Lake Cunovo

July 2015

In the summer, Bratislava gets hot. Like +40C (100F) hot. And the country is entirely landlocked, so on the surface it may seem problematic for you if get the idea to go swimming and cool off. This is what I, somebody who grew up near a shore, naively thought at first. It was about midday during my second day there and I thought for sure I was going to sweat through everything I owned and shrivel up like a prune. But then I heard something. Off in the distance, it sounded like one of the hostel workers was having a conversation with someone and the words 'lake in Bratislava' happened to come up. Could it be true? I had to find out so I walked over and asked if there was such a place. To my surprise, she responded, "Yes. But only locals ever go there. Most foreigners have no idea that it exists."

Perfect! I immediately asked how to get there and she explained that is was a short walk from one of the last tram stops on the outskirts of the city. Happily, I grabbed a shot of espresso, grabbed Blake, and headed for the door. We got on the tram and as stop after stop rolled by, the city setting continually diminished until it seemed as if we retreated into a quiet suburb. Then the train came to a halt. It was our stop.

We walked over and what we saw was exactly what we needed. There was fresh, green grass (as opposed to brown city grass), sand and a large blue lake with still water. Many people were out and about either swimming or relaxing in the sun, but one thing was instantly apparent: no one was speaking English, just as the lady in reception had said. Blake apparently noticed this too, as he leaned over and said, "I think we are the only non-Slovaks here. It's awesome!"

The water was refreshing and a little warm since the lake was pretty shallow. But that turned out to be a good thing because it allowed you to wade out into the distance all nice and calm like. Overall, it was the perfect relaxing day I needed in order to recharge and continue on with the backpacking trip.