bratislava.
971 driving car, part of the double-deck regional train manufactured by Škoda Vagonka

Eurocity train leaving Bratislava and continuing to Prague

Express train to Kosice
1st class car with the livery of Ice hockey world championship that was held in Slovakia 2019.

ŽSSK Class 361

Bombardier Talent from RegioJet
ZSSK Class 240, Skoda 47E4

The station went through a modernization during 1960, to get more socialist-style as this fresco tells.

There is a wide range of railway companies in Slovakia - here is the ticket office for RegioJet
Here is Leo Express, not ticket office here but a billboard.

Škoda 31Tr SOR trolleybus

Tatra K2 tram
Šancová street
The hotel I'm staying at is a cozy "boutique apartment" hotel near the station.
There is a kitchen in the room
And a garden
As a bonus, there are two cats living in the hotel

Presidential Palace and Garden

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. With a population of about 430,000, it is one of the smaller capitals of Europe but still the country's largest city. The greater metropolitan area is home to more than 650,000 people. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia, occupying both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the River Morava. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two sovereign states. (Wikipedia)

Bratislava Castle (Slovak: Bratislavský hrad) is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on an isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava. Because of its size and location, it has been a dominant feature of the city for centuries.
The location provides excellent views of Bratislava, Austria and, in clear weather, parts of Hungary. Many legends are connected with the history of the castle. (Wikipedia)

On one side of the river, I could spot plenty of wind power stations - which surprised me at once. After checking the map I could realize that they were located in Austria, which is very near Bratislava.

On the Slovak side, unfortunately, I could not see any wind power, instead, there is a view of this fossil fuel plant.

Hradná záhrada

St. Martin's Cathedral

The cats are living a dangerous life here in Bratislava...
Entering the old town of Bratislava

"Man at Work"
Main Square, Hlavné námestie

ČKD Tatra T6A5

Škoda 30T ForCity Plus

Slavín is a memorial monument and military cemetery in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It is the burial ground of thousands of Soviet Army soldiers who fell during World War II while taking over the city in April 1945 from the occupying German Wehrmacht units and the remaining Slovak troops who supported the clero-fascist Tiso government. It is situated on a hill amidst a rich villa quarter of the capital and embassy residences close to the centre of Bratislava.

It was constructed between 1957 and 1960 on the site of a field cemetery, and opened on April 3, 1960 on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the city's liberation. The monument was constructed similar in kind to the Palace of Culture and Science in Stalinist architectural style. In 1961 it was declared a National Cultural Monument. Its designer was Ján Svetlík. (Wikipedia)

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