Operation Eurotrip Part 9: Vienna Day 1

Not much to say today since we just walked around and shopped.

Went to the largest outdoor market in Vienna and saw all sorts of produce and a junk market.

Now just a few pictures from when we were walking around.

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Ferrari on the street

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We ended the day with dinner at a traditional Vienese restaurant called Burger King. Lol sometimes you’ve just gotta have something from home. We did have desert from the Mozart Cafe though…

Tomorrow is the Hofburg.

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Operation Eurotrip Part 8: Travel Day Prague to Vienna

Just a short post to include our travel day for completeness. 4 hour train ride from Prague to Vienna where we very nice older gentleman from Britain. Now we are in Vienna taking it easy so we can hit the ground running tomorrow. Probably will hit the main market Square for the huge flea market held every Saturday.

Btw this is the view from the hotel…

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Operation Eurotrip Part 7: Prague Day 3

The final day in Prague we used to visit Prague Castle, which has historically housed the offices of kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and today houses the office of the president of the Czech Republic, as evidenced by the Czech military police guarding the place.

The most prominent part of the complex is St Vitus Cathedral which towers above everything else.

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The cathedral was started in the 1300s but was not finished till the 1920s.

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tomb of Maximillian II Holy Roman Emperor

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tomb of John of Nepomuk Czech National saint

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remains of St Wenceslas are kept here

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We also toured the old palace but no pictures since you had to buy an extra license on top of the entry fee. Here are some from the courtyard.

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St George slaying the dragon from the St George basilica

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St George basilica

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Fyi one of the famous defenistrations of Prague happened at Prague Castle. If you have a problem with someone, just chuck them out the Window.

Next up travel day from Prague to Vienna.

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Operation Eurotrip Part 6: Prague Day 2

Ok now that wordpress is cooperating again time to catch up on our trip. I have two days of Prague to cover when I’m already in Vienna. Since this is the third time I’ve tried to write this post it will be shorter than otherwise.

On this day we took a tour of Hutna Kora and the Sedlec Ossuary otherwise known as the bone church.

The Ossuary is decorated with the bones of approximately 40,000 people who either killed by the plague or were injured or killed in the Hussite wars. As you can imagine the creep factor is through the roof. Thankfully the Ossuary has not been an active church with services in a long time.

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The following are skulls of people who were injured or killed in the Hussite wars. Some of the injuries show signs of healing.

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Next was the town itself. Hutna Kora started out as a center for silver mining and for a time was a very prosperous place. Once the Silver ran out it stagnated.

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early administration building

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St Barbara Cathedral

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monument to Czech unknown soldiers of WWII

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town coat of arms. crossed hammers represents miners

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memorial to plague victims

Then we toured St Barbara Cathedral. The Europeans sure knew how to lay down a building back when…

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And finally for all the teachers in the family, this is what a Czech elementary school looks like.

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Then later in the evening we took a ghost tour of old town Prague. Ironically the tour was given by a guy from New Jersey. No pictures because by that time we were tired of carrying the camera. We also got a tour of the torture chambers below the old town hall. Being out past midnight after 3 days of hoofing it on cobblestones was what originally delayed posts about this day.

Next post, Prague Castle…

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Testing

Testing

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Operation Eurotrip: No Post Tonight

Technical difficulties

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Operation Eurotrip: No Post Tonight

We are tired. That is all…

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Operation Eurotrip Part 5: Prague Day 1

Well yesterday I said the plan was to go to Prague Castle today. As usual the first casualty of any engagement is the plan. Thwarted again by not rising till the crack of noon. We were still able to go and see a lot today though.

Lunch at a small restaurant where it proceeded to storm like a small hurricane. We go back to the hotel to get the umbrella at which point not a drop of rain falls for the rest of the day.

First stop was a little farmers market just outside the hotel. Fresh bread, pastries and street food along with fresh produce and even a blacksmith.

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around Republic square

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Next up was powder gate. Built in the 15th century as part of the eastern city gate it was used to store gunpowder in the 17th century, hence the name.

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Some interesting building details…

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Next we stopped by the torture museum…

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the pear

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thumb screws

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godmothers violin

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chastity belt. male version omitted to remain family friendly

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Man in the iron mask?

Next we were off to the old town square. This is the location of the old town hall and it’s famous astronomical clock.

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memorial to John Hus, burned at the stake in 1415

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Old Town Hall

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astronomical clock. far too complicated to explain here. dates to 1572

For 105 crowns (about 5 bucks) you can climb up to the top of the tower for some spectacular views.

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Church of Our Lady Before Tyn

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the first Church of Saint Nicholas. There are two in this town.

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St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle from a distance

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Incidentally t I do have pictures suitable for panoramas when I get back home and can make them.

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statue in old Town hall

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interesting doorway

The following are house pictures, used to identify houses prior to Prague having street numbers and names.

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Johanne Kepler museum. Will have to hit that if there’s time.

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Next up is Charles Bridge, crossed by Kings of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperors on their way to be crowned. Honestly its a little bit of a tourist trap. With all the vendors selling portraits and junk I would have thought I was on the Panama City Beach strip if I hadn’t known better.

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rubbing this relief is supposed to give you luck

Many more statues not included for brevity.

And finally here is the other church of Saint Nicholas…

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Then it was off to dinner, which was more goulash, and then since my little sister told me to get some…

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Then we managed to get somewhat lost. Having a map in Prague just means that you are lost with a map. Nothing makes logical sense. Place could have been laid out by drunken chimps. We did finally find our way back to the hotel though.

Right now the plan for tomorrow is an excursion to the Czech countryside and the bone church along with a ghost tour. We all know how plans have been going though.. .

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Operation Eurotrip Part 4: Berlin to Prague Travel Day

No pictures today. It was just too hard to take pictures through a train Window cruising at a steady 100 mph.

Today was basically a total travel day. Got up, got breakfast and hopped a cab to the Berlin main train station (hauptbanhof) which is quite the impressive structure. 5 floors, 3 with shops, 1 at ground level, 2 above and 2 below with u-bahn and s-bahn connections.

We got there early so we could shop a little and get the wife some shoes that wouldn’t eat her feat up.

Boarding the train was an ordeal due to the crush of people, most of whom had no idea where their car or seat was, if they even had a seat. I’m glad I paid the extra 4 euros for 2 reserved seats or else we could have been standing for 4 hours like the guys outside our compartment. Next time I’m pretty sure that the train will be packed I will probably spring for first class for a little more breathing room.

In the end though it wasn’t all bad. The Canadians outside the compartment were obnoxious but the young Spanish guy backpacking around and the two women from he US were very nice. It’s actually disconcerting how smooth and quiet the train is given the speed. The seats are comfy but you probably want to know the person across from you if you care to stretch out.

Until you get towards dresden and the mountainous areas Germany looks an awful lot like MS and AL. Lots of low rolling farm land and pine forests although there is the occasional wind farm and the homes are much different.

Anyway off the train got some Czech krowns which are all but worthless (20 to the dollar) and walked to the Hilton Olde Town where we got upgraded to an executive room again. Starting to really like Hilton as long as Paris stays away. Day ended with goulash at a local restaurant which was fantastic.

Tomorrow the plan is Prague Castle….

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Operation Eurotrip Part 3: Berlin Day 3

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Well today was supposed to be a big day with a visit to the pergemon museum but it just didn’t happen. The wife is still jet lagged and not sleeping which means I’m not sleeping so we overslept and got up at the crack of noon. On top of that was a migraine headache that we spent quite a bit of time trying to find aspirin for. Apparently you can only buy it at a pharmacy and 90 percent of this city shuts down on Sunday. By the time we got to the museum it was 2, and the place closes at 6 and the line to buy tickets was half a mile long. Just decided we’d rather not wait 3 hours in line to pay 40 eur for a museum we wouldn’t really have time to enjoy.

So instead we caught a late lunch and hopped a sight seeing bus. We saw a fair amount of Berlin at 30 mph. The tour buses aren’t bad because you can get off and on at all the stops but we were so late in the day we couldn’t do that…

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outside of the pergemon

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tv tower

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Berlin cathedral

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alte museum

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Frederick the Great

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Holocaust Memorial

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Double row of cobblestones denotes where the Berlin Wall ran

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home of certain gov't officials

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victory memorial

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old Berlin parliament building

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intact section of the Berlin Wall

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recreation of checkpoint Charlie guard shack

All in all I’m disappointed. I haven’t gotten to see even half what I wanted to see between jet lag, the weather and just plain bad luck. I suppose at some point we will have to return for a longer time to see more.

Tomorrow its off to Prague and just as I was learning to navigate Berlin too…

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