So all good things must come to an end. And on our trip between Budapest and Bratislava they did. It was just a short trip. Just over two hours. We left Budapest and we took route 10 headed for the Slovakian border. We planned to see if the other side of the Danube was prettier than the Hungarian side. When – BAM – our right front wheel hit a large pothole. Immediately the car began to shimmy badly. So we pulled over.
First thing I thought of was the Porsche emergency roadside assistance. We pulled out the card and Luther dialed the number which was in Italy. It didn’t help that we were in Hungary. The operator took our information and said someone would call us. We got a call from the local Porsche people who sent a tow truck. It didn’t help that it was a Sunday. After about an hour and a half of sitting on the roadside in a little bitty Hungarian village the truck arrived. A nice young man felt the wheel and thought we could drive ourselves back to Budapest to the Porsche dealer. We really wanted to press on to Bratislava but he discouraged us.
While driving along we discussed what we should do. We decided we would have time to take the train to Bratislava and keep our two night stay there, leaving the Porsche.
When we got to the dealer, and since it was Sunday there was just a guard there who opened the gates. Luther was able to kind of communicate with him in German. It was all very confusing for a while. The tow truck driver would have taken us to a hotel but we sent him on his way with our thanks. The guard wanted a card that we think Porsche should have sent to us. We told him we didn’t have any card. He said without it the car would sit for “eternity”. Oh great! Well there was nothing else to do on Sunday so we took the piece of paper that was our receipt and took a taxi to the train station.
We arrived in Bratislava around 6 and got to the hotel around 6:15 or so. We were very tired. We showered and ate in the hotel restaurant which was a nice place. Our hotel was called Marrol’s Hotel. It was rated 5 stars and was nice but maybe not 5 stars nice.
Monday morning I was insistent that we speak with someone about the car. It didn’t help that Budapest has two dealerships and we weren’t sure which one had our car! We did have a phone number the guard had given us. Many calls later to both the Italian assistance number and both Porsche dealers we were still no closer to talking to someone about our car. Finally at a number we had called repeatedly the woman said that they had our car. Finally we knew which one had it! At least it was a step forward. They still would not let us talk to a service rep. And they would not tell me when a rep would call us. So we decided to go out and see Bratislava.
It is a charming town. I liked it much better than Budapest. Smaller with lots of pretty streets lined with cafes and trees. We strolled taking in the limited sights. The old town was beside the Danube.
Here are some of the sights. Pedestrian zone.
Beer from a brew pub.
Pedestrian zone again. So pretty.
The Opera house.
This is a bridge. They call this viewing platform the UFO. Fitting.
We stopped in a pretty little courtyard which had a sign out that said “Local wine tastings”. Well who could pass that up? We knew nothing about Slovakian wines. We tasted five, 2 whites, 2 reds, and a black current after dinner wine. They were quite pleasant. Just after that we got a phone call from an Italian number. Turns out it was our salesman from the Perugia Porsche. He told Luther that our car was ready!!!! [or at least that’s what Luther thought he said] We felt relieved anyway.
It was about time for lunch so we walked along the cafes and chose a Brazilian one. I had a quesadilla. It was OK. Luther had the goulash soup. They seemed to be famous for their steak served on a sizzling stone. Here’s a picture I zoomed in on of a couple of guys eating some.
After lunch we walked over past our hotel to a new shopping mall on the river. It was also lined with lots of pretty cafes. We were on the lookout for a dinner destination. We went into the mall and bought a couple of things we needed. Suddenly we spied an Apple reseller shop. I decided to see if they had European plugs for our chargers and sure enough, they did! I bought three. It is so much better than the clunky plug adapters we’ve been using up until now.
After getting cleaned up for dinner we strolled back into the cafe area. Even if the food wasn’t all that great there was such nice ambiance. We went to Zylinder. I had pork tenderloin with a potato cake. Luther had goulash with sauerkraut and spatzel. With a nice wine it was fine.
SO — Today is Tuesday. I am on the train back to Budapest now. We should arrive at 10:30AM and will take the taxi back to the dealer. We can only guess what we will find…