WJ Tested: Slovakia – Uniworld Bratislava City Tour

WJ Tested: Slovakia – Uniworld Bratislava City Tour

Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Included Bratislava City Tour

WJ Tested: Slovakia - Uniworld Bratislava City Tour

WJ Tested: Slovakia – Uniworld Bratislava City Tour

Day 13:
Uniworld River Princess cruised the Danube River through the night from Budapest in Hungary towards Bratislava in Slovakia. Although our arrival in Slovakia’s capital city wasn’t scheduled until around noon, we were up bright and early for the 7:30 a.m. arrival at Gabcikovo Hydroelectric Dam and Lock.

River Princess Going Through Gabcikovo Hydroelectric Lock

River Princess Going Through Gabcikovo Hydroelectric Lock

Once River Princess traversed the lock it was time for us to enjoy the delicious breakfast buffet in the restaurant.

Bratislava Main Square

Bratislava Main Square

Did You Know?… Slovakia:

  • Has a population of over 5 million
  • Is a member of the European Union
  • Is located in Central Europe, south of Poland
  • Bratislava is the capital and largest city
  • On January 1, 1993 Slovakia and the Czech Republic split into two national components (previously known as Czechoslovakia)
  • Most of the country is mountainous (Tatra Mountains) with lowlands in the south
  • Slovak is the official language
  • Nearly 70% of population is Catholic
  • Is rich in caves and caverns and has 9 national parks
  • Is rich in legends and folklore

    Bratislava City Tour

    Bratislava City Tour

At 10:00 a.m. we joined Cruise Manager Heiner Schmidt in the lounge for a disembarkation briefing followed by his port talk about tour options in Vienna the following day.

Bratislava in Slovakia

Bratislava in Slovakia

Bratislava – History:

  • Is both the capital city and largest city (pop. 460,000) of Slovakia
  • Is in southwestern Slovakia
  • Borders Austria and Hungary
  • Occupies both banks of the Danube River and the left bank of the Morava River
  • Has a long history of occupation and influence by many different groups – Celts, Romans, Germans, Hungarians, Jews & Slovaks
  • Is the cultural, political and economic hub of the entire country
  • Was originally known at Pressburg

    Slovak National Theatre

    Slovak National Theatre

Hans Christian Anderson Statue

Hans Christian Anderson Statue

Arriving in  Bratislava as scheduled, we had time to relax and enjoy a lovely lunch in the restaurant before meeting our local guide for the 90-minute walking tour of the old city.

Statue of Hviezdoslav

Statue of Hviezdoslav

The “Gentle Walkers” group was able to take a 60-minute choo-choo ride around the city and many of us were quite envious due to the high temperature (38+C/100+F) that afternoon.

Bratislava Choo-Choo Train Tour

Bratislava Choo-Choo Train Tour

Bratislava – Top 6 Must See/Do:

  • Stroll through the traffic-free Old Town and eat at one of the local restaurants
  • Tour Bratislava Castle high upon the hill
  • Check out House at The Good Shepherd – a 1760’s rococo house with interesting features
  • Tour Devin Castle (national cultural monument) at the foot of a cliff above the confluence of the Danube and Morava Rivers
  • Go to the opera at the Slovak National Theatre
  • Tour the Primatial Palace (Primate’s Palace)

    Primatial Palace

    Primatial Palace

Following the guided tour we had the remainder of the afternoon to explore on our own.

Cumil

Cumil

Uniworld offered passengers an optional tour (Folklore Show Carpathian Gateway) in the afternoon, but we decided to spend time enjoying the sidewalk cafes and bars and drink beer with the locals.

Michael's Gate & Cafes

Michael’s Gate & Cafes

Local Specialties and Treats:

  • Bryndzové halušky – spatzle-like dumplings with sheep’s cheese
  • Garlic soup
  • Skalický trdelník – a traditional cake and sweet pastry from the Slovak town of Skalica
  • Slovak white wine
  • Slovak beer – Zlatý Bažant
  • Borovička – a strong spirit made from juniper berries
  • Kofola – the national Slovak soft drink

    Zlatý Bažant (Golden Pheasant) Slovak Beer

    Zlatý Bažant (Golden Pheasant) Slovak Beer

We made sure to be back on board for the very interesting Signature Lecture  “Musical Magic along the Danube” by Edward Kudlak that was held in the lounge between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle

As tonight was our last night without evening shore excursions the Captain’s Farewell Dinner was the highlight for the evening. The evening started by joining fellow passengers at 6:30 p.m. in the lounge for the Captain’s Farewell Reception in the lounge, followed by a delightful dinner in the restaurant.

Bratislava Main Square Fountain

Bratislava Main Square Fountain

We were then entertained with a concert by the “Pressburger Duo”  from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the lounge. And as River Princess set sail for Vienna in Austria, onboard musician Freddy played the rest of the night away.

Bratislava Castle at Night

Bratislava Castle at Night

Bratislava at Night

Bratislava at Night

If You Go:

Continue Reading WAVEJourney’s Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review:

Cruise Overview | Bucharest | Peles Castle | Bran Castle | Bucharest City Tour | Uniworld River Princess | Giurgiu: Embarkation | Rousse to Varna & the Black Sea | Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi | Captain’s Welcome Gala | Vidin, Belogradchik & Baba Vida Fortress | Iron Gates | Donji Milanovac | Viminacium Archaeological Site | Sava River | Belgrade City Tour | Deck Dining | Vukovar & Osijek | Cruising the Danube to Budapest | Budapest City Tour | Budapest Parliament Building Guided Tour | Gabcikovo Hydroelectric Dam and Lock | Bratislava City Tour | Captain’s Farewell Dinner | Vienna City Tour |

Notes: WAVEJourney travelled from Bucharest to Vienna as guests of Uniworld River Cruise Collection from July 25 to August 8, 2012.

 

 

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