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October 3, 2008.  As the capital and largest city of a country in the heart of the continent, Bratislava is poised to play an important role in Europe.


Bratislava Castle, massive and square and over 1000 years old, has been restored several times and almost virtually rebuilt after World War II.  Today, it houses both  a museum and the office of Slovakia's president.





From the top of the mountain where the Castle is, there is  a great view of Bratislava.



The American Embassy is one of the many dwellings in Embassy Row.




Some typical Bratislava buildings and our Slovakian guide.



The Slovak National Theater



Bratislava has an open air market and many sculptures on columns and fountains.



There are many whimsical  and quirky statues. A sign on the pavement commemorates the burning of the last witch. There's a man coming out of a manhole, with a sign warning drivers not to drive over it. Rubbing its head guarantees a return to Bratislava.



A French soldier leans on a bench and, outside the Opera House, beautiful Ignaz, "the friendliest person in town", greets all the passerby.



The Holy Trinity Church was built in 1717 by the Trinitarian Order



Michael's Gate, Michalska Brana, is the only gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications, when the town was surrounded by walls, and entry and exit was only possible through one of the four heavily fortified gates



St. John of Nepomuk enjoys a popular cult among Bohemian followers. He's a martyr to imperial interference. Defending the Seal of the Confessional, he was thrown into the Vitava River and drowned. He was canonized in 1729 under Pope Benedict XIII.



The Slovakian Parliament.



The "New" bridge commemorates the Slovak National Uprising.  It has a tower at each end 85 meters high



The Town Hall tower, AKA Jacob's Tower and the Carlton Hotel



The War Memorial and a statue of a warrior in a courtyard



A building by the River Empress dock.



Typical evening dinner aboard the boat.


The Captain's Farewell Dinner. Barb and Paddy with Captain Doede Smit, and our table, Pat Pascale, Joan Andersen, Barb Lombardi, Paddy Barber, Ed Andersen, and Lou Lombardi.                          Our server, Agnes, was the only female in the dining crew.




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