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Drewlin's Danube Delights - Beautiful Bratislava

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    Drewlin's Danube Delights - Beautiful Bratislava

    Captain's Blog Emerald Stardate 14262.4

    When we first saw the itinerary for this cruise, there were many ports that we were looking forward to seeing but least of all of these was Bratislava. We knew nothing of this capital but what a delight. This is a hidden gem and certainly somewhere we would like to return to.
    We tied up right in the centre and joined our walking guides at 9.30 and split into 5 groups (group no 5 was always designated for the less mobile of us and taken at a more leisurely pace). Our guide Jarmilla was Slovakian with near perfect English (it really puts me to shame how I and most British expect everyone to speak our language) and very informative with a passion for her country.
    The buildings and history were fascinating and there seem to be something more beautiful with every corner we turned. Many famous composers have lived here or given concerts here. Mozart apparently gave a concert when age 6 years here although this is disputed as there is no documentary evidence but it hasn't stopped them from placing a plaque to this effect.

    There were reminders of the 2nd World War with a Holocaust Monument.

    There were light hearted moments as well with everyone pointing out the various flower pots for Drew to photograph plus a ‘Harry Worth’ moment.


    Drew also likes taking photos of the various embassies and consulates.




    The photos above are of the British (with the Ambassador’s car outside) and Greek embassies but when he tried to photograph the US Embassy plaque he was stopped by the secret police! We should have known better as this was the only embassy with a wire fence around and armed guards patrolling inside it! He was made to delete the photograph in front of the policeman but has used his recovery software to show you the photograph –

    There are various statues dotted around, some of famous people and some of local characters.

    This is of Hans Christian Anderson and the one below is of a 'living' statue.

    The most popular (and photographed) was the one of a ‘man at work’ peeking out of a manhole to look up ladies’ skirts!



    After a pleasant stroll back to the ship (dodging the numerous trams) we had lunch and then off to our second excursion of the day. We had already had a wonderful morning but had no idea what was in store for us this afternoon. We were taken by coach into the countryside to a small town where we were split into small groups and along with an interpreter we visited a local family.
    Eva and Milan welcomed us into their home and not only told us about themselves and their family but shared some wonderful local (home grown by themselves) cake and drink with us. Eva asked everyone where they came from. Australia, England and Scotland was the reply to which she immediately asked Drew about the referendum! We’ve been used to him being asked this question in Germany and Austria but truly didn’t expect it in Slovakia. He was so taken aback you could have knocked him over with a porridge spurkle!
    Milan, Eva’s husband, entertained us by playing a Slovakian fujara (shepherd’s overtone fipple flute) which looked like a cross between a bassoon and a wooden pipe but sounded like a flute. He then produced some lyrics to a folk song, written in Slovak, for us to sing whilst he accompanied us on the guitar! Luckily we could manage the chorus of tra la la la – we hadn’t realised how much our Slovak had improved! After this we sampled some local apple juice, plum and poppy seed cake and a cheese and garlic bread – all home made by Eva and even had a go at icing their local ginger bread biscuits.



    Finally we had a group photo in Eva’s garden for a memento. Jarmilla (our interpreter although she wasn’t needed much as Eva’s English was very good), Eva and Milan are seated from left to right with Drew lying in front. No, he wasn’t being lazy (well not this time) but just flung himself there after setting the timer on the camera to get us all in!


    Todays photo count is 223 (225 - 2 deleted by request!)

    For more photos https://www.facebook.com/profile.php...=3&uploaded=40
    Last edited by drewlin, wigan; 3rd July 2016, 10:12 AM.
    Cheers Drew and Linda

    #2
    bratislava is full of wonderful and strange bronze figures, we too took the photo of the man coming out of the drain statue, noticed that the city is full of european designer chain clothes shops but the locals cannot afford them, they just line the street all empty of customers. We wondered if they are they just to list another capital city they have stores in rather than profit. it was a strange sight a street of of these stores and not one had a customer.
    good to read another of you blogs and pics, well done with the good daily blogs.

    Comment


      #3
      Well done again, more interesting facts and great photgraphs. The picture of McDonalds reminded me of when we visited Euro Disney and Paris, on returning home our Son was asked to write about his holiday at school, there was no mention of Euro Disney or Paris but great detail of McDonalds and what delights he consumed and the Happy Meal toy he got. Oh Happy Days...........
      Oriana
      Oceana
      Ventura
      Queen Mary 2
      Queen Victoria
      Queen Elizabeth

      Comment


        #4
        We were there 2 years ago. It's a town with many creative street art. Remembered the bronze statue round the corner. Apparently it was rolled over by cars at least 3 times. So the street was made into a pedestrian mall. Did you see the paparazzi outside one of the cafe?

        Comment


          #5
          We were there 3 years ago and this brings back a lot of happy memories. They were doing a lot of rebuilding and restoration work at the time. A beautiful city.
          Cruising my way through life!

          Sue

          Comment


            #6
            Another great blog and wonderful photos. What a lovely thing to have been able to meet the locals and be invited into their home which will give you amazing memories.
            don't want to work, just want to cruise.

            Comment


              #7
              We also loved the fact that we were able to visit local people in their own homes. We had a couple whose daughter had studied in Edinburgh and then married a Scotsman. They had a bar in their cellar that was full of Scotch Whiskey. They also had a small holding at the back of their property and they just grew everything, even down to Rabbits that they bred and then killed for meat. A great day and will certainly be remembered for some time.
              Love Emerald Waterways doing this type of thing so that you can meet a true local family.

              Comment


                #8
                Love this post. Wonderful photos recording some great memories for you.

                People often say that cruising doesn't let you find out about a country. Well looks like you found out a lot more by visiting a local family. A lovely touch for the cruise.

                Thanks again.

                Comment


                  #9
                  According to our cruise director, Simona, the excursion of visiting a local family in Bratislava is exclusive to Emerald Waterways. I know it is one of best memories of the cruise for us,
                  Cheers Drew and Linda

                  Comment


                    #10
                    How wonderful to meet the local people like that- I'd love to do so.
                    Jo.

                    Comment


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