A Travellerspoint blog

A Magical Viennese Evening!

sunny 75 °F
View Trip of a Lifetime! on ChristisDream's travel map.

A return visit to Vienna has been in the works since 2014 - Ray's 75th birthday to be exact! My oldest son presented him with a certificate for a "Romantic Crystal Dinner" on the Wiener Riesenrad - the giant ferris wheel originally built in 1897 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Franz Josef I.

We left the beauty of the Alps and changed to a Railjet train in Salzburg - love those fast trains!

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A cold one for the ride
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The beautiful Wallersee
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Shai...so stressed!
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Zipping along at 140 mph
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We arrived in Vienna and to our hotel. The lovely folks at the Marriott made Shai her very own "Do Not Disturb" sign!

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Dinner in the hotel restaurant - a yummy soup and their version of fried chicken!
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==Day 2 - So Excited for the Ferris Wheel!==

After breakfast we headed to the Cafe Hofburg - Ray's favorite place and a great people watching locale. It was a beautiful sunny day so the cafe was crowded - actually a line waiting for tables outside. We took our place in line and shortly thereafter a woman who had seated herself and was told by a waiter she needed to wait in line joined us. She lives in a few blocks away and her husband works very near - they were meeting for coffee there. The waiter directed us to a table and then he sent the woman to one. As it happened our table was in the shade and hers was in the sun. We decided to ask if she would mind sharing her sunny table and she was happy to! We all chatted, her husband arrived, we ordered drinks and had a great visit.

Claudia who so generously shared her sunny table!

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The cafe's outdoor seating in in the center courtyard of the Hofburg Palace. The statue in the background is Kaiser Franz I
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I love the movie "The Third Man" with Orson Welles (Harry Lime) & Joseph Cotton (Holly Martins) which was filmed in post war Vienna. Harry Lime first reveals himself by stepping out of the shadow of this door at night.

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After finding the "Harry Lime Door" we walked the city a bit before heading back to get ready for our evening.

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The Riesenrad is in a large park called the Prater - The Wurstelprater - the oldest amusement park in the world is located in the Prater as well. I reserved our dinner for 6:15 to be able to see the views in daylight, twilight, and night.

Our first sight of the Riesenrad - also a pinnacle location in The Third Man!
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We waited in a separate area from the line of people waiting to ride the Ferris Wheel and when our car came round we were escorted aboard. The waiter entered through the rear door, introduced himself, and gave us an overview of the evening. The champagne was poured, he stepped off and off we went on our first round.

Our car on the Ferris Wheel
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The views were pretty amazing

The Prater
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The amusement park
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Looking down through the ferris wheel
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Enjoying the view
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The city
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We came round to the bottom and the waiter entered again. He poured the wine for the starter course and served us the starter. The foie gras was very rich and very flavorful.

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And off we go again!
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Each trip round is about 15 minutes or so - after a couple we stopped again and were served the main and accompanying wine. This was amazing - the beef was melt in your tender, the shallots were wonderful, and the puree a fantastic sub for potatoes!

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The waiter took our picture - you can see the kitchen in the background
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Twilight was setting in - the light was gorgeous

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I think we made 3 revolutions while eating the main course and the night lights were shining

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We stopped again and our waiter served the dessert - oh my - so good!

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We had two more rounds while eating dessert to enjoy the views.

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While we were going round & round the Vienna Oktoberfest was going on below. We could hear the singing and carrying on from the top of the ferris wheel!
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The view from the ground.
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I have to say it was a tremendously magical evening!

==Another Third Man Pilgrimage==

We were definitely taking it easy this day after a late evening the day before. There was one more place I wanted to see - the building used for the exterior shots of Harry Lime's apartment. Google maps makes this so easy!

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Such a beautiful building
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After that and a bit of wandering we ended up at Ray's favorite spot!

This is in one of the entry arches at the Hofburg Palace

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Who knew the Austrians made rum? I asked for Baileys & coffee, they did not have Baileys but this was suggested - I would have never thought to put rum in coffee.
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==A Visit to Schonbrunn==

Schonbrunn Palace is the 300 year old, 1,441 room imperial summer palace. It's residents include Franz I, Maria Theresa, and the longest reigning emperor, Franz Josef, who was born there. The palace is huge and beautiful - but no photography allowed.

The Palace
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Maria Theresa - she had 16 children including Marie Antoinette who married Louis XVI and was eventually beheaded.
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Bed Chamber
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Great Gallery
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The Vieux Laque Room - the walls are covered with 18th century black laquered panels from China
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Emperor's Study
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Bergl Rooms - named for the artist who spent 9 years painting the murals for Maria Theresa. There were beautiful rococo stoves like this one all throughout the palace.
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For dinner we headed to a place we ate at on our last visit to Vienna. It is called ¾ Takt – strange name until we read on the menu that Johann Strauss had lived in the house when he wrote the “Danube Waltz” thus the name ¾ Time.

We were told to look for Sturm when we were in Vienna

Sturm
Definition:partially fermented grape must, that may only produced using Austrian grapes
Sturm may only be sold between 1 August and 31 December of the current vintage, and in a “state of fermentation”. The term “Sturm” is protected for use in Austria.

We found some at 3/4 Takt - it was very good - the white is really good!

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We also had some schnitzel
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and cucumbers!
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==Bratislava? Why Not???==

Bratislava, Slovakia is only an hour by train from Vienna - a perfect day trip! We hopped the train and were off

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The old part of the city is very charming with old churches, squares, and sidewalk cafes.

The Primatial Palace
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Old Town Hall
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St Martin's Cathedral - 13th-century Gothic/Romanesque Catholic cathedral used for coronations.
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No stop is complete without a wine & nibbles stop!

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I did try a local drink - the description sounded much better than the drink!
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We were headed to Florence from Vienna which is a long haul on the train. By day it would be 11 hours on a train, then a bus, then a train - ugh - too many changes for our liking. I managed to find a night train that left the night before - 11 hours straight through. We booked a private cabin with ensuite bath. We spent the day getting ready to leave, acquiring wine & nibbles for the train, and had dinner at an Italian place that was recommended.

Shai still lovin' the windows
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Of course one last stop to the Hofburg
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Late lunch at Da Capo
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Taking the Ubahn back to the hotel
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We arrived at the train station a little early but we were able to wait in the OBB's first class lounge

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Waiting on the platform
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Here's our train
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Our compartment before being made up
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And after
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Shai was loving being able to be out of her bag on the train!

How great is it to go to bed in Austria and wake up in Florence???

Posted by ChristisDream 11:27 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna riesenrad night_train romantic_crystal_dinner 3/4_takt Comments (5)

The Austrian Alps - a Great Place for a Rest!

Even a great place for the flu! Ugh!

sunny 72 °F
View Trip of a Lifetime! on ChristisDream's travel map.

Long travel day - 8 hours with one change. It would have been better if we could have gone to Vienna first but as we were using points the hotel was not available for points this week so we'll pass through and stay in the alps and come back in 6 days. Shai really loves to watch out the window on the train and the scenery is beautiful.

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Of course there was a little refreshment on the tran

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Waiting for the train in Vienna

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Two sleepy heads on the train
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Such pretty country
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First view of an alp

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The alps are so different from the mountains in the US - they are like the ones you draw as a child - ^^^

We arrived at our destination...St Johann im Pongau - a winter ski town about 40 miles south of Salzberg in the Salzach Valley.

Day 2 - Stumbling into a Local Festival

We awoke to a spectacular view from our balcony - Shai enjoyed the balcony as well

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We eventually headed out to check out the town

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Our hotel

We noticed some people gathered and a tent and were curious what was going on so we wandered up the street and found folks all dressed in lederhosen & dirndls! We asked some folks what was going on - the best I could gather from broken, drunken Ger-glish was they have a harvest festival of sorts that revolves around a tree that is selected in the spring and felled in the fall by the burgermeister - then they drink! I tell you I have never seen so many falling-down, stumbling, 60 something year olds in my life! They were all having a very good time! We met a couple from Chicago there and hung out, had some beer, and enjoyed the local color.

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Maura & Ken from Chicago

We had a lovely dinner followed by a fantastic dessert - chocolate mousse with fruits, raspberry coulis, and chocolate sauce!

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A Trip to Werfen Castle

Just up the valley is the small market town of Werfen - home of Hohenwerfen - a medieval castle. The morning began a bit misty but quickly cleared into a beautiful day.

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We walked to the train station which sits across the Salzach River

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A quick 15 minute train ride we arrive in Werfen and head through town to the castle. Werfen has less than 3000 inhabitants and is about as idyllic as it gets.

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The castle sits high on a hill and is reached by a funicular

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With spectacular views
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We arrived at the courtyard and had some time before the next tour began - they conveniently had a restaurant in the courtyard!

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The castle was built between 1075 & 1078, the tour began in the chapel

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We made our way up stairs and through several passages some with canons and beautiful views.

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There was room of various torture devices

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This shows the thickness of the castle walls

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This hole was originally used to pour hot oil on attackers - later it was used as toilet!
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There was a huge fire in 1931 as seen in these photos

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The clock works sit under the bell and the top of the bell tower has stunning views

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This room in the residential quarters was reconstructed after the fire based on a photograph

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After the castle tour we were treated to a falconry show - these birds were fast!

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Our time at the castle ended so we headed back through town stopping for refreshment along the way!

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We went to dinner at a place near our hotel. We overloaded on fondue! There was cheese fondue plus pork & beef with several sauces and a slew of relishes and salads!

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Back to our hotel and to bed.
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Missing a day & a half Flu-us Interruptus

We did finally make it out the second day for dinner and this lovely dessert - homemade sorbet - strawberry, cranberry, and banana mint.

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Shai did enjoy the balcony!
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Next...Vienna

Posted by ChristisDream 03:42 Tagged st johann austrian alps werfen im pongue Comments (2)

Prague - A Storybook City

semi-overcast 66 °F
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We left Krakow mid-morning and boarded the train for the 7 hour ride to Prague. This train had compartments which we love. It was a rainy day so a good travel day for sure. Shai has become quite proficient at sleeping on the train and for these longer rides we make a trip to the bathroom along the way. We arrived in Prague about 5:30 and walked to our hotel - about 5 minutes. We got settled in, had dinner and called it a day.

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Day two in Prague was a "taking care of business" day. Laundry & hair. I had researched ahead and made an appointment at a salon to get my hair done. While there we decided Ray needed a little sprucing up too!

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The finished products

Clean & primped we chilled before heading to dinner. Dinner was at a traditional Czech restaurant, BREDOVSKÝ DVŮR, in a very cool building with brick vaulted ceilings and copper tanks of beer. We shared a starter with Hot sausages on dark beer with vegetables and onions, the main was these amazing ribs - Roast pork ribs barbecue sauce plum and chilli, piquant slaw, all washed down with a bottle of Czech Sauvignon Blanc. I must apologize again...dove into the food before taking pics! It was delish!

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Day Three - A Private Tour With Jason

I had read about a Brit ex-pat who was living in Prague that gives excellent tours so I booked for today - it ended up that we were the only booking for then so we were treated to a private tour. We met up with Jason at the Old Town Square to begin our tour "Hidden Prague". There were several important places on the square -

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Kinsky Palace

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Church of Our Lady before Týn - 14th century gothic church - the entrance is a narrow alley between restaurants - the church could not afford to buy the lot on the square

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Monument to Jan Hus - read more here

We then came to this simple plaque of Jan Palach and were told the story of this young man. He was a student who in January 1969 set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square in protest of the 1968 Communist invasion to crush the liberal reforms of then Czech leader Alexander Dubček. This act and his death set off events which led to the fall of communism 10 months later.

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We then headed into the old Jewish Ghetto - it is home to several synagogues including the oldest active one in Europe - The Old New Synagogue which opened in 1270

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The Old/New Synagogue

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The High Synagogue - 16th Century

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The Klausen Synagogue - 16th Century

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The Spanish Synagogue - 19th Century

The Old Jewish Cemetery is the third oldest in Europe and contains countless thousands of remains. The Jewish community was not permitted to purchase additional land to expand the cemetery so the would add a layer of dirt and stack new burials on top. There are 12,000 visible headstones - some are for people who may be several layers deep - there are as many as 12 layers of burials in some places. The oldest visible stone is dated 1439 for a rabbi. There are estimates of 50,000 to 100,000 people buried here.

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This is the top of the cemetery

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This is the street level - you can see the grass at the top where the headstones are.

Jason took us through several courtyards and alleys we'd have never seen on our own for sure.

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This statue was selected to pay hommage to Franz Kafka and was placed across the street from where he lived in Prague. The sculptor, Jaroslav Rona , was inspired by a brief passage in Kafka's short story "Description of a Struggle":

"And now - with a flourish, as though it were not the first time - I leapt onto the shoulders of my acquaintance, and by digging my fists into his back I urged him into a trot. But since he stumped forward rather reluctantly and sometimes even stopped, I kicked him in the belly several times with my boots, to make him more lively. It worked and we came fast enough into the interior of a vast but as yet unfinished landscape."

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We then stopped at these 4 medallions placed in the sidewalk. There are similar medallions around the city - they are placed in front of homes and mark the Jewish people who were taken from the home, their birth years, when and where they were taken - in this case all went to Terezina - a camp in the Czech Repubilc, then when & where they were murdered "zavrazden". The Nazis kept meticulous records making this possible.

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We ended up back in the main square in front of the astronomical clock - installed in 1410 - it is the third oldest in the world
The Old Town Hall was destroyed by fire during the Prague Uprising in 1945 - the clock tower still remains

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Before the fire

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After the fire

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The Clock Tower's Astronomical Clock

Jason is a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide - I highly recommend him - Living Prague

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After the tour it was definitely time for a beverage - we stayed in the square to people watch and have a snack.

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Dinner that night was on "boat" (more like a permanent dock) on the Vltava River with gorgeous views of the castle. It was Italian and a nice change from the previous meat heavy night before. We met a cute couple from Chicago who were on their honeymoon.

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Our last day in Prague we just wandered the city, went to Wenceslas Square, walked across the Charles Bridge and had wine in the cafe we went to in 2013. We ended up back at Meat & Greet Burger for dinner. We had dinner there our first night and the burgers were worthy of a repeat! We had no reservation (yes - a common requirement here) so we ended up sitting out side even though it was a little chilly - they had blankets so we were actually comfortable. They did end up with a table inside after a while so we moved inside to eat.

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The view from our room

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Shai & her window

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Wenceslas Square

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Wine & snack stop

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Back in the Main Square

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Approaching the Charles Bridge

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The Vltava River

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Back at Meat & Greet Burger!

Tomorrow - off to the Alps!!!

Posted by ChristisDream 20:05 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged food prague castle Comments (6)

Krakow - a Beautifully Preserved City

sunny 65 °F
View Trip of a Lifetime! on ChristisDream's travel map.

Moving day again - this one is a short trip from Warsaw to Krakow through pretty country.

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Our hotel...Hotel Polski, Pod Bialym Orlem. The Pod Bialym Orlem is actually the address - means Under the White Eagle. This was the way places were addressed long ago when most folks did not read - each building had a unique (hopefully) identifying marker like the white eagle, gold snake, red lion, etc.

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This is the White Eagle from our hotel's building

We walked to a nearby restaurant that served Polish specialties and split the "Polish Plate" I can't even imagine this is supposed to be for one person!

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The wine options we encountered at several places in Poland - Red or White?

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Clockwise from the potato...perogie - 3 kinds, pork cutlet, potato pancake with goulash, bigos (stew), golabki (cabbage roll),black sausage, and white sausage.

A Walk to Castle and Rainy Afternoon

We set off on foot heading for the castle through the old town - but first a quick walk to the train station to make reservations for the next train. Our hotel was right across from the barbican and an old city gate

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In front of the mall connected to the train station

Business taken care of we headed through the old town. We cam to the Main Square - Rynek Glowny. It is huge - the only square larger is St. Peters in Vatican City. It contains two churches, the old cloth hall, and the the old town hall tower. It is surrounded with cafes and shops.

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St Mary's Basilica
The legend is the two towers were built by brothers - one each. They were competing who could build the tallest tower. one brother, being jealous that the other was winning stabbed his brother then killed himself.

On every hour, a trumpet signal—called the Hejnał mariacki—is played from the top of the taller of Saint Mary's two towers. The plaintive tune breaks off in mid-stream, to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city. The noon-time hejnał is heard across Poland and abroad broadcast live by the Polish national Radio 1 Station

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The tower from the old town hall

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We finally arrived at Wawel Castle - it sits up on a hill above the old town.

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We unfortunately arrived about 5 people too late - there are a limited number of tickets for the day. We decided to have a look around the castle complex at least and call it a reason to return.

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Castle Cathedral

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Statue of John Paul II

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Parish House

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This passage leads to the Inner Courtyard

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Inner Courtyard @ 16th century

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Sandomierska Tower

As we were leaving the castle it started to rain. We had grabbed the umbrellas so up they went...good thing as it really started to come down. When we made it as far as the main square we stopped at a cafe and took refuge from the rain under a large patio umbrella and would try to out drink the rain. We started talking with a young gal from Austria - she had just arrived in Krakow the day before for 6 months at the university there. Marlena (I can't believe I didn't take her picture) was studying to be a lawyer. After a couple hours of conversation and 3 glasses of wine it was still pouring! The rain won and we dashed back to our hotel for a rest and drying out!

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Needing a break from the meat intensive Polish food we went to an Itaiian place for dinner. They had a very unusual wintergarden - a tarp covered geodesic dome. They had a wood fired pizza oven in there too.

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Wonderful antipasto

Shortly after we were seated a bunch of blokes were seated in the other area of the dome - it was two domes connected by an arch. It was obvious they were well on their way to a proper drunken state and were somewhat loud - just having fun. They were trying to take a group photo so I went over and offered my services as a photographer. We chatted it up for a bit - when I asked what they were doing the reply was "We are getting shit-faced"! I never did hear what brought them to Krakow but I suspect it was bachelor's weekend. They were from Burnley - north of Manchester and were clearly having fun!

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The blokes from Burnley.

Cruising Krakow

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Shai does love her windows - she needed a boost to see over the flowers though.

The bikes were so nice in Warsaw we decided to try a bike tour in Krakow. It was to meet at the main square so we headed there. Well, we were a bit early so a pre-biking refreshment was in order.

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So many beautifully paired draft horses lined the square waiting to to take visitors on a tour.

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It was a lovely day for a bike ride

We met up with our guide Thomas and the rest of the group. Thomas began the tour in the square telling us about the buildings & history there.

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The open window is where the bugler plays at St. Mays Basilica

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Church of St. Adalbert or the Church of St. Wojciech - built in the 11th century

After hearing about the square we headed to pick up our bikes and were off. Our first stop was the old city gate & wall. Between the two was a moat - it was filled in and now a beautiful park the surrounds the old city.

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We arrived at the university in time for the clock to play

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Krakow is extremely proud of its Cardinal turned Pope John Paul II. This is where he lived in Krakow and always returned when visiting Poland - All Saints Square - also home to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi with Monastery of the Franciscan Order. Poland is VERY Catholic - priests, nuns, & monks everywhere.

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The Wawel Dragon - a mythical figure who would terrorize the villagers & eat their daughters until a clever cobbler did him in was awarded the kings's daughter's hand in marriage.

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We biked over the Vistula River on the Bernatek Footbridge...

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...and entered the old Jewish Ghetto area. This area of the city was literally walled in and the Jewish people of Krakow were imprisoned. The wall was built with the top resembling tombstones. There was one non-Jew allowed in & out of the ghetto - a little know pharmacist, Tadeusz Pankiewicz, who successfully helped many Jews escape.

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This is the Heroes of Ghetto Square monument. On this square thousands of Krakow's Jewish residents were gathered and shipped off to camps. After the first group of people was left to wait on the square for days before being trucked to the train the second group brought chairs from home to sit on while waiting.

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The next stop was at Oscar Schindler's factory.

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and finally the old Jewish cemetery.

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I do not usually visit such sites on trips...the sadness stays with me for a very long time.

We had a stop for lunch at Chajim Kohan - of course traditional Polish food - perogie & golabki

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It was a great ride and tour - a city with hundreds & hundreds of years of history. After 4 hours on a bike we headed for a much needed wine stop! I really love the main square - such a great people watching place!

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This "Gallery" was across the street from our hotel - it was set up and taken down every day!

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Walking back to hotel after dinner that night.

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We absolutely loved Poland and will likely return in the future. In the morning...Prague.

Posted by ChristisDream 13:39 Archived in Poland Tagged people history beautiful biking krakow friendly Comments (3)

Warsaw Here we Come!

semi-overcast 66 °F
View Trip of a Lifetime! on ChristisDream's travel map.

Time to say farewell to Berlin we headed for the train station and our train to Warsaw. We've appreciated being able to get trains with no changes - luggage on & off is challenging for sure. The bags may be small but heavy.

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We boarded the train and found our seats. We had some lovely seatmates - two ladies from Arizona one of which was originally from Poland. The other was Chaplin - a chief Chaplin for the German military although he was a civilian. One part of his position is to help form military policy regarding theological and moralistic views. He attends many conferences around the world that deal with issues of biological weapons, nuclear weapons, and other such dilemmas - very interesting work. He was also a history enthusiast and was pointing out different places in Berlin as we were passing through.

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Eventually we ended up in the restaurant car and enjoyed our first of many perogies!

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Traveling across Poland the land was filled with small farm after small farm and was very green.

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We arrived in Warsaw, our hotel was a quick walk through a shopping mall and Shai had a new window!

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We got settled in and headed to the hotel bar for our free welcome drink. The food looked pretty good so we decided to just stay there for dinner. We had a wonderful antipasto plate with a fantastic olive tapenade and then a chicken breast with herbs, tomatoes, ravioli, and Grana Padano cheese - mmmmm...not to forget a lovely wine to wash it all down.

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Biking Warsaw

Warsaw has a fantastic bike sharing program - I downloaded the app and off we went.

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Warsaw has many monuments

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Part of Warsaw Uprising Monument

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Statue of Nicolaus Copernicus

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Stefan Wyszyński - first Bishop of Poland

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Presidential Palace

It became clear we were heading into the Old Town.

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We dropped the bikes at the nearest station and walked to Castle Square

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Of course it was time for a beverage & snack!

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Refreshed & fortified we headed for the castle. The Royal Castle was first built in the 14th century with alterations in the 16th, 17th, & 18th centuries. It was heavily damaged and looted during the 2nd world war but reconstruction began shortly after the war ended.

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Some marble stairway!

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One of three throne rooms in the castle

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Great Assembly Hall

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This was the main throne room

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The Kings bed

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This fireplace is in the Old Audience Chamber - love the carvings

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The Senatorial Hall with the third throne

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The Marble Room - this room had been moved to Russia in 1832 and returned to the castle in 1923. When WWII started this room had not been restored so all of the original elements were safe from the destruction of the war.

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The Yellow Room where the King would host intimate dinners .

After our Royal visit we wandered around the old town.

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The old town square

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The Mermaid of Warsaw

There are various legends about the Warsaw mermaid. The main one used in the City's literature and by tour guides says that the mermaid was swimming in the river when she stopped on a riverbank near the Old Town to rest. Liking it, she decided to stay. Local fishermen noticed that something was creating waves, tangling nets, and releasing their fish. They planned to trap the offender, but fell in love with her upon hearing her singing. Later, a rich merchant trapped the mermaid and imprisoned her. Hearing her cries, the fishermen rescued her, and ever since, the mermaid, armed with a sword and a shield, has been ready to help protect the city and its residents

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The Barbican - part of the original city walls

That evening we had a lovely dinner with this wonderful fresh fruit with zabaglione for dessert.

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Biking Warsaw - Part Deux

The bikes worked out so well yesterday we decided to go again. It is really a great program - the first 20 minutes are free then just 1 zloty (28 cents) for the rest of the hour, 3 zloty for the 2nd hour. We set off trying to ride through the many parks around Warsaw.

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Temple of the West - originally a water tower.

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Beautiful gardens and pond

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Marconi Fountain - part of the city's first water system

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

We headed down to the river

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Not much to see...
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We headed home and rested a bit before heading back out for dinner. We found this little place that served wonderful Polish food. - Sour Soup in the bread bowl, Golabki - cabbage rolls in a yummy tomato sauce, and of course perogi - washed down with a lovely mulled wine to take the chill off.

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The restaurant was in the old town across from the barbican and the statue of the Little Insurrectionist.

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Mały Powstaniec (the "Little Insurrectionist") is a statue in commemoration of the child soldiers who fought and died during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. It is located on Podwale Street, next to the ramparts of Warsaw’s Old Town.

The statue is of a young boy wearing a helmet too large for his head and holding a submachine gun. It is reputed to be of a fighter who went by the pseudonym of "Antek", and was killed on 8 August 1944 at the age of 13. The helmet and submachine gun are stylized after German equipment, which was captured during the uprising and used by the resistance fighters against the occupying forces.

On the way home we passed the rest of the Warsaw Uprising Monument

You can zoom in on this photo here

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The monument is made of bronze and is about 10 metres (33 ft) tall.[1] It has of two parts near each other. The larger, elevated element shows a group of insurgents actively engaged in combat, running from the artistic vision of a collapsing building, represented by a more abstract composition. The smaller element shows insurgents descending into a manhole, a reference to the use of Warsaw's sewer system by the insurgents to move across German-held territory during the uprising and specifically to the evacuation of 5300 resistance fighters from Warsaw's Old Town to the city centre at the beginning of September 1944, a five-hour journey which started from Krasiński Square (there is a small plaque across the road from the monument at the intersection of Długa and Miodowa Streets above the two manholes that were actually used).

We got back to our hotel that night to a lobby full of people from a bus tour all in line for the elevator - we opted to have a glass of wine & wait for the crowd to disperse. This group from Minnesota was sitting in the lounge laughing and drinking so naturally I was drawn to them! We all chatted and laughed for an hour or so before calling it a night.

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Warsaw is a wonderful city with friendly people - we would happily return here. Tomorrow - to Krakow!

Posted by ChristisDream 02:04 Archived in Poland Tagged parks warsaw castle biking friendly Comments (3)

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