Sunday, 27 May 2007

Swimming in the fountain nude

I saw a stag do yesterday in the centre of Bratislava, right in front of the heavily guarded US Embassy. The guys stripped one of them (presumably the stag). He jumped into the rather shallow fountain, swam a little and then rolled around in the grass by the fountain.

People, mainly Bratislava locals, watched on, many somewhat bemused, but nobody looked too upset by the whole 'nude swimming' antics.

Minutes later the police came - in total there were about six men in two cars. We saw them standing around with the group and eventually the now dressed man was led away to a car.

The British Embassy in Bratislava along with the city authorities have been looking for ways to curb excesses of the hundreds of stag visitors for years now. Several leaflets have been published and the overall atmosphere facing the stag groups has changed. A few years ago they were welcome with open arms by businesses throughout the city centre. A few broken statues and naked parades later they are banned from many major bars and most clubs.

Like in other cities with stag tourism most semi-decent hotels will not accept larger all male groups. Now the question is how long till the Brits (and some Irishmen):
a. learn that they are not as welcome,
b. will have 'been there, done that' and move on eastward.

Like Bratislava a few years ago, there are many cities further east, that would both welcome stag tourism (because they hardly get any tourism) and provide stag parties with a great experience (my birthplace Kosice in Eastern Slovakia comes to mind - I believe that with the first direct flight from London, which cannot be that far away, stag party goers will learn that Kosice is cheaper and friendlier than Bratislava).