Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Our first full day in Bratislava again was beautiful with blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures. With Barbara from Connecticut, who will be on the biking trip, we decided to walk up the hill to the castle. Unfortunately, not knowing that I couldn't open and edit Raw files on my mini computer I have only the ones from my small camera to use here. Live & learn, I hope.

The climb was steep but not long and we passed part of the old wall and tower.

The view of the city became more beautiful as we climbed.

The castle goes back to Celtic and Roman times, as the hill had a strategic position at the crossroads of important commercial routes and a ford across the river Danube. The first written mention comes from 907, but after 1437 during the era of King Sigismund of Luxenbourg it began to take on its present day appearance. There has been a large scale restoration in progress since the 1950's which still goes on today.

From the castle grounds you can see the fast flowing Danube River below.

We then decided to cross the new and modern bridge with the tall tower at the other side containing the so called "UFO" restaurant atop. To build the bridge and its access ramps the Russians completely demolished the old Jewish section with its winding streets - which was no doubt emptied by the Germans in WWII.

The bridge itself has walking and biking lanes built beneath the traffic lanes, and the view from the restaurant at the top of the tower was spectacular. (There were well over 400 steps - we took the elevator!)

In the evening we attended the opera, Lucrezia Borgia at the city theater near our hotel in the "Old Town".

The inside of the theater was beautiful and obviously recently remodeled, as has been much of the old

The opera, though enjoyable, did not compare with New York, or other cities in the States or world. The voices were good but the stage settings and costumes, including what we called "the swinging garden" which threatened to dump or knock down the singers, left much to be desired.

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