danube river

The Danube River as it runs through Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, on the evening of October 15, 2014. This is looking more or less southeast, downriver. The picture below is from underneath the New Bridge on the western shore of the Danube River.

I shot the image from the 95 meter (312 feet) UFO Outlook Tower, a classic of 1970’s communist architecture reminiscent of Skopje.

The bridge was built between 1967 and 1972 under a project managed by A. Tesár, J. Lacko, and I. Slameň. It officially opened on August 26, 1972, as the second bridge over the Danube in Bratislava. A significant section of the Old Town below Bratislava Castle, which included nearly all of the Jewish quarter, was demolished to create the roadway that led to it; on the other hand, the bridge improved access between Petržalka and the rest of the city. Parts of the historical city walls were unearthed during construction.

Located on the west shore of the river and anchoring the “seventh largest cable-stayed bridge in the world” the viewing platform is accessed by a rather stomach-turning elevator ride up the inside of one of the pillars. You can feel the elevator sway and lurch in the shaft. It is worth the ride however, because the view of the city from the top is incredible.

No matter that Slovakia is part of the European Union, it is still eastern Europe. A lot has changed in the nineteen years since I was here last but the underlying flavor has not, thank God. I’m sure that flavor will be gone before the next nineteen years have passed as Slovakia is powering headlong into the blandness of modern Europe – and considering the not-so-distant past, that is probably only a good thing.

I’m in my usual end-of-the-trip funk where I’m exhausted from all the action and alone in a hotel a bit overwhelmed with all my pictures and notebooks, missing my new friends that I made on this trip, missing other old friends scattered all over Europe…while at the same time desperate to get back to my kiddos who I miss more than anyone. I’ll wander around Bratislava today, eat some gulash and figure out how to get my butt to the Vienna airport at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

So ends my first (of many to come) European Wilderness Trip.

Vienna – Frankfurt – Chicago – Denver – two hour car drive to my mother’s house….hell, its going to be a long day.

danube river

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9 comments

  1. Comment by Daniela

    Daniela Reply October 16, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Beautiful Photos Jim. What amazing experience and opportunity for you!! 🙂

  2. Comment by Taos Rag

    Taos Rag Reply October 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for all of your posts. In 1970 I went to the then Czechoslovakia. What a trip it was – crossing from Germany was an experience. Huge fences and lots of armed order guards. We drove an old DKW with a peace sign painted on the trunk – They wanted to know all about it. Praha – oh my god. nothing had been built since the early 1930s when the Nazis invaded – cobble stone roads – no traffic and nothing but old, old cars and of course that lousy Soviet car. Drank beer at the Golden Bear pub. The Czechs – when they found out we were Americans would buy our food at restaurants. In general they were very pissed off at the Soviets – actually beyond pissed off. Anyway what an experience. Take care. ron hagg

  3. Comment by Taos Rag

    Taos Rag Reply October 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for all of your posts. In 1970 I went to the then Czechoslovakia. What a trip it was – crossing from Germany was an experience. Huge fences and lots of armed order guards. We drove an old DKW with a peace sign painted on the trunk – They wanted to know all about it. Praha – oh my god. nothing had been built since the early 1930s when the Nazis invaded – cobble stone roads – no traffic and nothing but old, old cars and of course that lousy Soviet car. Drank beer at the Golden Bear pub. The Czechs – when they found out we were Americans would buy our food at restaurants. In general they were very pissed off at the Soviets – actually beyond pissed off. Anyway what an experience. Take care. ron hagg

  4. Comment by Jim O'Donnell

    Jim O'Donnell Reply October 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    What a great experience Ron! Thank you for sharing that!

    • Comment by ron hagg

      ron hagg Reply October 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Jim – I guess you can see I went to Praha twice in 1970 – lol.

  5. Comment by ron hagg

    ron hagg Reply October 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Jim – I guess you can see I went to Praha twice in 1970 – lol.

  6. Comment by ron hagg

    ron hagg Reply October 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Damn got caught in the loop again. lol

  7. Pingback: More Pictures of Beautiful Bratislava by Night

  8. Pingback: More from Jim O’Donnell | El Portal

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