Autumn has arrived in Bratislava. Only last week I wore summer dresses and flip-flops, but this week it’s all scarves, winter coats and boots. When yesterday dawned cold but sunny, I went for a walk with friends in order to enjoy my first Autumn in two years. We walked along the Danube River to Devin Castle.
Devin Castle is only 14 kilometres from Bratislava and is easily accessible by bus from the Old Town. Initially, we followed the Danube until we reached what looked like a private bridge that we couldn’t cross, so we walked the last few kilometres down the main road. While this was not exactly ideal, reaching the castle was more than worth it. In total our walk took around 2 hours, 30 minutes.
Fiercely facing Austria, Devin castle stands just inside the Slovak border where the Danube and Morava rivers converge, and walking by these rivers today is spectacularly peaceful. As we walked – with the ruins of the castle towering upon the crag above us – we saw turbines turning in the fields opposite and people strolling along the Austrian side of the river.
Unbelievably, less than 30 years ago this peaceful river demarcated the Iron Curtain and was heavily guarded by guns and barbed wire. It’s hard to imagine now how people in Slovakia once looked across this small stretch of river and longed for freedom.
We walked around the castle and into the castle grounds. Although Devin is a ruin it is still impressive in itself, and the views from the top are resplendent. As we stood on the highest walls, the sun shone brightly through the dark clouds which had rolled in to steal away the last rays of the day. For a fleeting moment the castle glowed gold above the Danube’s turquoise water.
Getting to Devin
Devin Castle is only a short trip from Bratislava: you can easily do it in half a day if you drive or take the bus, and it is well worth making the effort. Take the 28 or 29 bus from Most SNP – the bus station under the UFO Bridge in the Old Town. There are restaurants in the car park, so you can stop there for lunch. My burger was honestly one of the best I have ever had (and I eat more burgers than I should admit). It was so good that I forgot to take a picture, but you can bet I’m going back for another one! Entrance to the castle is €4 and the bus costs around €1.20 each way, so not only is it close but it is cheap day out too!
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