Piešťany, Day Six; Bratislava, Day One. -- We started New Year’s Eve with a long “read-in” before setting off to Bratislava for our final musical adventure of the year: the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Rastislav Štúr, performed a potpourri of classical tunes, from Saint-Saëns to Offenbach, Weber to Wagner, Stravinsky to Kabalevsky, Elgar to Vaughan Williams. The concert took place in the beautifully restored Baroque-era “Reduta” building of 1773. The main hall has seats for no more than 450 people; this made for a wonderfully intense sound and intimate atmosphere. The concert culminated in Elgar’s “Land of Hope and Glory” which the audience loved so much that it was given for a second time as the one and only “encore”. The majority of our children enjoyed it too; though the “half-time” comment of one of our pubertarians was priceless: “These seats are horrible; they make it impossible to sleep properly.” -- We headed back to Piešťany after a lovely meal in a local Slovak restaurant; it was the same place we visited on our first ever trip to Bratislava six years ago. -- We celebrated in our hotel room until after midnight. -- Happy New Year everyone!