Eastern Europe Travel Part II(Bratislava and Parndorf Designer Outlet)

Eastern Europe Travel Part II(Bratislava, Parndorf Designer Outlet and Vienna)

Day 3  Thursday 15 October 2015

Journey to Bratislava and Vienna from Budapest(203 km)

Map showing coach-route from Budapest to Bratislava, Parndorf Designer Outlets and Vienna

At 8.45 in the morning we all put our luggage in the coach and left our hotel, Hotel Budapest, in Budapest City. Before we left for Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, we went to a hill, Gellert Hill, to have a last look of the whole city of Budapest.

Loading our luggage into the coach outside Budapest Hotel before leaving for Bratislava

Gellert Hill

40 minutes later, we were on the hill. Standing on a vantage point, we saw the panoramic view of Budapest City and River Danube running through it in the middle. But, unfortunately, the city was covered with thin mist.

Panoramic view of Budapest City from Gellert Hill on a misty morning

Choo Chaw and wife on Gellert Hil and Budapest City in the background

Wong and wife on Gellert Hill and Budapest City in the background

Little Hungarian Plains(Kisalford)

Then we started our journey to Bratislava. On the way we passed through harvested farmlands and saw some tall wind-turbines generating pollution-free electricity in the distance in Little Hungarian Plains(Kisalford) in north-western Hungary.

Hungary-Slovakia Border

Soon we arrived at the Hungary-Slovakia border where John, our coach-driver, had to buy Slovakian road-tax for his coach. There was no passport-check at the border as both countries are members of the European Union.

Harvested cornfield in north-western Hungary as seen from our coach

Wind-turbines in Little Hungarian Plains(Kisalfold) in north-western Hungary

Tour-coach arriving at the Hungary-Slovakia border

 

Bratislava, Slovakia

Several minutes later, we continued our journey to Bratislava. Bratislava has a population of 500000 people and, like Budapest, is a political, cultural and economic centre in Slovak Republic.

Main entrance to Bratislava Castle, Castle Hill, Bratislava, Slovakia

On arrival at the city, we went up a small hill of 85 metres, Castle Hill, above River Danube to see a historical castle known as Bratislava Castle.

Parliament Building

Right in front of the main entrance of the castle was a modern block-shaped building that houses National Council or National Parliament of Slovak Republic. Besides, there were two red vehicles, bus and train, waiting for tourists who wanted to tour round Bratislava Castle.

Parliament Building of Slovak Republic, Bratislava, Slovakia

Antique bus waiting for tourists for a Bratislava Castle tour

Train waiting for tourists for a Bratislava Castle tour

Maria Theresa(1717-1780)

Several castles were built, destroyed and rebuilt on Castle Hill by successive conquerors from 9th. till 18th. Centuries.

When Maria Theresa became Queen of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1740, she spent much time staying in Bratislava Castle and improving it for better living. She died in 1780.

Queen Maria Theresa(1717-1780)

Then in 1783 the seat of central authorities of the Kingdom of Hungary in Bratislava(or Pressburg) was moved to Budapest, and the castle became a barracks for 1500 soldiers. In 1818, the castle was burnt down by a careless soldier and it was not restored until about 150 years later. Restoration began in 1957 and completed in 1968.

Tour-manager, Joyanne, describing Bratislava Castle with the help of the information on the board

Tea family on the cobbled pathway to Bratislava Castle behind them

Chang and wife on cobbled pathway to Bratislava Castle behind them

 

Plan and Information on Bratislava Castle

After entering the main entrance, we walked up a cobbled pathway to the castle on the hill. Then we stopped for a while to listen to our tour-manager, Joyanne, describing the castle with the help of a plan and information given on a board hanging on a stone-wall along the pathway. Several minutes later, we continued walking to the top to see Bratislava Castle which was restored in 1968.

An entrance-gate to Bratislava Castle with sculptures of suits of armours atop

Bratislava Castle on top of Castle Hill, Bratislava, Slovakia

Tour-members in front of Bratislava Castle

 

The restored Bratislava Castle is a large rectangular building with four towers, one in each corner. The building is painted white and its roof red. In its courtyard there is a 80 metre-deep well that was used in the olden days. The castle now houses the presentation rooms for National Council(Parliament) of Slovak Republic, rooms for the president and Slovak National Museum.

Choo Chaw and wife at Bratislava Castle

Courtyard of Bratislava Castle, Castle Hill, Bratislava

An 80 metre-deep well in the courtyard of Bratislava Castle used in the olden years

 

Statue of King Svatopluk I

In the Honorary Courtyard in front of the castle main entrance is a statue of King Svatopluk I on horseback on a high pedestal. It was erected there in 2010 when the courtyard was completely reconstructed. King Svatopluk I(840-894) was the ruler of Great Moravian Empire in Central Europe which expanded greatly during his reign from 870 till 894.

Statue of King Svatopluk I of Moravia(840-894) in the Honorary Courtyard front of Bratislava Castle

West Terrace

Adjacent to Bratislava Castle is West Terrace which is a U-shaped triple-storey building. It is on a lower ground. Now it is an information centre of Chancellery of the Nation Council(Slovakia Parliament) and exposition place.

West Terrace adjacent to Bratislava Castle, Castle Hill, Bratislava

View of Budapest City

A panoramic view of Bratislava City, River Danube and  Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising(Most NSP) can be seen from Bratislava Castle. We were unlucky to see the city in the distance covered with some mist.

Panoramic view of Bratislava City, River Danube and modern bridge as seen from Bratislava Castle on a misty day

Parndorf Designer Outlet

At 1.30 p.m. we left Bratislava Castle in Slovakia and travelled west. 15 minutes later, we arrived at the Slovakia-Austria border where John, our coach-driver, had to buy Austrian road-tax for his vehicle and there was no passport-check. A few minutes later, we continued our journey.

Coach arriving at Slovakia-Austria border where there is no passport-check

Plan of the Parndorf Designer Outlet, Austria

Map showing McArthur Glen Designer Outlets in Europe and North America

 

At 2.30 p.m. we arrived at Parndorf Designer Outlet. It consists of about 130 shopping stores selling designer goods ranging from accessories, jewellery and perfumes to clothing and footwear at cheaper prices. This is one of the 21 outlets in Europe and North America belonging to McArthur Glen Group that was established in 1933.

Stores at Parndorf Outlet, Austria

Stores at Parndorf Designer Outlet, Austria

Stores at Parndorf Designer Outlet

 

We took our lunch at the outlet before we started shopping. Then we spent about two hours at the outlet. At 4.30 p.m. we left the place and continued our journey to Vienna.

Stores at Parndorf Designer Outlet

Stores at Parndorf Designer Outlet

Stores at Parndorf Designer Outlet

 

Restaurant China Le Wei and Hotel Exe Vienna

Soon we reached Vienna City at 5.30 p.m. and went to a restaurant, Restaurant China Le Wei, direct. In the restaurant, we sat down for a Chinese dinner. We were joined by two assistant tour-managers, Wong and Wing. After dinner we went to Hotel Exe Vienna in Ottakringer Street in the city and stayed there for a night

Tour-group having dinner at Restaurant China Le Wei in Vienna, Austria

Hotel Exe Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Assistant tour-managers, Wong and Wing, having dinner together with tour-members at Restaurant China Le Wei in Vienna, Austria

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Eastern Europe Travel(13-20 October 2015):

Part I(Budapest)

Part II(Bratislava & Pandorf Designer Outlet)

Part III(Vienna)

Part IV(Vienna II)

Part V(Brno)

Part VI(Prague)

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