A Busy Travel Day
We left the great small town of Slavonice early in the morning for a long day trip with several stops along the way. Our first stop was in the town of Trebic to visit the church and the Jewish area of the town. From there we moved to Lednice for lunch. After lunch we had a tour of the beautiful castle and grounds in Lednice. Then the bus continued on for our quick visit to Bratislava in Slovakia.
A Walking Tour Of Trebic
The first stop on our travel day was in Trebic in the region of Moravia. The bus dropped us off on the top of the hill beside the St Procopus Basilica. We walked around the outside and had a chance to take some pictures. The church doors were open so we looked in to catch a glimpse of the church altar through the closed grill gate.
We walked slowly down from the church and into the Jewish quarter. Before WWII there were 15,000 Jews living in this area. Most left the area at the start of the war but 700 stayed. All of the people who stayed behind were sent to concentration camps. Only one person came back. Today there are only a very small number of Jews living in the town.
We got a chance to visit one of the two synagogues in the town. It is now unused. But it was restored as a museum including a room to commemorate the Jewish story. The Zadni Synagogue restoration brought back the colourful murals. The walls and ceiling told us a rich story.
Connected to the synagogue was a house also set up as a museum. Our guide talked about various aspects of the Jewish faith and home life. This was the guide’s first tour group. He got a little help from a Jewish woman in our group. On the street level there was a shop.
Both the St Procopus Basilica and the Jewish Quarter have been designated as UNESCO sites. It is a reminder of the Jewish history in this part of Europe. Definitely an interesting stop before our quick visit to Bratislava.
Another Beautiful Czech Castle
We continued to zigzag around the Czech countryside. Our next stop on our way to our quick visit to Bratislava was in the town of Lednice. We had a great lunch and rest before we headed out to walk around the castle and grounds in Lednice. The outside of the castle, church and grounds were beautiful
But the inside was stunning. We got to see a little of castle life and the magnificence of the decorations of the period. Certainly one of our favourite castles in the Czech Republic.
Our tour of the castle in Lednice on the way to our quick visit in Bratislava was certainly was a great stop. Even if it did cut into the time we would have when we arrived in Bratislava.
Our First Night In Bratislava
We finally arrived for our quick visit in Bratislava at about 5pm. After a short break to get settled in, we headed out on foot for dinner. We walked along the river. This gave us a great view of the Bratislava tower – a building that looked like a UFO with a restaurant and observation tower on top. We really wanted to go up for a panoramic view but we just ran out of time in Bratislava. Up on the hill we got a view of the Bratislava Castle.
It was a great night for a walk both ways along the river. Bratislava sits on the Danube River and is a regular stop the river cruise agendas. We saw many large cruise tour groups around the city.
The Churches Of Bratislava
There was only one full day booked for Bratislava. We were met early in the morning by our local tour guide for the day. And marched around the old town. We learned a bit about this town and country. And how it was different from its partner country the Czech Republic.
We started our tour at the Jewish Memorial that sits on the site that used to be a synagogue. This synagogue sat right by a church and a mosque in a past time when there was much more religious tolerance.
Next we got a view of St Martins Cathedral. This was used as a coronation church by many leaders. We saw the crown at the top of the spire. As we walked in old town we came across crowns in the walkway that marked the coronation path.
We learned a little of the history of this city on our quick visit to Bratislava.
The Buildings Of Bratislava
On our walk about the Old Town of Bratislava we saw the only remaining original gate into the walled city. Michaels Gate is one of the oldest structures in Bratislava. As we neared the main square, we saw the town hall. This yellow building still had cannonballs in it from the time of Napoleon.
As with our visit to the Czech Republic, we found the buildings in the cities and towns to be beautiful. We snapped some pictures. But it was amazing how jaded we became. By the time we got to Budapest, we barely looked at the stunning architecture. A sure sign that we will need to return to these cities when we are not saturated with amazing architectural views.
There was so much to see on a walk around town on a quick visit to Bratislava in Slovakia.
Art In The City
As we walked around the old town of Bratislava, we came across one after another interesting statue. The statues sat in the shade under trees and in the open squares. The Hviezdoslav statue (a famous Slovak poet) in the square had a fountain and reflecting pond in front.
We came across 3 of 4 most interesting modern statues in Bratislava. The first we discovered was the Soldier. Everyone wanted to sit on the bench as he peered over. The second one that drew the tourists was the lover Ignac Lamar. Some said he went quite mad with unrequited love. We stopped to see the Cumil Man At Work statue as he peered up from the manhole in the ground. The final of the group was the Paparazzi. It is located in the UFO tower temporarily until it can be returned to the town square. And we never did get to see this last statue on our quick visit to Bratislava.
There was statue art everywhere we looked on our quick visit to Bratislava!
Finishing Up Bratislava With Food
The afternoon was time off for us to explore on our own. The non-stop pace of our first Overseas Adventure Tours (OAT) trip had tired us out and we needed to slow things down for the afternoon. We wandered at our leisurely pace (really my slow pace) and looked for a spot for lunch.
We stopped at a couple of restaurants that had been recommended. But finally found a great Italian place (Rio Grande). We had maybe the best meal of the trip to that point. We started with salad. The black ink risotto was outstanding. And we finally got a full plate of grilled vegetables. Veggies had been in very short supply during our trip through the Czech Republic. For desert we hunted down a gelato spot that had been recommended. It was a great way to finish our Italian meal.
Late in the day when we were waiting for our evening with the group, we stopped downstairs in the Hotel Devin bar. I had a great cappuccino and the prettiest apple strudel.
The bus picked us up and we were off again. Dinner that night was out in the country in the small town of Ludvik at the Stary Dom winery. We were taken into an old cellar and seated for dinner. Before we were served we got to taste three different wines from the region. We loved the rosé wine so much we bought two bottles to take with us. It was a great dinner at the winery on our quick visit to Bratislava.
On our quick visit to Bratislava, we absolutely ate well.
Our Quick Visit To Bratislava Was Too Short
We had a busy travel day on our way from Slavonice in the Czech Republic to Bratislava. When we left to travel to Budapest it was another day filled with great stops along the way. Our first stop after we left Bratislava was at the restored Roman town of Carnuntum in Austria. The second stop was at the small town of Gyor in Hungary.
But these great day trips left Bratislava squeezed into 2 nights and one day. We found we really liked the small city of Bratislava. As a member of the EU it was doing well economically. The food was great. And we finally were back on the Euro currency! Bratislava reminded us of Verona, one of our favourite small towns in Italy that we like to use as a long term base.
Bratislava is a short distance from Prague, Budapest and Vienna. We certainly felt this might be a great base to use for future trips around this region. We might even look at a river cruise that would bring us back. Our short visit to Bratislava in Slovakia just left us wanting more.
Have you done a quick visit to Bratislava? Did you leave wanting more?