City #17, September 2014. There are no pharmacies, no bakeries. Just restaurants catering to the tourists trailing behind their guide or trundling through the historic city centre on a little hop-on-hop-off train. Things are different on the other side of the mighty Danube; that’s where the grim Soviet-era apartment blocks are located. Some of them are slightly less grim these days, as whole outside walls, some of them 80 by 80 metres, have been painted bright yellow, red or blue.
Type of Youropeans? Bratislava is 20 minutes by boat away from Vienna, whose airport it shares. Budapest is less than a two-hour drive away and the Slovakians and the Czechs were once part of a single country; these countries lie close together at the very heart of Europe. That is how they see themselves, at the centre of things. But there is not a great deal of interest in the EU. In the recent European elections, only 13% turned out to vote, a low point even by European standards (the average turnout is 42%).