Archive | May, 2012

Here’s a palace, there’s a palace

30 May

Castles, oh my!

One of these days I will have a chance to blog when it is not 1AM. Maybe.

Alright, so — flying backwards in time to Prague. Prague is amazing, it’s so adorable that even the sidewalks are mosaics of white and dark red cobble stones. We spent a day walking around the Old Town section, meandering (read: huffing and puffing) up a hill to Prague Castle, and eating wonderful food. One fun fact about Prague — they have a tendency to throw people out of windows if they’re unhappy with them. It’s happened twice. The second time, the victims were lucky, in that they lived; but they were also unlucky, in that they lived because they fell on a large pile of manure. We saw the window these unlucky religious-freedom encroachers were thrown out of — it has a nice view!

We headed out of Prague and the Czech Republic (which mom began referring to as “her people”) and drove on down to Vienna the day before yesterday. Kevin promptly got a speeding ticket on arrival. Vienna is not joking around.

While Prague looks rustic and gothic, Vienna looks grand and…shiny. There’s lots of gilt and the preferred paint colors are reminiscent of cake frosting. We toured both the Hofburg and the Schonbrunn (Hapsburg palaces) — these people had expensive tastes! We’re talking “we-don’t-eat-off-of-porcelaine-only-silver-and gold” kind of expensive. This is convenient for us, because it makes their stuff really fun to look at. Again, shiny. The Schonbrunn is the summer palace, and despite getting caught in downpour, we ended up seeing a fair bit of the amazing gardens there (thanks to a last minute decision to invade a tour trolley). We also ended up in a great little restaurant where someone informed us that if we didn’t detour up the Danube to Krems to see the hillside vineyards, castles and river views, we were the worst Americans he’d ever met. Ok, actually he was just really enthusiastic and even drew us a map.

So, on our way out of Vienna to Rothenburg, we drove up to Krems and then down through the Danube Valley. Wow. I thought I was getting used to seeing castles and/or incredible churches pop up everywhere, but seriously! Mom also spotted a Bernese Mountain Dog at a small restaurant along the way. So, you can guess what she was most excited about.

We are now in Rothenburg Ob De Tauber and tomorrow I am planning to go for a run on the wall that encloses this very medieval-ish city. If I can wake up, that is ;). More soon (and hopefully earlier in the evening!).
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The First 48 Hours

27 May

One half of the old section of Prague

Alright. My Dad promised we’d blog and so here “we” go. He’s asleep, as it’s 1:00 AM here. So, this should be good!

**If you want to skip to the pictures, click here!**

We’re in Prague! In fact we’re already leaving Prague tomorrow. In the past 48 hours we’ve been in Geneva, Frankfurt, Pilsen and Prague (and all of the highway in between that I couldn’t really see because Kevin was driving about 200 MPH (reality: 120 MPH)). However, I digress — “How did it all start?” might be a question you would ask.

Well, it all started with packing. The only relevant fact here is that my Dad’s suitcase is twice the size of my Mom’s and mine. He claims this is because he’s carrying 4,000 pairs of our shoes. This assertion is only partly true. Only 4 pairs of shoes in his suitcase are not his. The other potentially relevant fact related to packing is that it totally freaked out not one, but TWO Bernese mountain dogs, who anxiety-panted more than a type-A high schooler before the SAT.

In any case — off we went. Our journey was relatively uneventful. I forgot my phone for about 20 minutes at a Swiss security point, Mom thought her suitcase was broken into (it wasn’t), but other than that, our journey to Frankfurt was easy and fun.

Upon arrival in Frankfurt, we got in our lovely rental car and began driving (really fast) to Prague. Once we’d sorted out the GPS system in the car and switched it from kilometers to miles, we entered in the address for Pilsen Urquell brewery in the town of Pilsen or Plzen, for those if us who hate vowels (Czechs).

Kevin and I did a tour at the brewery, which ended with some awesome underground tunnels and a glass of unfiltered/delicious Pilsen. It also featured a lovely tour guide who spoke about 70% English and who was also forced to pretend that she was from the 19th centuryf. Quote: “You’re going to be getting on this technology I’ve never heard of called a ‘bus’ — I don’t know what that is because I died in the 1930’s, but I hear they are good.” Amazing. After the tour, we spent a great afternoon at the beer garden then headed on to Prague.

Prague is incredible. It’s like Disney World: 15th Century. Thankfully, there’s a fair amount of graffiti, so I am convinced this is a real city. Once we arrived, we checked into the hotel and Mom maneuvered an upgrade into two junior suites. Humblebrag: mine is two levels. We also went out and ate some typical Czech food, which Kevin claims is not all that different from traditional German food. Despite being a vegetarian, I had a great meal of potato soup in a bread bowl. I like how the Czechs are very pro-carbohydrate.

Today, we did all of the Prague things there are to do (or rather, mostly hung out in Old Town, gawked at churches, went to Prague Castle and drank a lot of beer/Czeck wine). The pictures I’ve uploaded to Flickr tell this story far better than I could, so I’ll leave it to you to click on through. Read: I drank 5 beers today and I’m tired.

For now, I’m off to sleep. We’re heading on to Austria tomorrow, if the trip is relatively uneventful I will share more specific info about Prague — this post is already waayyyyy too long!

We miss you all!

It’s a takeover!

25 May

For the next nine days, Bloggy Thing will be the home of my parents and my temporary travel blog. We’re traveling through Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria. Some things are planned…most things are not. In any case, it should be highly amusing!

 

Get excited…