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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure .com  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens is now at .

Danube River Cruise - Bratislava, Slovakia: April 19, 2018

We'd been looking forward to this stop because this was one of the places that we had not previously visited. Unfortunately, the Bratislava visit was allotted three hours--only. For the Bratislava "Walking" tour, we boarded a bus that took us up to the fort. After looking at the view, we got back onto the bus to return downhill to the central tourist district for the walk portion of the "walking" tour.

Our group as well as groups from other boats were funneled through the narrow pedestrian area and then turned loose for 15 minutes of souvenir shopping. Here are some photos:

Crowds watching the sculpture called "The Watcher" in Old Bratislava
Michael's Gate
Michael's Gate, with portions dating from the 1300s, is the only preserved city gate of the medieval fortifications. It is among the oldest buildings in Bratislava.

The Opera House
Instead of shopping, we explored more of Bratislava away from the crowds.

St. Martin's Cathedral
Construction of the St. Martin's Cathedral was completed in 1452. From 1563 to 1830 it was a coronation church for 11 kings and queens (including Maria Theresa of Austria) of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1847 the spire of St. Martin's Cathedral was topped with a gold-plated replica of the Crown of St. Stephen. No additional coronations occurred after the spire was crowned.

While it's hard to tell from the distance I took the photos, the replica crown of St. Stephen sitting on the church spire weighs 330 lbs/150 kg and is 3.3 ft/1meter in diameter.

When built, the cathedral was built into the town's fortifications. With the wall mostly gone, the church now has an on/off ramp almost at its door that leads to the SNP bridge (Most SNP) over the Danube.

Most SNP is also called the UFO Bridge because of the UFO like round saucer shaped restaurant atop the bridge.

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava and greater Slovakia are places we hope to return to someday on our own when we can visit for more than 3 hours.

We left Bratislava around lunch time. The rest of the day was spent cruising down the Danube toward Budapest.
Gabčikovo Lock and Power Station
A couple of hours downriver from Bratislava, we reached Gabčikovo Lock and Power Station. Although it wasn't the first lock we'd passed through on the Danube, it was always interesting to watch the process of water leaving the channel to equalize with the level on the other side so the lock could open and the boat was allowed to continue its journey.

The name Gabčikovo was originally named for a semi-nomadic tribe from the Central Asian steppes that settled in this area. This was the word in Hungarian--who knows what name the tribe called itself. Now, it is one of the Danube's deepest locks with a lifting capacity of 60 feet.

After passing through the lock, as we cruise the next 62 miles downriver, Hungary will be on the right bank (so is our room) and Slovakia will be on the left bank.

One beautiful sight we passed on the way to Budapest was the Esztergom Basilica in Hungary. Impressively, it is the largest church and tallest building in Hungary, and it does have a stunning location sitting just above the Danube. There has been a church at this location since the year 1001, but this iteration of the Basilica dates to the 19th century.

Esztergom Basilica in Hungary

Next stop: later tonight Budapest