Our first stop, after boarding in Budapest, on our AmaWaterways Danube River Cruise was Bratislava the capital of Slovakia. The cobblestone streets and rich Baroque architecture are prevalent throughout the city. We ventured outside the city for a special wine event, with our host, Chris Pearmund, Lisa Braden winery manager, and winemaker Ashton Lough of Pearmund Cellars, to a town in the Lower Carpathian Mountains called Svaty Jur. The winery, Chowaniec & Krajvirovic was literally in the catacombs under a medieval building in this quaint town. Our host was very animated and not only gave us a great deal of Slovakian wine education but an interesting history of this once communist Russia controlled country (fortunately through an interpreter). We sampled a number of quality whites along with local bread and cheese. This country, like Hungary, has a strong influence from the Hapsburg Monarchy dating from 1636 to 1783. The city is also famous for the Linear Pottery Culture which began around 5000 BC in the Neolithic era. Bratislava is characterized by medieval towers with most historic buildings being concentrated in the Old Town area. The area is the cultural heart of Slovakia. If you are cruising the Danube or taking a road trip between Budapest and Vienna, Bratislava is certainly worth a stop on your journey.