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Bratislava, with St. Martin's spire. 
Michael Appelt/Anzenberger, for The New York Times

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A Castle for Every Mountain
By Gary Lee, Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 16, 2002

A HYDROFOIL carried me east on the Danube into a corner of Europe magically frozen in an era when a lady didn't dare set foot in the opera without a plumed hat, the neighbors made a mental note whenever you missed church, and summer meant retreating to a mountain spa and covering your face in mud.

An hour after I'd left Vienna, I was sitting in a Bratislava restaurant called Korzo, where a fleet of waiters brought platters of potato pancakes, pastries stuffed with sheep's cheese, grilled trout, a hunk of chocolate torte, a half-carafe of full-bodied red wine and, in the end, a bill for $7.60.

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