From Bratislava, Slovakia
CRUISING DOWN THE DANUBE ON FOUR WHEELS
The idea about this entire trip was conceived last fall (2016) as a possible cruise down Europe’s longest river. When that did not pan out, Placido Domingo’s AIDA became the magnet that drew us to Vienna. Spending some quality time with my family there was an extra special bonus. And then when we sold my Rainbow Shower property in Maui, having worked like slaves for a month to make it happen, Elizabeth and I decided to go on this European trip, including this “cruise on four wheels” as our “reward” for all the hard work.
OUR FIRST STOP: BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA
This morning, we made it from Vienna to Bratislava in no time at all, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is only about 50 miles (80 km) away from Vienna. Neither of us had been there before, so we had no idea what to expect.
It would appear that the most attractive feature of this city was a castle that towered prominently over it. So we headed there and spent about an hour or so sightseeing it and the surrounding area.
The historical plaque states that the area has been inhabited since the stone age. But the first historical record dates back to 907 AD.
Anyway, it was an interesting stop, but after London, Granada, Vienna and Salzburg a little underwhelming.
LEAVING BRATISLAVA WAS MUCH HARDER THAN GETTING THERE
We soon discovered that LEAVING Bratislava was a lot more challenging than getting there. Because their road signs were rare to non-existent. Evidently they don’t get many tourists who drive themselves and have to find their own way. Or if they, they don’t care if they frustrate the visitors.
Partly it was our fault, though. Since this was supposed to be “a cruise down the Danube on four wheels”, we did not want to just take the freeway Bratislava to Budapest, our next destination. Instead, we were hoping to follow the river taking the back roads, the way people used to travel in the old days. And we tried to do it all without a detailed map, traveling mostly on intuition and a general sense of direction and geography.
Needless to say, we had to make a number of detours but eventually we did find the bridge over the Danube near Medvedov where we crossed into Hungary.