We weren’t due to arrive at Bratislava until early in the afternoon and so we spent the morning on the boat watching the world go by.
For the most part it was just beautiful tree lined banks with the odd fisherman here and there thrown in for a bit of variety. Then we could see in the distance something that initially looked like a small town but as we got closer it was clear it was something else entirely.
It turned out to be the Gabčíkovo Dam and hydro electric station. Part of the dam was a huge lock. And I mean massive. It was big enough to hold two river cruise boats and was incredibly deep. You felt like you were being swallowed up by it and felt vaguely reminiscent of the lair of a Bond baddie.
Despite its size it still filled up within 10-15 minutes and then we were on our way again. It really was an amazing place.
Like with many new places we visit we find the best way to see things is with a self-guided walking tour. We use the GPSmyCity app for this as it comes pre-populated with many routes for most cities. So we stepped off the boat and within a few minutes we were are the bottom of the steep hill leading up the Bratislava’s castle. Unfortunately when we reached the top we discovered that it was closed so we headed back down and in to the Old Town.
The tour took us to many interesting places but the last thing you want is to be staring at your phone’s screen and miss out on anything enroute. And so it was that we found ourselves unexpectedly in places off the route where we had been so engrossed with the view we’d overshot where we were aiming for.
One particular highlight was the Church of St Elizabeth of Hungary, more commonly known as ‘the Blue Church’ for obvious reasons as you can see below.
The weather was much hotter than we had expected and so I felt somewhat overdressed in my shirt and jeans but it was perfect weather for an ice cream. We went to a cashpoint machine to get out some cash but made a mistake in asking for €50 and got in return a €50 note which nobody was going to take. We tried in vain to find away to split it but to no avail so we ended up with a large note and no ice cream. 😢
Back on board we returned to our cabin in the evening to find a letter from the cruise director waiting on the bed for us. Basically this said that the boat was going to have to go into dry dock on Friday for engine repairs and we would need to be off the boat by 8am and couldn’t return again unil 6pm. Keeping ourselves amused for that length of time in a small town is going to be challenging but we aren’t being given any choice (other than a long coach ride to Salzburg which we had already rejected) so have to lump it. It will be interesting to see if they find they can’t fix the engines…