March 24, 2019
Had a nice long morning on the river, breakfast in bed (a Crystal amenity) delivered by our personal butler (also a Crystal exclusive). Watched from our Panoramic balcony as the ship pulled into Bratislava early afternoon.
Today we are signed up for a Crystal excursion to Bratislava Castle & Beer Tour. It’s Monday and the castle is closed today, so our motor coach drove us from the ship up to the Castle for a walk around the grounds and back to the bus to head into the old town area and beer tasting at a local pub.
The town is small and heavily tourist driven which accounts for the high rate of pick-pocketing that occurs here. Apparently they carry maps to blend in as tourists looking for unsuspecting travelers who are easy marks. The beer tasting was as expected. Slovakian beers are not my favorite, but enjoyed the time in the pub with fellow travelers and the pretzel.
Overall, Bratislava was not my favorite stop on this itinerary. You are surrounded by remnants of the past Soviet occupation. It was a chilly day and overcast, but my recollection of being there is stereotypically in black and white. Our suggestion in Bratislava, if we were to stop here again, is a historical tour, ie. concentration camp or religious based tour. There is not enough to see on the Bratislava highlight tour and town visit, even if the Castle was open.
Back at the ship, we enjoyed local Slovakian musicians that evening after dinner. Members of the Slovakian orchestra, they are our most memorable and enjoyable experience from our visit to Bratislava.
Tomorrow on to lower Austria and the Danube Valley…..