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Central Europe in company with Volcanoes, Sun, Storm & Tempest!

Central Europe in company with Volcanoes, Sun, Storm & Tempest!

May 31st, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Central Europe in company with Volcanoes, Sun, Storm & Tempest!

Well, with all the planning over many months and much help from Fodorites our trip was finally about to begin. The continual eruption of the Icelandic volcano (can't remember the name, not sure anyone else does either) made for some anxious moments but the ash cloud managed to clear enough for our airports to resume flights. I was then able to discontinue reading the fine print in my much-thumbed travel insurance policy and am still not sure if we would have been covered or not!
After welcoming our housesitters the evening before leaving and introducing our 3 cats and 1 dog who seemed pretty 'ho hum' about it all DH and I were then on our way down to Sydney (3 hrs away) where we would leave the car with friends.
The flights from Australia to Europe are never on anyone's 'things I love to do list' because of the long haul of around 24hours. But, we left Sydney in an Emirates A380 for the 15hr odd flight to Dubai and it was comfortable, roomy and very quiet and also extremely full due to the previously mentioned flight disruptions. After a 3hr layover in Dubai airport, which is not too hard to bear as the shopping is great, we were on the relatively short flight of 5.5hrs to Vienna.
Our accommodation for this trip was to be a mix of hotels, pensions and apartments and our hotel for the next 4 days in Vienna was the Steigenberger Herrenhof right in the centre. I had got a really good deal combining airfare and hotel thru Expedia. The weather was a sunny 25 deg. celsius and Vienna was sparkling. Everywhere you turn there is a beautiful building or statue to admire and as we were so close to many sights we walked everywhere and only occasionally used a tram.
Because our seasons are the opposite to Europe and it was autumn (fall) in Australia I was thrilled to experience spring in all its glory with beds of tulips planted down the middle of the streets and all types of blooms in the parks and window boxes of buildings - just beautiful! An added bonus is I get to have spring all over again here in September.
We managed to fit in a day trip to Melk and Krems via coach and boat and had a great tour of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk guided by a very knowledgeable young woman whose enthusiasm for the place really showed. Her english was very good and she also managed to crack a few jokes (but in a very serious way) so we were not quite sure if it was meant to be funny or not.
Among other things we visited the Kunsthistoriches Museum which was very good but even better was the raspberry cake and coffee in the cafe there! I had booked tickets before leaving for a Chopin piano recital at the Musikverein for our third night in Vienna and it was very exciting to be sitting there in the actual 'Golden Hall' that I have viewed on TV each year when watching the Vienna New Year Days Concert. We didn't go to the Lippizaner display but met one of the horses as he was being led across the walkway we happened to be in at the time so was able to say hello and take his picture.
The Central Cafe down the street from the hotel was a great spot for breakfast and a restaurant we discovered in a courtyard not far from the hotel was a very popular spot with locals who gathered there for happy hour and stayed on.
Now, that I have started this trip report I realise my memory is letting me down so shall have to check out scribbled notes and review my photos to help with the rest so, all I can say at this time is - to be continued.
joode is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 05:10 PM
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Looking forward to the next installments.
irishface is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 05:19 PM
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Thanks joode - so looking forward to hearing the rest!

We were n the same hotel in Vienna just before the volcano caused problems - and loved it for its location and space.
Vienna was also looking so beautiful then - and we didn't want to leave!
I think I recall your courtyard' restaurant - close by - and we ate there one night with lots of locals well and truly settled in for an extended happy hour.

Anyway - off to work now - great start!
love_travel_Aus is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2010, 06:06 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement! The other good things about the Steigenberger was the free internet and the free mini bar. We had decided against taking the laptop thinking it was going to be one more thing to carry and also worry about but how wrong we were! Apart from the free internet at this hotel we found that internet cafes were few and far between whereas free wi-fi was available almost everywhere.
Our next stop was Dubrovnik and we had decided to fly rather than use up 2 days travelling by train and staying overnight in Zagreb and we had a scheduled stay in Zagreb later on. We flew with Croatia Airlines which was basic but uneventful and by purchasing a return ticket it was much cheaper than one-way!
This was to be our first apartment stay and we were picked up from the airport by the driver provided by Dubrovnik Apartment Source, a great website run by an American couple living in Dubrovnik which I had found out about on this trusty Fodor's forum.
The apartment owner, Pero, met us at the gate, helped with our luggage up the few steps and showed us into our home for the next 4 days. I said few steps because some of the apartments in Dubrovnik have lots, up to 200 and we just didn't fancy that sort of climb every time we went in and out! That was what I liked about DAS that all those sort of details were included in property descriptions. It was fairly late at night and on stepping out onto our vine covered terrace we had this really great view of Dubrovnik old town all lit up and wow! I had wanted to come here for years and now had finally made it!
Next morning the weather was great, the ocean was sparkling and we were about 5 minutes walk from the Pile Gate so we set off the explore. It's a fascinating place with narrow alleys radiating out from the main square in many directions, lots of flowers in window boxes, resident's washing hanging from windows and lots of tourist shops and restaurants. The cruise ships all call at Dubrovnik and during the course of the day the crowds increased due to a couple in port. I would think the whole place would be very crowded during summer where I believe they can have as much as 12,000 people off ships visit the old town.
Well, it was hot work wandering around and as the sun was fast approaching the yard arm and the crowds were diminishing I had a quest and that was to find the Buza Bar! All I could remember was that it had to be overlooking the ocean so, after much searching, we spotted the magic sign so thankyou Maitai Tom you will be pleased to know that our first toast with that chilled frosty beer was to you for telling us about it! You also may like to know that we found another one (bar I mean) while walking around the top of the wall. It looked fairly new with the tops of every reasonably flat rock covered with a cement platform and on about 5 levels (with no railings) so the Buza bar fame has spread and everyone wants to get in on the act!
We had a great meal at the Taj Mahal and also at a vegetarian restaurant the DAS recommended where even Richard (who loves a steak) was impressed. I just can't remember the name - I'll mention it later if I do. We met an Irish mother and daughter there for a few days (they only have a 3-4hr flight) and they proved to us that the Irish really are good drinkers after putting away a beer each and then a litre bottle of red! We tried but couldn't keep up!
Walking around the wall in the late afternoon on our last day was a great way to finish off our Dub stay. Apart from a few sprinkles of rain we'd had very good weather but not swimming weather. We did see people in the ocean but decided they must be very hardy types because before they even got to the water they had to walk across a beach consisting of quite large pebbles - ouch!

Next we pick up our rental vehicle and start driving on the 'other' side of the road - scary!
joode is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2010, 06:14 AM
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nice start joode - to the trip and to the TR.

you certainly did better than us for weather in Vienna when we were there - torrential rain was the order of the day last year! I'd love to go back but i don't think that even the horses of the riding school would drag DH back there.

a girlfriend of mine has just been to Dubrovnik and said it was very expensive - what did you think? we went about 30 years ago so my memory is pretty hazy.
annhig is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2010, 07:20 AM
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Oh my, I am having Buza Bar flashbacks!!! Glad you liked it. The Eighth Wonder of the World!!! Great report.

maitaitom is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2010, 01:30 AM
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annhig, it is definitely more expensive than 30 years ago and if your friend bought fashion items or jewellery yes, it was expensive but restaurant wise I thought it was OK.
Even though we were lucky with weather in Vienna and Dubrovnik, the weather gods were obviously planning on making a few other venues not quite so pleasant - but more of that later!
Maitai Tom, it's a shame isn't it that we have such stringent rules re safety etc. here and as you do in the U.S. that such a spot as the Buza bar would not be possible. For instance, at the entrance to Sydney harbour we have some magnificent cliffs which would be a very dramatic site for a cliff-top bar - maybe a suggestion to the city council authorities???
Around 10.00am our car was delivered from H & M Rentacar/Dubrovnik thru Economycarhire.com (a broker in the UK). I had been a bit concerned re this company as I had to pay the total amount upfront but the price was so good with no excess plus a small amount we paid for extra insurance to cover glass, undercarriage etc., I took the chance. The car was not new but a couple of years old, a Skoda Octavia 1.8 diesel station wagon but it was clean and went like a charm. We hadn't specified a wagon but it gave us heaps of room for luggage so we didn't complain.
After Richard drove around a carpark a couple of times to familiarise himself with the manual change and general feel of it we set off. I had purchased a GPS from Hong Kong complete with European maps on Ebay before leaving so was a little apprehensive re it's competence as well but, 'Lady Kate' directed us out of Dubrovnik as if she actually lived there and we were off to our next destination of Trogir near Split. Because we had the time and wanted to see the countryside we chose to keep off the motorways as much as possible. This was great for awhile until we found the roads progressively getting narrower and more like country lanes than roads. We began to doubt Lady Kate's expertise but soon after we were led back to an entry to the motorway. This, in itself, was a learning experience because of not being sure just which gate to go thru. The first one we approached we suddenly realised was for electronic tolls only and just managed to back out before a huge truck came barrelling thru. Then we found you had to lean out and press a button to receive a ticket which was paid at the other end. A learning curve to be overcome by not knowing the language but easy once you know how!
We made a deviation to visit Pula and tour the wonderfully preserved colosseum there.
We arrived in Trogir and phoned our hostess of the Palace Stafileo in the old town who met us and directed us to a carpark. Another couple of guests had arrived at the same time so we all completed the short walk over a canal and entered another ancient walled city. Marina, a bright and attractive girl in her 20s and her dad made us very welcome and ushered us into the courtyard for a welcome drink and some of Grandma's dried figs. The figs were delicious, the drinks were something else - homemade brandy, grappa and a sweeter one not unlike Amaretto was offered. The first two were absolutely fire water so I stuck with the sweeter one, Richard was a little braver and had the brandy.
The other couple were English and were driving thru Europe en route to the UK having started in Cyprus and we were having such an interesting conversation with them that we decided to continue on and have dinner at a local restaurant together. This place was recommended by Marina's Dad and was so good we decided to eat there again the next night, it's called Marijana, the house red was excellent too.
We caught the local express bus into Split and spent the day exploring the Diocletian Palace and also a very prolific local market which sold everything you could imagine with Richard even got a new watchband fitted at one stall
joode is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2010, 01:42 AM
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Oops! finger problem! I hit the wrong key.
We enjoyed Split and our stay in Trogir but I forgot to mention the bells! There was a church nearby Palace Stafileo and the priest was obviously very concerned his congregation might sleep in so the bells started ringing at 5.30am then at 6.00am then at regular intervals after that! We are early risers so it wasn't too much of a problem but don't expect to sleep in! Marina said they were so used to them that they just slept thru.
Our next destination is Plitvice National Park and fantastic just does not describe the lakes and waterfalls there!
joode is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2010, 10:57 AM
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annhig, it is definitely more expensive than 30 years ago and if your friend bought fashion items or jewellery yes, it was expensive but restaurant wise I thought it was OK.>>

my recollection from 30 years ago [the era of tito!] was that the food was ok in price but pretty awful to eat, apart from the harbour-side restaurant in Cavtat [just down the coast from dubrovnik] where i still remember the lobster salad! [in a good way]. My GF said that foood was pretty pricey in Dubrovnik, so they mainly ate pizza. it may be that they got hit by a bad exchange rate, or just found the wrong places.

i think we went to Plitvice too, on the bus, but my memory, truth to tell, IS pretty hazy.
annhig is offline  
Jun 5th, 2010, 03:38 AM
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A small correction before I start - the deviation to Pula (as DH pointed out) was after visiting Plitvice on our return to the Adriatic coast!
After arriving at Plitvice NP and checking into the Hotel Plitvice we decided to grab a quick lunch of soup in the dining room before starting out. The dining room is huge and there wasn't a soul in there except us so the service was good - the food mediocre.
The sun was shining so we caught the boat across and headed for the upper lakes. I have never seen anything quite like this place - everywhere you turned there was water - either running down beside the path or spilling over banks or cliffs of all different levels and an incredible aqua blue/green colour. The paths wound thru beautiful, tall green forests and across rustic boardwalks and bridges and every so often there were clumps of small violets or primroses and bright green mosses covering the fallen trees. At one stage we came across a large bank of solid ice next to the path. The walk was so enjoyable that instead of going back down in the bus we headed back in another direction and hardly met a soul. By the time we returned to the wharf it was around 5.30pm so we decided to call it a day and headed back to the hotel for a beer or two.
Our plan was to do the lower lakes the next morning before departing for the coast again but as it was overcast and raining we left earlier.
We found the Hotel Plitvice rather expensive for what they offer but it is very convenient, the staff were very pleasant and attentive and our room was quite comfortable with a nice view of the park.
By the time we reached the coast the sun was shining again and this was when we made our deviation to Pula! Our final destination was Rovinj and I had not prebooked any accommodation so on arrival we parked and entered the nearest tourist office that looked promising. The 2 girls in the office were most helpful and we procured a very comfortable apartment attached to a private home just up the road for 40 euros/night. The owners spoke a little English and made us most welcome (Karmen & Rales Janko, Istarska 44, 52210 Rovinj). There was a good restaurant in the same street about 4 or 5 doors away so we ate there both nights and dined on the house specialty of roast suckling pig the second night which was very good!
Rovinj is a great place to wander around the old area just behind the waterfront or sit in one of the cafes and watch the world go by. It was very colourful with flower and plant markets lining the promenade I couldn't believe our luck with the weather which was still warm and sunny. We went on a boat trip right up the coast past a whole lot of nude sunbathers, predominantly men, draped over rocks (I was tempted to get the binoculars out from the backpack but thought it might be considered bad taste). Another Buza bar lookalike was spotted complete with large, white hooded cane chairs which looked rather exotic!
On leaving Rovinj the next day it was a drizzly day and our Lady Kate GPS had a bad case of confusion and directed us around in circles but eventually we got her sorted and entered the motorway heading for the Slovenian border. We knew we had to buy a vignette to travel on the motorway so pulled into a service centre for a very welcome coffee and acquired our 7 day (15 euro) sticker. I'm not sure whether it's more economical than paying the tolls but it certainly was more convenient being able to sail thru the pay stations with it affixed to the windscreen.
The weather had cleared a bit by the time we reached Lake Bled so as soon as we parked the car I started snapping the absolutely beautiful scenery - it really is breathtaking!
We decided to stay at Pension Berc which is up on the hill and away from the main road so nice and quiet (65 euros/night). Pension Mayer right next door has a nice restaurant so we ate there. Next morning it was sunny so more photos of the lake and the castle high on the cliffs on the opposite side.
Our first excursion was to Vintgar Gorge which is a really narrow river gorge with a walkway along the cliff walls and this tremendously fast river racing thru it - not to be missed!
Then an excursion up to the castle itself with fantastic views over the village of Bled and surrounding countryside.
By the time we returned from the castle it had started raining again so now was the perfect time to try that famous Kremna Rezina so we entered the Hotel Park lakeside cafe where I ordered the KR but Richard decided on another cake which we both voted was even better! It's called Gibanica Cake and has at least 4 layers consisting of apples and cinnamon, raisins soaked in rum,sour cream, walnuts, curd cheese, poppy seeds/cinnamon sandwiched together with strudel pastry - absolutely delish! I intend to try and replicate it when I get the time.
We reluctantly left Lake Bled and it's lovely mountain scenery and drove to Ljubljana to have a quick look about before continuing onto Maribor where we were staying the night.
Lady Kate took us into the centre of Ljubljana where we hopefully started looked for a parking spot. After making a left turn at some traffic lights we were suddenly confronted with an angry policewoman, blowing her whistle and indicating that we should pull over where she proceeded to berate us for taking an illegal left turn or at least that's what it turned out to be when we protested we only spoke English. When we said we had wanted to see Ljubljana but couldn't find a parking spot she immediately changed, was all smiles, pulled out a city map, pointed out a multi-story parking station nearby and wished us a happy stay in her city. When we came back past her on foot we waved and there she was, happily booking many of the motorists who had done exactly what we had done but probably should've known better if they were locals!
After a few hours sightseeing we returned to the car and headed off the Maribor.
It was raining again so we couldn't do much other than take a short walk then have dinner and an early night. The next morning it was raining in earnest and we had to return our rental car back to the Zagreb city office by 10.00am so, even though it wasn't very far, we gave ourselves plenty of time to find the place which turned out the best thing to do as with peak hour traffic and heavy rain it took a very long time to go quite short distances.
Our apartment in Zagreb was in one of the main streets called Ilica Street and had been newly renovated so everything was brand new, beautifully decorated and very comfortable (Apartment Cebalo - on Tripadvisor).
The changeable weather treated us to sunshine the next day and for the next 3 days so we really enjoyed Zagreb. There seemed to be always something on in the main square with promotions for various destinations such as Slovenia and Rab Island with lots of free wine, cheese and other foods being handed around by folk in the national dress. There are many outdoor cafes and the beer is good so we spent some time in a few whenever we needed a break. There were lots of flower and fruit and vegetable markets about and one of my favourite fruits was in season - strawberries - the biggest, sweetest strawberries you could imagine so we got fresh supplies every day!
Zagreb is not mentioned all that much on the Central European tourist trail but we really liked it and thoroughly recommend a visit - the main cathedral there is magnificent.
Budapest (after a really long train trip) is next on the list.
joode is offline  
Jun 5th, 2010, 08:57 PM
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We left Zagreb for Budapest on the 10.00am train (30 euro each for a return ticket after 60% discount - cheaper than 1-way ticket) for what was supposed to be a 6.5hr trip but with some unexplained delays every so often it turned into 8 hrs! And it rained most of the way so the weather was starting to go against us in a big way. Luckily we had bought some lunch on the station to take with us as we found there was no buffet car!
The apartment in Budapest was one I had been really looking to as it looked beautiful on the website (found on Tripadvisor - Luxury Penthouse in historical building). It really was as good as described too. Sited just up from the Danube and Parliament House it had 2 levels with the upper level consisting of bathroom and bedroom opening onto a furnished rooftop terrace with stunning views of Buda Castle and surroundings. Downstairs consisted of fully equipped kitchen/dishwasher/washing machine, extra separate toilet, large living and dining area with TV, DVD player plus DVDs. The decor was very modern and beautifully done. The whole building surrounds a courtyard has a 24hr concierge and an elevator and on entering the foyer from the street thru beautiful wrought iron doors, you needed a special code to access the rest of the building so it's very secure. All this for US80/night during mid May!
The bad weather that had been gradually spreading over Europe managed to hit Budapest that night and a really wild night ensued with the wind howling and the rain pouring down. Next morning we ventured out to get some supplies for breakfast etc. and there were tree branches down everywhere plus quite a number of umbrellas discarded on the streets. It was still blowing a gale (so strong you could barely stay upright in some areas) and raining so we gave up on trying to do too much and stayed in relaxing and watching DVDs.
By the next day the weather had improved only a little and indoor pursuits would be a good choice so we caught a tram to the Central Markets. They were great fun and we wiled away a few hours just looking! Bought some great gifts of paprika to take back too. Reading the enclosed recipe with the paprika for Rooster Stew is an absolute hoot!
Next day had us catching a tram to the Chain Bridge where we walked across even though it was still windy and quite cool but not unbearable. We bought tickets for the funicular railway and walked around the castle and St Matthias Church. Just down from St Matthias is the Fishermans Bastion which is a very beautiful arched structure with towers (I believe it was built about 100 years ago to replace the original wall. The views over the river to Pest and the Parliament buildings are fantastic from there so managed to get some great photos while having a coffee and listening to a trio playing gypsy music.
On returning to Pest we went to St Stephens square (where all the outdoor cafes were empty and look particularly bleak because of the inclement weather and spent some time viewing St Stephens Basilica, the largest Catholic church in Hungary - very impressive.
I had kept hoping the weather would be pleasant enough for us to use our rooftop terrace but no, apart from going out to take a few photos, it was not the place to be. It's such a shame how the weather controls your actual enjoyment in visiting certain places and I feel we should perhaps revisit Budapest one day to take advantage of all it has to offer.

Our next train trip was to Prague and we had easily purchased tickets at a MAV office (instead of having to go back to the station). I wasn't able to get the super cheap tickets for 19 euro but got the next discount price which was 29 euro each which I thought quite reasonable for the 7 hour trip. The train left at 9.28am and, when we boarded, found it reasonably full but we managed to find a couple of seats fairly quickly so, no drama. Though, I did notice a lot of passengers tend to spread themselves out with luggage on seats or pretend to be asleep etc. and won't move unless challenged! I was quite amused to note a couple, who appeared dead to the world each train stop, came to life and sat up again when the train started moving!
We had bought a picnic lunch before boarding as we had on the Zagreb to Budapest train but, unlike that train, this one had a buffet car so any extras needed could be purchased.
The train was getting along at a good pace and also very quiet (no clickety-clack). Richard was itching to know just how fast we were going so he retrieved the GPS, keyed in the destination and then Lady Kate spoke up and told him in no uncertain terms that 'you are over the speed limit!' - we were doing around 190kph!
Our arrival in Prague was right on time at 4.20pm and our apartment was in the Mala Strana area where we met the agency representative. This apartment was on Ujezd Street on the 2nd flr with a tiny elevator - quite spacious and backed onto a park but it was rather dark and fairly basic - rather a comedown from our previous lodgings! The main thing it was convenient, had a small supermarket (potravinny) next door and a good restaurant (Meduzzys) just across the road. It was also within 10 minutes walking distance to the Charles Bridge.
We hadn't run into a lot of tourist-type crowds until this point and now I knew where they all were - here in Prague!
The first morning we walked down to the Charles Bridge around 9.30am and it was already quite crowded with tourist groups being led about by someone waving a flag, umbrella or some type of artificial flower and they seemed to spread over every sidewalk. It was the same in the main square but you could escape by sitting down in one of the cafes and having a coffee or a beer!
The weather wasn't too bad with just a shower every now and then and sunny spots in between we just wandered around town soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the beautiful buildings.
Next morning we started out early and climbed up the steps to visit Prague Castle which was a good idea as it did get really crowded as the day wore on! We got an audio guide which is really much better than having a guided tour and trying to hear what your guide is saying over all the other languages being spoken around you. The first place we visited was St Vitus' Cathedral and the stained glass windows there were really beautiful as well as the church itself - quite awe inspiring. By the time we exited the church the crowds were increasing so off we went to the castle. On the way back down we found Wallenstein Palace and gardens and then fell into the nearest cafe/bar to have a well-deserved beer to sustain us before returning to our apartment. Just a note, the dark beer in Prague is really good and I'm not usually a beer drinker!
We had seen a lot of classic old convertible cars toting tourists about so we chose a lovely old cream coloured 1938 Tatra which actually had to be cranked before it started. That was fun and an interesting way to see the city but rather bumpy going over the cobblestones! The cost was about 450CZK/person (AUD25 each).
On our last day we elected to go for a river trip up the Vltava on the Jazz Boat where we had a pleasant lunch together with a Jazz Violin trio playing so it seemed to be a suitable finale.
Now nearing the end with our next stop being Cesky Krumlov then Vienna.
joode is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 03:25 AM
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Our transport to Cesky Krumlov was the Student Agency Bus and I'd booked our seats online before leaving. It was incredibly cheap, at around AUD8 each and took around 3 hours. The bus was comfortable, we had free hot chocolate plus they played a really bad Czech movie with English sub-titles that we tried not to watch but every now and then just couldn't help catching up on the story!
I had booked a room at the Pension Barbakan which was a lovely clean, airy room at the back overlooking the river (65 euro/night) with a good breakfast. It is very well run, the people are great and they also have a nice restaurant. It is well sited too being right next to the bridge and about 5 minutes walk into the main town.
We explored the town and then walked up to the castle and walked around the beautiful gardens. It was Monday so we couldn't go into the castle but I was more than happy seeing the gardens.
That evening we just had to go to Maitai Tom's favourite - the Restaurant Katakomby - and no, we didn't break a leg going down those steep stairs but it really is a fascinating place and the food was excellent - huge servings! We also chose to exit out the back way rather than attempt the climb back up the stairs.
Next morning we departed with Shuttle Lobo for Linz railway station and our driver gave us a running commentary on the various sights on the way. A really fast train later and we were back in Vienna for the last 2 days.
I had chosen an apartment in the Margareten area on Schonbrunnerstrasse. The apartment was fine but the area was a bit seedy so, not a good choice!
Our very last day in Vienna dawned fine and sunny and we planned to visit Schonbrunn so luck was with us. We arrived not long after it opened and paid for tickets for the Grand Tour - free audio guides are provided and they give a very good history of the building and its former residents.
After finishing the tour we wandered around the grounds and then sat down in what I would call a 'green park' as it was fenced off and consisted of just tall trees and grass but it was a very peaceful spot and apart from one other person we had it to ourselves. There were lively little squirrels leaping about in the grass and they seemed quite tame and were fun to watch.
Well, after returning to the apartment and doing our final packing we were all set for that long flight back to Oz. It seemed to take even longer on the way home - I think I watched 3 movies in all!
Now back and starting to think where we may head next time - I'm thinking Jordan (Petra) plus ??? - who knows? Will have to read some trip reports to get ideas.
joode is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 04:33 AM
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Thanks for a well detailed report!
irishface is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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Thanks so much for the wonderful report! We are headed for Prague/CK/Vienna the lst of October. I am bookmarking for reference. Also enjoyed the Hungary and Croatia part. Made me wish we were going there as well! Maybe another trip.
blh is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 05:07 AM
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Your trip reports brings back a ton of memories for me. Buza Bar. Vintgar Gorge. Rovinj. Lovely Ljubljana. Fantastic Plitvice. Pivo in Prague. Pivna KataKomby in Český Krumlov. Now I have to go back to Bled and try that Gibanica Cake (along with another Kremna Rezina). Thanks for sharing.

maitaitom is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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Well, thank you all for your kind words after my first trip report. After using this site for a few years to help plan our trips I'd not attempted to do a report before but really enjoyed describing our travels and it's a good way to have a record before everything fades into the background of time!
joode is offline  

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