Thursday, June 06, 2013

Viking's Grand European River Cruise: Bratislava, Slovakia


Viking River Cruise, Day 13:  Bratislava, Slovakia (Facebook collage)
(click any collage to enlarge)

Are we really coming to the end of this cruise?!  Yes, we are.  And after just one day/stop in Austria (Vienna, last post), we now have one day/stop in Slovakia.  Formerly part of Czechoslovakia, it has been independent since 1993. Bratislava is its capital...and did we ever fall in love with it, in spite of being there for only 3 hours!

 You know the drill by now.  
Snap pictures from the boat, get on the bus and snap some more.

In the distance we could see the Bratislava Castle to which we were heading.
It has stood on one of the Little Carpathian hills since the 9th century.

And on a good day you can see Austria and Hungary from it.

See the snow?  It was still very cold.

John (top right) from Australia really got his education about "cold."
And maybe the young lad and lady in shorts also?

From the castle we went down the hill to the main square of the city for a walking tour,
starting with the St. Michael Gate, built ca. 1300.
It's the city's only gate that's been preserved from its medieval past.

The old town hall, from the 13th century, is nearby on the square.
It's one of the oldest stone buildings still standing in the city.

And while we saw other architecture to whet our appetite...

...it was all this crazy stuff that captivated us!
There are 4 "quirky statues" for which the city is known.
This one is Cumil (the Watcher)...and the most popular.

The French army soldier is also there (bottom right),
as is Schoener Naci (Beautiful Ignaz), an elegant symbol of the city life of the early 20th century.
The one we didn't see, except in the shop window, was Paparazzi with his camera.

Gotta love the competition, right?

After all, we tourists are the ones who keep such towns afloat financially, sad to say.

In spite of much delapidation, there was beauty.

 Gable stones.

Niches.

Statues.  Etc.

And more etcetera.  Impressions.

And because we had seen the steeple, we walked to find St. Martin's Cathedral from 1452.
We weren't able to enter because it was jam-packed with standing-room only at a late-morning service.
This was the Thursday before Easter, so we're assuming it was a Maundy Thursday service?

How can you not just eat them all up!

Don't you wonder what they'll grow up to be?

Every city has them...signs, bikes, trash.  We're all the same!

And transportation for your own tastes.

It was time to go back to our ship on the Danube, near the New Bridge from 1967.
"It is the world's longest cable-stayed bridge to have one pylon and one cable-stayed plane."  (Wiki)

All of that in the course of 3 hours.  No wonder we were hungry for lunch!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Next and last stop?  Budapest!  

But first...I'll be taking a 4-day break from image processing to help entertain dear friends from England who'll be visiting us tomorrow, Friday, till Monday afternoon:  Bill and wife Ange.  Bill is one of our photographer friends from our Shutterchance blog, where Astrid and I met virtually back in 2007.  It still amazes me that we've gained so many friends...through photography and our blogs...and have met so many of them!

Who knows.  Maybe one day we'll meet YOU!?!  :) 

10 comments:

  1. Just wanted to swing by and let you know I haven't forgotten you and your fabulous travels! Scanning this I am struck with the question "Do places like this really exist?" I'll be back soon - the youngin's have me scrambling to keep up :)

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    1. Ohhh, thank you, Margaret! I can just imagine how busy you are now that summer is upon us...and school is out?! Just keep up with yourself and you'll be doing just fine! The rest of us and the world will just go on. HA.

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  2. after seeing all these beautiful images especially all the whimsical sculptures, i heart bratislava too.

    enjoy your visit with friends. i'm sure it would include some photo walk.

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    1. The whimsy is just wonderful, Maria. It more than makes up for the "poverty" conditions of many structures we saw. Bratislava actually prepared us for Budapest, truth be known!

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  3. This was one of the neatest places we visited. Whimsy ruled. Great shots as usual Ginnie.

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    1. I thought so, too, Lynda. It breaks my heart to see all the flooding going on now all over that area. Have you seen Passau?? We wouldn't be able to walk through old town right now! So sad. We were really there at the perfect time!

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  4. This was a town to my very liking. I loved the old houses, the wonderful buildings, it was cold, however as long as we kept moving we were alright.
    Great pictures, they bring back pleasant memories. I keep thanking you for putting in time and love to make these post. I never take that for granted.
    IHVJ.

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    1. For some reason, after Vienna this was the perfect city to visit! I immediately fell in love with it...and it also prepared us for Budapest. Hartstikke bedankt, MLMA.

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  5. I love those crazy statues, especially the giant legs!
    I've been looking at the floods in that area of the world.... pretty drastic right now.

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    1. Those crazy statues totally made this visit for us, Sham. But now our hearts are breaking to think so many of these places on our cruise are being damaged by floods. God have mercy!

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