My alarm shook my bed at 7:38AM. By 7:45ish I had hopped out of the shower refreshed and ready to conquer the day. Soon thereafter, I heard a faint knocking on my door… what could this be I pondered? I cracked open the door grasping my towel to hide, well, my crack. One of the receptionist stated that a man in a bus had been waiting outside for me. Shocked, I responded the touring company never gave me a specific pickup time so I planned to just meet at the station at 8:30AM (and thereby told the man to leave as I had not even dressed much less gathered all of my belongings).
I transferred on the underground once and eight stops later I stood at the top of the platform surveying the array of tour buses. I jogged to the first one raound 8:23AM and confidently displayed my voucher which listed Bratislava (matching the markings on the bus). In broken English kept asking for ticket, but yet I said it was tour, etc. Withe some time to spare I ran around to just about every bus, but to no avail. At 8:30AM I called the company and they mentioned that the bus had left?! Irritated, yet calm, I rescheduled to the next day and insistent on a specific pick up time from my hostel (if the bus was to leave without me at the station anyways).
Thinking quickly, I jumped back on the train and headed towards the biking company I had used yesterday. I planned to do their full-day wine tasting bike tour in the Wachu Valley tomorrow, but perhaps they could switch after my failed attempt at getting to Bratislava? Luckily, they similarly allowed me to swap days. Our delightful group consisted of a gentleman my age from Quebec, a young lady about to get married from Hong Kong, an older Aussie couple, and a couple with two teenage daughters. We all got along great and enjoy each other’s company throughout the long day (as well as the great wine, scenery, etc.) In the end we biked many kilometers, hiked up to a castle, and even swam in the Danube!
After the hiking, biking, and drinking I felt quite beat to say the least. I took the tube back to the hostel as one would expect and caught up on some rest. I then ventured to a well respected dinner place to try some more local cuisine. Specifically, I had the cliche Wiener Schnitzel! Afterwards I took a long walk, had some beers in the hostel bar, and called it an early night (aka before 2AM). I knew I had to get up at around 6:30AM tomorrow to actually make the tour to Bratislava!