Historically, the country presently called Slovakia was a battlefield for the ambitions of Hungary, Austria, and the Turkish Empire. In 1918 it became part of the country called Czechoslovakia. In 1989 the decision was made to split that country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Finally, in 1993 Bratislava became the capital of the new state of Slovakia. Since then, it has enjoyed its role as a bridge between Eastern and Western Europe.
Bratislava is only an hour’s drive from Vienna, and an interesting thing we learned is that the locals often go there to take advantage of lower prices, especially opera tickets—in fact, a local bus leaves Vienna to transport people to and from the opera every Saturday night.
As with all other locations we’ve visited, there is a fortress high above the city—Schlosshof Castle/Palace once owned by Prince Eugene, military leader of the Habsburg Empire.
We walked through the Old Town, then leisurely returned to the ship to prepare for our Farewell Gala Dinner…hard to believe the cruise was about to come to an end–how could 15 days have gone by so quickly!
Next and final River Cruise stop: Budapest, Hungary