Follow by Email

Friday, May 12, 2017

Beautiful Bratislava, Slovakia

Last week we were pleased to attend the annual conference of International Pastors and spouses, this time in Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria. We had never been to Slovakia so were delighted to add a new country to our list of places visited. We had heard about the ministry there for years having had close friends who had served there so it was a special thrill to see the good work that the Lutheran church is doing there through church ministry and a school.
The town of Bratislava is charming and beautiful and cheap! All of us from more expensive European capitals were quite delighted with how far our money could go.
Cheap beer
Several pastors stuck their shoe by their adopted home city.
The tour of the old town provided a glimpse into the history. St. Michael's gate welcomes you to the charm and beauty of the old town.Beautiful buildings, castles, and sights delighted the senses.
One of the saddest bits of the tour was learning that the Communists had simply torn down the synagogue in order to build a highway. UGH. Such short-sightedness. There is now a memorial to the Jewish people killed in the holocaust...almost no survivors from Bratislava, and a mural that depicts the long-gone synagogue.
As with all European old towns, the charming squares, caf├ęs and cobbled streets dazzled. Mozart and Listz, among others, played here as small children. The connection to Vienna and Budapest was fascinating to learn about.
Bratislava has the most delightful collection of statues.
Hans Christian Anderson. Touch his hand for creative inspiration
A joy to run into them along the way.
One of Napolean's soldiers, left behind for love

We took a ride along the Danube one afternoon and while you could appreciate the beauty the rain definitely put a damper on the view. We arrived at the Devin castle but were water-logged so didn't spend time walking around. 

We could've spent a great deal more time here but we had to get onto Vienna. Loved thinking of our friends who had served here and imaging how enjoyable it would've been for them to live here. The church where the International community meets is beautiful and displays a large painting of reformation history in Slovakia. 
Our hosts were the pastor and intern of the Bratislava International church and teachers at the school there. We had not met them before and it was delightful to welcome them to this group that has meant so much to us through the years.
Next stop was Vienna, where our good friend, Matthew, is the pastor of the Methodist church there. 
Always time for ice cream with my buddy Matthew! Tried the poppy seed/cherry. Not my favorite but good to try! Poppy seed is best used as a garnish rather than a main ingredients, but the Slovaks love it!
We were very blessed to attend the conference once again. The big joke was that this was our third "last" conference with this group.
I'm grateful. Loved being in Bratislava with these fine folks.