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Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 7th 2019

The date is October 5th, so it is my birthday. At breakfast in the Berlin Hotel restaurant the waiters serve me a huge piece of cake. Back on the train to land in Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC, with a temperature of 8 degrees C, and a city that was once home to the slave market. In the morning, it is down to old town. Walking, every time you look up, left or right, or turn a corner, there is something amazing to look at. The architecture is gorgeous, and eye candy for every person and photographer. Designed in the Gothic style is the Charles Bridge lined with 17th Century Baroque statues. There are many artists and musicians along the way. We stumble on the Ice Pub, and decide to give it a go. Gloves, and a poncho ... read more
The River Cruisers
Citadelle Laferriere
AHA! Praha!

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague September 12th 2019

Prague has not disappointed! Arriving into manic traffic was a bit overwhelming and did make me wonder what lay ahead. But settling into my hotel, central to the Old Town dispelled all those fears. Across the road was the River and behind that was The Old Town, Prague Palace, King Charles Bridge and the numerous narrow streets with centuries old buildings and architecture in the old town. This Palace is the largest in Europe and where the President has his office. The Cathedral is stunning as well. In Prague every corner seems to have a Cathedral that is stunningly beautiful or a glimpse of something that takes your breath away. Some areas are beginning to show modernity particularly large hotel chains and the business district downtown. Wenceslas Square though is all beige, traditional architecture and where ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague September 10th 2019

Today is a day of inter-country travel. From Krakow, Poland to Prague, Czech Republic. Starts with a 3 hour bus ride in a Business seat that has more leg room than a flight and a chance to put my feet up and enjoy the scenery. Even got a bit excited when my Business bag of goodies had something gluten free in it! Woohoo! A nice young polish guy was next me with a very twirly moustache. He kept to himself. The countryside was green and as pretty as Poland has been all along. Familiar farming and villages with their Church spires. I snoozed a bit as well. Bus toilets down the steps are a treat- I will say no more except that I survived! Crossing over the Czech border brought a little change. Still green with ... read more
Bohumín Station
Free book exchange Bohumín Station

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town August 20th 2019

I have had a wonderful and relaxing few days with Reni and Gerhard at their holiday home but today it is time to continue my European adventure. Reni and Gerhard see me off at Gmünd station which is just on the Austrian side of the Austrian/Czech border. If you look at the atlas you will see just how many countries do border Austria! I used to become quite tearful when saying Goodbye, but these days we tend to see each other at least four times a year, so it isn’t too bad. In fact, I shall be heading back to Vienna in three weeks time to celebrate Reni’s 60th. I cannot believe that she is that age!! I enjoy a pleasant train journey through the Czech Republic. The first train, a local stopper, is quite full. ... read more
Beautiful stained glass windows in St Vitus Cathedral
St Vitus Cathedral towering over the Castle area
St Vitus Cathedral Tower

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague August 8th 2019

By now we had sussed out the trains so we anticipated a bit of a melee getting our seats , but this time it was a far more luxurious train and although the seats weren't all together we were in an open carriage so could easily move between our allotted seats. We discovered Dresden to Prague is a very scenic train ride, most of the time the tracks follow the river Elbe and through some very scenic gorges , with some great cliff and rock formations. This was my first visit to Prague but Chris had been a few times and as our Airbnb apartment was not too far from the station we walked and were greeted by our host to find that we were in a great location right behind the newly renovated National Museum ... read more
Old Town Square
Streets of Prague
Jan Hus Memorial

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town May 26th 2019

The weather in Prague today was gorgeous, with mostly sunny skies and a high temperature that reached 75 degrees by mid-afternoon. Dee was in pretty good spirits this morning and pronounced herself "fit for duty", so by 11:30 AM we walked to the metro station for a ride into the Old Town and Jewish Quarter. We had spent some time in this area during our guided tour earlier in the week, but did not have time to visit the interiors of the synagogues or the Jewish cemetery. Our plan also included an ascent (via elevator) to a viewing gallery at the top of the Town Hall tower, from which vantage point there is a 360-degree view of the surrounding area. After exiting the Staromestska metro station, it was but a short walk to the Jewish Museum's ... read more
Names of Jewish Holocaust victims
Old Jewish Cemetery
Spanish Synagogue

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Vinohrady May 25th 2019

Yesterday's activities were most assuredly not planned as part of this year's itinerary; however, given the circumstances, it could have been worse. In our experiences over the years, nothing has been more unsettling and stressful than finding ourselves in a foreign country with a medical issue. In 2014, Dee developed shingles while we were in the south of France, which required a trip to the ER in Aix en Provence. The following year, while in Paris, I went to the American Hospital there with borderline pneumonia. Then in 2017, during our around-the-world trip, I succumbed to a nasty intestinal infection for which I sought treatment in Athens, and subsequently in Nice. Last year we came away unscathed, but this year we've not been as fortunate. A few days before our departure, I strained, tore or severely ... read more
Flower bed in front of Canadian Medical building
Just what the doctor ordered!
Church of St. Ludmila

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Hradcany May 23rd 2019

Our guide and driver, Marek and Karel, met us at 9 AM this morning for the second part of the Prague tour we had booked. The weather here yesterday was miserable, with rain and gusty winds most of the day, but the forecast is for improving conditions later this afternoon. Today we are to visit the Prague Castle, a castle complex dating from the 9th-century. The castle is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic, and has been a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying an area of almost 750,000 square feet, at about 1,870 feet in length and an average of about 430 feet wide. The ... read more
St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral
St. John of Nepomuk's Tomb

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town May 21st 2019

This morning, under cloudy skies but mild temperatures in the upper-60s, we embarked upon the first of two guided tours of Prague booked through a local agency. Today's itinerary focused upon the Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) and the Charles Bridge. Our personal guide, Marek (along with a friendly young driver named Karel), turned out to be an impressive guy in his 40s who speaks nine languages--incredible! Throughout the tour he exhibited an encyclopedic knowledge of Czech history, while setting a pace that was easily manageable for us. The driver dropped us off in the vicinity of the Jewish Quarter, a three-block area in the Old Town that has been home to a Jewish community for a thousand years. Jews first came to Prague in the 10th-century, where they were allotted the least hospitable ... read more
Old-New Synagogue
Astronomical Clock
Týn Church, Old Town Square

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Vinohrady May 19th 2019

We lost our sea legs early this morning, as the Serenade of the Seas docked in Copenhagen around 7 AM, and we disembarked from the ship an hour or so later. After departing Helsinki this past Friday, we'd been at sea for almost 36 hours, and except for some dense, "pea soup"-type fog for most of the day yesterday, the weather and sea conditions continued to be very calm. In fact, the entire voyage was remarkably smooth, much to our surprise and relief. The past two days we concentrated on taking it easy after the exhausting 3-days we spent in Stockholm, Tallinn and St. Petersburg. We decided to forgo the shore excursion when the ship docked in Helsinki, and from what a few of the other passengers told us, we did not miss much by staying ... read more
Copenhagen to Prague
Crew celebration event
Dee's first rock climbing lesson




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