2012 Danube River Cruise

            Slovakia         Currency is the €uro 

     Slovakia is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi). Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union, NATO, United Nations, OECD and WTO among others. The official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family. (Wikipedia). Slovakia was under Communist dictatorship from 1947 to 1989.  Present-day Slovakia became an independent state in1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.


     We left the beautiful city of Budapest at 9:00pm. The city illuminates all of its grand buildings, a marvelous sight. Soon the city lights fade and we are cruising Northward on the Danube. Other than the slowly passing shoreline and the distant hum of the diesels, there is no sensation of being on the water. At least no sensations like you experience on an ocean liner. For the nautically inclined we likely made about 8-10tks going upstream.

    We ate a great breakfast and prepared for our 1st shore visit, a tour of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. We all did different things. Heather was coming down with a cold so she decided to stay on board and rest for Vienna, the next city. Denis & Hilda opted for the city tour whilst I took the "Communist" tour. Our guide, a youngish man, was quite good and informative and did not overly elaborate on what is was like for his parents to live under Soviet domination. He did however point out the mostly drab and unimaginative buildings of the Soviet era. The Communists were good at replacing national or regional statues with their own rather imposing, austere, figures. A practice they visited upon every country they "liberated". They also renamed streets after prominent Communists. Our guide said one of the public squares in Bratislava has been renamed at least 5 times since 1900 depending upon who was in power.

    Apparently our tourbus apparently was quite old as everywhere we drove people would look at the bus, some smiled, some frowned. Perhaps the bus reminded them of a troubled past with the Soviets. At least they repainted them in bright colours!

Navy Most bridge (1972)      Bratislava castle      Communist era apartments      Downtown Bratislava      Trams      coffee café

Novy Most

     Bratislava is a great city to walk around, always something just a little quirky.
sewer man      Napoleon?      paparazzi      best scene      mime

« This is a mime and he does his job very well. I was unaware of him but when I went to take his picture, he winked - aha. The quirky statues seem quite at home in this beautifully kept old city with its formal buildings and fountains.

  the sights of Bratislava, move your mouse across the smaller images, F11 = full screen mode on/off   (gallery thumbnail hover info)  

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✧  Photos contributed by Denis, Heather and Phil  ✧

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✧  This site was last updated: January 10, 2013  ✧