Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is a surprising city. Some people are surprised it exists, I was surprised at how much the city had to offer. One of the coolest experiences in Bratislava is to take a trip up to the top of the striking bridge that crosses the river.I am take a stroll around the top…in a harness…outside. Read on for our full UFO Skywalk review.
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The UFO Bridge
Emerging from the Bratislava skyline, you might be alarmed to see a UFO rising into the sky. This flying saucer, however, is the crown of an unusually towered bridge. The Soviet Most SNP (Bridge of the Slovakian Uprising) was finished in 1972 Pragmatic as ever, the Communist ploughed the large highway down the side of the old town. In fact, the vibrations from the road, and now causing problems to the mediaeval cathedral nearby. The structure, now called Novy Most (New Bridge) is real marmite architecture, you either love it or you hate it. I kind of love it and it’s sci-fi vibes. On our first trip to Bratislava, we visited the bar with our friends and laughed at how expensive the VOSS water was. On this occasion, we were going to see the UFO from a whole new angle.
UFO Skywalk Review
We followed Google Maps and caught the bus across the bridge. It dropped us on the wrong side of a very busy road with no clear way to get across or down. Don’t you just hate the Google maps dotted line of doom! We had a mini freak out until another kind passenger, waiting for her bus, pointed us in the right direction. It was further along the road down a slope, under the road, and around in a big loop to the eastern foot of the tower.
Even with our detour, we arrived early. There was no one around and we, and are slightly panicky state, started to wonder if we have made a mistake. After a couple of minutes, however, are there brave, tourists appeared, and soon after, the staff. We did a quick check-in and squeezed into the lift with our fellow arrivals. It ascended the 80m leg of the triangle to the spaceship above.
And inside the UFO is a rather nice restaurant and bar. It is open for breakfast, but only a certain section is set out as a dining room. The rest is laid out like a cool cocktail bar or trendy coffee shop. Finding a seat, we signed our lives away with a waiver form. (there’s always makes me nervous, don’t trust their equipment)? We had just enough time to take in the view to the bridge below which suddenly felt an awfully long way.
Then it was time to suit up. We clambered into the fetching Red boiler suits emblazoned with the logo of the UFO skywalk before being harnessed up. There is something about being strapped into a harness that makes me nervous and giggly, which is quite embarrassing.
Circumventing the UFO
The First Few Steps
I went first, stepping out of the open window with distinctly wobbly legs. My clips were secured first and the reassuring tug as they were tightened helped somewhat. Still, it took me a little while to trust my self. Those intrusive thoughts were loud and clear.
“You are so clumsy. Somehow you are going to trip and break these harnesses and that is the end of you”.
However, the nice thing was that the rope to guide us around was attached to something that you could hold onto yourself. Not having your hands blindly, clearing out the air, but instead, having something to hold onto, made the world of difference. Soon I was taking jolly little mini steps along the edge.
It took Mr Fluskey a while longerto ease into the experience. Many moons ago, he did a bungee jump in South Africa, and ever since has had a small fear of heights. This always surprises him, and me, as it seems to get a little worse over time. For the first five minutes of his walk, he was clearly distinctly uncomfortable…and it wasn’t just the harness around his nether region.
I think you can tell from these two shots where we were both mentally.
Having a Swing
Whilst walking around the building, we were sat a few challenges. The first was to prove that we had trust in our harness. We were asked to sit in the harness and take a seat from the floor, sitting and swinging in the breeze.
We both took our time slowly bending down and getting up the nerve to take off feet from the floor. Once I did, however, I very much enjoyed it with lovely views across the river and up to the castle on the hill. I am not sure Mr Fluskey enjoyed it quite so much but that was task one completed.
Challenge two was even scarier. We had to stand on one leg and extend the other arm and leg out over the bridge. Bearing in mind that I had just been making jokes about falling off, and my amazing guide had been telling me about someone who fell off and hit a car, and somehow survived, my nerves were a little jangly. I felt okay to release my arm and leg. But tipping sideways towards the void was a little trickier. After a couple of failed attempts, I flung my limbs out, pretending to do ballet for surprisingly effective in my own head.
When it came to Mr Fluskey’s turn I got the giggles. He was hanging onto his rope for dear life, staring into the soul of his guide, and willing himself with all his mates. Eventually, he managed it, but didn’t really lean out to the side, which he was very surprised about when he saw the photos afterwards. He had definitely felt as if he was tipped over the road. Even I thought I’d been much further out than I was. It’s amazing the tricks your mind plays when it’s in survival mode.
The Lean Back
Let’s call the third challenge the trust fall.…but without the falling. We had to turn our backs to the world and shuffle our heels to the very edge of the platform. Then the idea was to let go of the rope and extender our arms Jesus style, and lean backwards. This was a struggle. Letting go of that little rope, our safety blanket, felt so difficult. It was more difficult than stepping outside in the first place for sure. With one hand off, I was more than happy, but taking that second one away took several attempts.
I did manage it after some gentle persuasion and was very pleased with myself. Then the guide suggested she could loosen the rope a little and let me lean further. Well, I gave it a go but tipping back without feeling a taut rope supporting me was a bit much and I chickened out.
I honestly didn’t think that Karl was going to manage this one. His face was deeply unhappy, and I could see his leg wobble as he stepped backwards towards the edge. Sadly, a table of early morning brunchers was sat right at the point of challenge three, so I couldn’t get in there to support him. However, slowly and shakily, he tipped backwards and I couldn’t have been more proud.
Taking a Seat
As you pass around the last quarter of the circle, you go past the washrooms. In between the two bathrooms, in front of what I think is an office, was challenge number four. I am not sure if everyone gets the same challenge here, or if they judge your level of bravery and adjust accordingly. my test was for that safety rope to be loosened as far as it would go and to sit on the edge of the lip with my feet dangling down. This was very cool, but being 5 foot nothing, even with the Rope fully extended. My bottom was very slightly lifted from the floor, so I couldn’t sit down entirely which was quite scary. I was clinging on with my fingertips to study myself and ensure I didn’t slide into oblivion. Yes, I know I was still attached, but like I said, your brain does stranger things at height.
We both completed the walk and what a rush! The adrenaline was pumping as we gabbled away to each other about the experience,
A Loo with a View
Here at Flying Fluskey, we love a loo with a view. I popped to the bathroom and really enjoyed taking in the view without the nerves. I would definitely advise nipping in if only to wash your hands.
The Observation Deck
Upstairs is a lovely sun trap of an observation deck. It felt strange to have the physical barriers after having nothing between us and the sky for so long. Still it felt very freeing to lean right up against the wall and really take notice of what things were in the distance. Around the observation deck where comparisons of other towers around the world, and as always, we enjoyed seeing where we have been and where we have yet to visit.
Final Thoughts for Our UFO Skywalk Review
There is a term, soft adventure, which refers to things that boost your adrenaline and make you feel awfully brave without being too extreme or physically demanding. UFO skywalk is just one of those activities. We were both immensely proud of ourselves for managing the circuit around the top, and although our hearts thumped an isle palms sweat, it was just a nerves and not physical exertion. This is an amazing experience, and if you are planning a visit to Bratislava, check the dates because it’s one you won’t want to miss.