The day began with a high-speed ferry boat ride on the Danube River to the town of Bratislava in the country of Slovakia. It just so happens that Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia, and is located on the border of Austria and Hungary, which is highly unusual. So one of the very first sights our local guide took us to see was across from the Bratislava Castle—and that was a viewpoint in which you could see three different countries in one glance: Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia.
We were told several times that there is no more “Czechoslovakia”—that was during the Soviet years. Now there are two separate countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
We spent most of the day in old town Bratislava and toured the neoclassical Primate’s Palace with its own, rather small Hall of Mirrors. Most of the rooms were empty of furniture but we did see some well-preserved tapestries, which meant that the colors were still intact and had not faded.
I have to say that outside of the first two days, the weather has been uncomfortably hot and humid, and nowhere is the “air conditioning” really cool except in our hotel rooms. By the end of the day, I’m really wilted and wiped out. However we’ve been told that the weather is going to be cooler as we move to the Prague and Warsaw—thank God for that!
Tonight we’re going to a Mozart and Strauss program in which the performers will be wearing period costumes. However it is doubtful that they are using period instruments but we shall just have to wait and see.