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Phil & Carol on the Danube: Bratislava, Slovakia

Slovakia is the east part of what was Czecheslovakia, and Bratislava, its capital, is a quaint old city with lots of alleys, cafes, and outdoor restaurants. This city was where Liszt, Beethoven, and Mozart held concerts. Liszt actually started his career here.

Slovakia borders Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine. Since the fall of communism, the “old town” part of Bratislava abounds with charming houses and buildings that have been restored and repainted.

There is some interesting public art in this town. Much of this is in the form of statues. Back when mini-skirts became popular, there was a local artist who enjoyed the view. But as he was walking around town one day, he realized that the sewer workers were very slow in going down into and coming up out of their manholes. Then it dawned on him…they, too, were enjoying the view. So he created a statue called “Man Working” (see picture).

Another is of a famous Frenchman who lived here. He was a struggling businessman in France and was having all kinds of problems because of French government regulations. Finally he moved to Bratislava and eventually became very successful. He then commissioned a very special statue to be constructed in one of the squares in town–a man leaning over a park bench. Oh, yes… it just so happens that his butt is toward the French embassy!

Today we walked up to the palace that overlooks the city, and we took pictures. The palace dates back to 1760 and now the president lives there. The view of the city and of the Danube River is dramatic.

Bratislava, Slovakia

We stopped at a few kiosks where the locals were selling their handmade crafts. Again, we found something for Oathen (grandson): a wooden toy puzzle with the English Alphabet on it.

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