Our day in Slovakia and its capital city Bratislava brought us many surprises. We toured the older section of the city including the seat of the Slovak government next to Bratislava Castle. Bratislava Castle dates back to the 10th century with a great deal of history which is easily found online. Bratislava Castle and its surrounding area has been beautifully restored by the Slovak government. Below is a photo of the Castle positioned on a hilltop high above the city.
From the castle you have great views of the city below including the Apollo Bridge and the Bratislava's unusual New Bridge. The unique New Bridge design boasts the UFO Cafe with a 360 degree panaroma of Bratislava.
Also unique in design, the Apollo Bridge is a modern span across the Danube which was built as a single span on one bank of the Danube and "slid" into place.
We found the Paparazzi Restaurant in the lower old town section of the city. Its signature piece of sculpture stands just outside the restaurant as a tribute to the Italian photographer Paparazzo, the first paparazzi. We enjoyed visiting with the staff and consuming their refreshments.
During the Cold War and Communist rule, Slovakia was part of Czechslovakia. Our guide grew up in Bratislava and related how the Russians, always present, stayed in the background while the Czech Communist party members were the visible authorities. From Bratislava Castle she pointed out the high rise apartments constructed south of the Danube during the Communist rule as well as the not too distant Austrian border. The border however is separated from the city by cleared land that previously was well patroled to discourage flight.
Keywords: Apollo Bridge, Bratislava, Bratislava Castle, New Bridge, Paparazzi, Slovakia, Viking, Viking River Cruises
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