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Friday was spent travelling up-river along the Danube, towards our first stop at Vienna. Soon after leaving Budapest we entered Slovakia, and cruised through Bratislava, to which we would return the next day for a closer look at the old city which is now Europe’s newest capital. Friday evening we arrived in Vienna, and were entertained at a classical concert at Arsenal Palace – not exactly our usual choice of entertainment, but enjoyable nonetheless!

Here’s a few pics from Friday’s travel, Saturday morning’s visit to Bratislava, and our walk around the centre of Vienna in the afternoon …

The Scenic Jewel left Budapest on Thursday evening, and we spent  Friday cruising up the Danube and getting used to shipboard life.  Only a few locks, of 68 on our trip to Amsterdam, on our first night and day.  Here the gates on an upstream one are closing behing us, and we'll soon be rising about 10 metres.  It's really slow and easy - much different to the tiny manual locks on our trip to the French canals in Bourgougne last year.

The Scenic Jewel left Budapest on Thursday evening, and we spent Friday cruising up the Danube and getting used to shipboard life. Only a few locks, of 68 on our trip to Amsterdam, on our first night and day. Here the gates on an upstream one are closing behing us, and we’ll soon be rising about 10 metres. It’s really slow and easy – much different to the tiny manual locks on our trip to the French canals in Bourgougne last year.

Bratislava Castle, high on a hill above Europe's newest capital city in Slovakia.  We passed this on our way to Vienna, and returned by bus for a visit the next day - but not to the castle itself, which is very hard to get to, and reportedly not very interesting if you do manage to make it up there.

Bratislava Castle, high on a hill above Europe’s newest capital city in Slovakia. We passed this on our way to Vienna, and returned by bus for a visit the next day – but not to the castle itself, which is very hard to get to, and reportedly not very interesting if you do manage to make it up there.

A modern bridge across the Danube in Vienna.

A modern bridge across the Danube in Vienna.

Bratislava has a number of interesting stutues, which add a different feel to the old town centre.  This one is "Napoleon's Soldier", and is located in the main square outside the French Embassy.

Bratislava has a number of interesting stutues, which add a different feel to the old town centre. This one is “Napoleon’s Soldier”, and is located in the main square outside the French Embassy.

Another of Bratislava's unusual sculptures: this bronze sculpture of a man peeping out of the manhole is titled "The Watcher - Man at Work". His name is Čumil and he is either resting after cleaning the sewer or is looking under women's skirts. The statue lost its head twice due to inattentive drivers, before a special road sign was placed next to it.

Another of Bratislava’s unusual sculptures: this bronze sculpture of a man peeping out of the manhole is titled “The Watcher – Man at Work”. His name is Čumil and he is either resting after cleaning the sewer or is looking under women’s skirts. The statue lost its head twice due to inattentive drivers, before a special road sign was placed next to it.

Another of the statues in Bratislava - and there are several of this character.  This one is located outside Cafe Mayer, on a corner of the main square.  The character is Ignác Lamár, nicknamed Schöner Náci, who became famous due to his habit of walking through the streets of the city in an elegant suit and top hat. He bowed in front of ladies and gave them flowers or sang. If you look into his hat, you will see the inscription "Only with those who understand you, you can fully enjoy your life."

Another of the statues in Bratislava – and there are several of this character. This one is located outside Cafe Mayer, on a corner of the main square. The character is Ignác Lamár, nicknamed Schöner Náci, who became famous due to his habit of walking through the streets of the city in an elegant suit and top hat. He bowed in front of ladies and gave them flowers or sang.
If you look into his hat, you will see the inscription “Only with those who understand you, you can fully enjoy your life.”

Vienna skyline

A different view of the skyline in the centre of Vienna.

No kangaroos

Been there – but didn’t get the t-shirt!

Mozart statue, Vienna

Austria’s most famous son! Every place where he spent more than 30 minutes claims a connection to him; but the most important are Salzburg, where he was born, and Vienna, where he spent most of his life.

Scenic Jewel in Vienna

It’s very busy on the rivers in mid-summer; and at some places there may be dozens of cruisers moored together. Here is our ship, Scenic Jewel, in the centre of three at Vienna.

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