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Reader feedback: Letter to the editor

Our memorable Bratislava experience

On April 9th 2005 we, two retired Japanese couples, made a day trip to Bratislava from Vienna. We met a local guide at the main train station and he took us to the castle by car. It was a rainy day but we enjoyed our visit to your city. We met few tourists as we walked around the old town sites, as it was not quite peak tourist season.

It was a very nice change compared to busy Vienna. After the sightseeing we took our leave of the tour guide and continued to explore the city on our own.

However, we got lost because we took the wrong tram when we tried to get back to the main train station.

We asked a few people in the tram the way. Apparently we were heading in the opposite direction but nobody could speak English well enough to tell us how to get to the train station.

One old lady in the tram tried to tell us what tram to take. When she saw that we did not understand her she asked some passengers who could speak English. Then one of three high school students in the tram volunteered to take us back to the station.

The three young people got off the tram with us, as they could not explain to us in English where to go. They told us to get on to another tram but we did not have enough change in Slovak crowns to buy tickets.

We only had euro but could not use it to buy tickets at a nearby kiosk. The boys tried to buy tickets for us using their own money and by asking other people at the tram stops for change.

One of them, an older gentleman, also pitched in some change.

We tried to pay them back in euros but no one would accept them. Eventually we made it to the station on time to catch our train back to Vienna.

Unfortunately, we did not ask the boys their names as we were rushing to catch the train.

We do not think we could have returned to Vienna as we had planned without their help.

We have never encountered such a group of kind people in our many trips.

They made the visit to Bratislava the most memorable experience in our lives.

Fumio Inoue
Kingston, Ontario
Canada

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