Nov 10, 2019 - Last day in Krakow
Our last day in Poland was bleak and cold; just as well we had booked to see the underground “caves” beneath the main square. Once again, I have to say the Polish do museums incredibly well. Situated four meters below the Main Square, Rynek Underground (Podziemia Rynku) is a unique museum that takes visitors through the excavated Middle Ages vendors’ stalls. It includes multimedia exhibits, videos, and Medieval artefacts that show the Medieval times in Kraków. The underground was only discovered in 2005 and is located beneath the main...Jump to full entry
Nov 9, 2019 - Very sobering…
It was an early start for me as I booked a seat on the first bus out to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Craig had opted to visit Nowa Huta, a socialist experiment by Communist Russia, doomed to fail but still like stepping back in time. As it turned out, the weather was cold and drizzly so Craig opted for a walk around the Old Town then hunkered down for the day. I left the apartment at 5:30am (bus pickup time was 6am, on the other side of the square) and was surprised by how much ambient light there was – plus how many bars were still full of...Jump to full entry
Nov 8, 2019 - So confronting….
Yesterday we made out way by train to Krakow. Given we left at 10:24am and arrived in Krakow at 17:30, the day went remarkably quickly – I guess it helps when you have comfy seats and a waiter coming by every so often to ask if you would like anything from the extensive food and drink menu! My plan for Saturday was to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau and even though I had seen you could buy tickets online, I hadn’t bothered to book anything in advance. Imagine my panic when I logged on again this morning only to see all the entry tickets for...Jump to full entry
Nov 6, 2019 - Weary Bones!
Today Craig was pushed well outside of his comfort zone! We decided to take a short train trip out of Prague to see a little more of the countryside. I have read an article about Kutna Hora, 55 minutes out of Prague, in the Age Traveller before leaving. Kutna Hora was once a prosperous silver mining town and had many beautiful Cathedrals, one of which was supposed to rival St Vitus in Prague. It also had the famed Sedlec Ossuary and The Cemetery Church of All Saints (starting to see a pattern here with my fascination with all things...Jump to full entry
Nov 5, 2019 - Crawling over Prague!
For the last two days, Craig and I have been walking everywhere, soaking up all the wonderful sights of Prague. We have fallen into a rhythm now, out at a respectable time in the morning, walk for 2-3 hours, back to the apartment for a homemade roll, then, subject to what we decided on for the evening, out again in the afternoon. Without wanting to bore you too much, here is a sample of my shots; I particularly liked the Old Jewish Museum. Founded in the early 15th century and closed in 1787, there are around 12,000 crumbling headstones but...Jump to full entry
Nov 3, 2019 - Perfect Prague
After an uneventful, full day of flying (the only way you want to fly) we arrived in Prague on Friday evening, around 4:15pm. Luckily, we had the foresight to organise a transfer from the airport directly to our AirBnB apartment because I hadn’t quite anticipated how early it gets dark over here and finding the apartment in the dark would have certainly tried our relationship! It was really quite disconcerting to listen to the radio and hear the Tones and I song “Dance Monkey” (didn’t she just play at the Grand Final?) and Sheppard...Jump to full entry
Oct 4, 2019 - Homeward Bound
Up, trash dumped, packed and waiting curbside for our 6:30am ride to the airport at 6:35am! Still waiting at 6:45, Judi B calls to check and the management company returns the call to say the driver does not answer, but she will call Uber. Five minutes later Uber arrives and delivers us to the airport - with his limited English he asks which terminal? They do not have the airlines listed by terminal, so I show him my eticket and he has to look up the flight to determine the terminal. When he converts the Czech korun to Euros he says 10...Jump to full entry
Oct 2, 2019 - Our Last Day
Today is our last day and the forecast is for rain all day. We've been pretty lucky with the weather this whole trip. A few gray mornings that quickly turned to sunshine and a couple rain showers at the end of the day. So we planned indoor activites for today. We started our day by revisiting the Church of St. Mary the Victorious. We stopped there yesterday but we didn't realize it contained Prague's most precious jewel, the Infant of Prague. A famous statue that is a focus of worship and miracle tales in Prague and spanish-speaking...Jump to full entry
Oct 1, 2019 - Prague Castle
The plan today is to get to Prague Castle, specifically St. Vitus Cathedral, by 9:00 am when it opens in an attempt to beat the hordes of tours descending on the site. So we are out the door and on the tram (not walking as it is mostly all uphill!) by 8:40am only to discover we are going the wrong direction. Easy fix - next stop jump off this one and board the one next door going the opposite direction. We arrive at the ticket window at 8:55 and head directly to St. Vitus Cathedral. This Catholic Cathedral symbolizes the Czech spirit - it...Jump to full entry
Sep 30, 2019 - Wencelas Square and Other Sights
We had planned to go to the Prague Castle Quarter this morning until we saw the weather forecast--10-20 mph winds plus about a 10 degree drop in temperature. So we came up with Plan B and took the tram to Wencelas Square. It still seems strange getting on without a ticket. We were there on Saturday, the national holiday, and it was a zoo. Today was much better. This is more of a long boulevard rather than a square with the National Museum and the statue of King Wencelas (of Christmas Carol fame), the benevolent 10th-century duke of Bohemia,...Jump to full entry
Sep 29, 2019 - Petrin Hill and the Jewish Quarter
September 29 - Petrin Hill & the Jewish Quarter Sleeping in as we have been going non-stop, we arose later than normal and had a leisurely breakfast before heading out the door. Our first destination is Petrin Hill, literally at the end of our Street. The hill is a rather large park capped by a replica of the Eiffel tower. One of the first sites on the hill is the Monument to Victims of Communism Who Survived - the figures are gradually atrophied by the totalitarian regime; they do not die but gradually disappear! Continuing on by the...Jump to full entry
Sep 29, 2019 - Last day in Prague
Today was spent mainly wandering around the historic district. 12.4 km worth. I really took my time and tried to walk down every side street I came across. You have to really look while you’re walking. Beyond an open doorway can be a cute little courtyard cafe or restaurant. I picked up a couple little souvenirs and a Czech bohemian granite necklace in the shape of a four leaf clover. It made me think of a mixture of Czech and Irish. :) I visited with an older gentleman from Hamilton who travels the world taking pictures of old trains and a...Jump to full entry