Monday, June 07, 2010

The Bratislava Diaries: Day 3 - Wednesday 19th May 2010

Some business to see to first: we headed off to book tickets for a couple of trips on the Danube: this afternoon's trip to Devin Castle, and tomorrow's outing on the Twin City Liner to Vienna. The sun briefly shone before the more familiar clouds descended later this morning. But Bratislava is beautiful in all weathers, and one of its best-known buildings is St Martin's Cathedral, pictured above. This morning we retraced our steps through the old town, bought some souvenirs, and I spotted possibly one of the most gorgeous men I have ever seen - think a 10 times more gorgeous version of Bret from Flight of the Conchords :))) anyway our thoughts soon turned to lunch which involved a variation on bryndza halusky, only with fried onions rather than bacon.

It wasn't long before we were heading off up the Danube to Devin Castle, one of the most significant buildings in Slovak history, dating back to the 8th century. Its position on the Slovak-Austrian border gave it strategic historical significance, and in more recent times the confluence of the Danube and the Moravia rivers formed the Iron Curtain.

After we walked off our lunch on a very high climb, we arrived at the castle ruins in what felt like a Force 10 gale. It may have been freezing cold, but I was so overwhelmed by the surroundings that frostite didn't matter so much :)) The castle overlooks some very picturesque views of the Slovakian and Austrian countryside....

...and here's a part of Devin Castle.
Eventually we had to leave and make our way back down to the bottom of the hill. As we are both fascinated by recent history, we vistied this monument which commemorated all those who had been shot and killed when attempting to cross the river to Austria during the years of Communist rule. (The one thing which has surprised me during our Bratislava trip is that there is very little commemoration or acknowledgement of that era, unlike in Prague or Riga which both have museums dedicated to the subject).
It's a pleasant trip back down the (not blue) Danube back to Bratislava. There's not really much scenery along the way, apart from various little fishing huts. But then you approach the city and you get this view of Bratislava Castle.

Tonight we had dinner at an Argentinian restaurant. Bratislava has such a cosmopolitan choice of eateries. And afterwards we end up at a bar which is full of students and sells bargain-priced beer, and we feel very old!! We have an early night, as there's the small matter of a day trip to another country tomorrow.

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