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Gabriel's 10 days trip to Prague, Dresden and Berlin - A report

Gabriel's 10 days trip to Prague, Dresden and Berlin - A report

Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 06:30 AM
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Imagine my surprise, gabriel, when I clicked on the link to your photos and saw your first photo of Berlin. It is the photo of the building w/fresco painting on the River Spree. That building was directly across the street from my hotel, the Melia on Friedrichstrasse. I saw that same view every time I looked out of my window.

I have obviously walked in the same footsteps as you.

The Great and Powerful Thingorjus
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Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 09:06 PM
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Well, Thingorjus, I can imagine your surprise indeed. It must be a good feeling. At least I like it when I see a photo of a place where I had been before, or even more, of a place that I myself had photographed, somewhere else than my album.

That day we were walking towards the museum island and I kept looking over the river, as I liked what I was seeing. Then I waited to reach the right angle (for me) to take that picture. I wanted the fresco to be a clear part of the photo.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 10:38 PM
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Gabriel, thanks for taking the time to post your report, its been a great read, hoping to visit some of those places soon.

And also a big "welcome" to my home town, Perth. Glad you are settling in and enjoying our lifestyle in the sunny West, and I hope you are coping with this heat and yes I do have the air conditioning on today,it's 40 again!

If you need anything at all please drop me a line at troys at bigpond dot net dot au

Maudie
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 02:47 PM
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Glad to hear you're from Perth, Maudie!

I've now come to the last instalment of my trip report. Here it is.

This is a link to photos taken during our last day in Prague:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...1AaNGzly4ZsWLf

In the morning we went for a stroll on the atmospheric streets of the old town. We took the metro to Wenceslas Square, passed by the impressive National Museum (not enough time to visit it and anyway Prague itslef is a museum) and majestic Wenceslas Monument, went down the avenue, turned right somewhere and after a while we reached the Powder Tower.

Just when we passed it, we saw the Municipal House. Oh what an impact it had on us, a superb building, we were amazed at the sight of it. A quick succession of photos followed before we did anything else.

Then we went in to buy tickets for the 12 oíclock tour. We still had enough time for a good walk, so we explored some more streets and admired the architecture till we reached Grand Café Orient.

Also known as the House of the Black Madonna, this is a cubist building from the beginning of the 1900s. We climbed a spiral stair, swaying graciously to the first floor.

We took our time to admire the interior decorations, light fittings, furniture and the setup of this unique cubist café. We sat at a table on the balcony, surrounded by flowers and with a splendid view of an intersection from old times.

We remained there at that café for a long time, lingering over a sumptuous coffee with alcohol, whipped cream and chocolate topping, and admired the beautiful architecture around us and the bustle beneath, trying to imagine ourselves at the beginning of the 20th century, when Grand Café Orient was in its heyday.

We decided to leave only when the time for our tour of the Municipal House was nearing. However, we allowed for time spending in some shops on the way. Souvenirs, souvenirs and more souvenirs. They were everywhere. Every other shop there was a jewellery one as well.

My dear wife stopped in a few of them, as she really wanted an amber from Prague. Well, I donít know how many times it can happen, whether on a holiday shop browsing, or at home during a shopping spree, for a husband to insist on his wife to buy herself a piece of jewellery, but when she showed me a certain amber ring in one of those shops, I myself couldnít resist buying it.

It was beautiful and it matched a very important criteria too: what I thought it was a good price. So she was happy to have it and still admires it today.

We reached the Municipal House in time for our tour. We were amazed inside, kept looking high up at the walls and ceilings, admiring the light fittings and decorations, it was a superb place.

From there we went to the Old Town Square where we were happy to spot a Dali exhibition, which we visited without delay.

We passed again by the Astronomical Clock, a not-to-miss sight there, entered a few churches around the square and admired their interiors.

Of course, we went again to Charles Bridge, we just had to see it again, crossed it and went up the hill on Nerudova. It was so hot, the sun was striking straight down at us and couldnít avoid it.

Kept taking photos all the way, I donít think my camera had a significant break during all this time. Looking left and right not to miss any building, admiring the architecture and design, we finally reached the castle.

We wanted to see the painting collection at Sternberg Palace, which is right near the castle. Very few people there, so we got to enjoy a nice collection of art on our own.

The museum houses works of art from the ancient Greece and Rome, works of Italian, Spanish, German, French and Dutch masters from the 16th to the 18th century, such as Tintoretto, Tiepolo, El Greco, Goya, Lucas Cranach, Durer, Rubens and van Dyck.

Then we went in the castle grounds, witnessed a changing of the guard, not very spectacular, walked on the Golden Lane, then continued up the hill till we reached Loreta, and on to Strahov Monastery.

In the meantime rain started, donít know when the clouds gathered as it was sunny and hot just minutes before. We were going down on another street, taking in magnificent views over Prague, careful for the rain water not to mess up with the camera, as rain or no rain, I simply had to take pictures.

When we reached Charles Bridge, it was emptier than ever, and I suddenly remembered what I had read somewhere, that in order to avoid crowds on this bridge, you either have to be there at dawn, or when it rains.

Well, it was still crowded somehow, but significantly less than usual. We were able to actually walk, look and see around us, and we rejoiced.

It was around 9pm already, so we made our way to the accommodation and prepared our stuff for the next morning departure. We certainly didnít see all that we wanted, as we couldnít fit it all in three days.

We enjoyed our visit to Prague, an amazing city. I couldnít believe the number of photos that I took during our third day there: 237!

Indeed, we noticed a few shady characters here and there, especially around the railway station, but we were reasonably careful with our belongings while in crowds, whether in the metro, tram or on Charles Bridge, and had a very pleasant holiday.
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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Loved the Sternberg Collection! I have very fond memories of walking through the galleries with my mother, Linda. We just loved the Cranach painting "The Old Fool," which depicts an elderly man's pocket being picked by a young woman he is trying to seduce.

I hope you got to see the Loreto Convent with its collection of jewelled liturgical instruments.

Thingorjus
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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gabrieltraian:
Your trip report has been fascinating to read, both because you and your wife obviously have so much in common and relish all that you do together, and your wonderfully descriptive travel activities and photos of same.

I was on a tour to Eastern Europe this past November that began in Berlin. I went in a day early just so I could see the Pergmamon and have a birthday lunch atop the Parliament at Kafer Restaurant.


I agree that the Pergamon is a fantastic place and the dome at the top of the Riechstag (Parliament Building) is not to be missed for its views over Berlin.

When I arrived back home and reviewed my photos of Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Budapest, Krakow and Warsaw, they were all in the camera except for the photos I had taken while at the Pergamon! I suspect these were accidentally deleted from my digital camera due to operator error (sob). I was delighted to see yours on Shutterfly and have ordered four to replace my missing ones. Thanks for that!!!!
travelchat
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Hi Gabriel.....I don't want to hijack your thread BUT I have just been reading some old threads and came across some of your suggestions for Dubai. We are off to the UK in May with 4 days either on the way there or on the way back and your suggestions were awsome. we are thinking of splashing out and having 3 nights at Burj Al arab as the rates seem to drop in June. as it was an 'old' thread I was reading I was wondering if you have any new tips for a 'fellow Aussie'? I guess the shopping (inc sking) and as touristy as I'm sure it is (but we are tourists) a dinner type 'safari' into the dunes.
Welcome to Australia (how do you feel about the added distance you have now got for travel????)
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 12:28 AM
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Thingorjus, imagine that, "The Old Fool" was a highlight for us too!

Unfortunately, there was simply too much to see and visit in Prague for us to be able to do in three days. As time wasn't on our side, we had to prioritize and be satisfied that we filled our three days to the brim.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 12:39 AM
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Travelchat, glad that you enjoyed my report! Thank you for your appreciation!

If you want, give me your e-mail address and I'll send you some more. Say which ones or if you want them all, and I'll be happy to help. Hopefully they match your preferences.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 12:57 AM
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Hi Aussiedreamer,

I just posted a reply about Dubai on to your UK-Dubai thread.

"Welcome to Australia (how do you feel about the added distance you have now got for travel????)"

I used to fly 5 hours to get to Europe from Dubai, now in 5 hours I can hardly reach Melbourne or Sydney... or Singapore

I'll get used to it. Australia offers a lot as well, and now I'll have the chance to visit the Pacific islands, Tasmania, Far East...

I'll still consider Europe, as I am yet to visit and explore a few countries there.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:32 PM
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Thanks for such a great report, Gabriel. I am planning a similar trip for this summer, so I really appreciated your pictures and descriptions. Our original plan was to visit just Berlin and Prague, but after reading your report, I'm considering adding Dresden to the list. Thanks for sharing!
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 06:57 PM
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So glad that you enjoyed my report, msteacher!
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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gabrieltraian:
Thank you so much for your reply and offer to send me more photos of the Pergamon. I think I'll be fine with those I ordered, which are closest to what I had actually photographed myself.

Keep on traveling, your trip reports are wonderful!
travelchat
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 09:54 AM
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Great trip report, Gabriel. Enjoyed it a lot - especially the parts about Dresden, of course ;-)

I will be in Prague for 4 nights (mostly business) next week and your report is very helpful for planning. Hey, I plan to beat you in regard of taking photos, though. LOL

Ingo
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 04:17 AM
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Glad you enjoyed my trip report, Ingo!

You have to beat 237 photos in one day. You have to show me; and no doubles!
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 05:09 AM
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Bah, that's easy ;-) You don't know me - I am a photo maniac. LOL

But it's the quality that counts, not the quantity. Your photos are excellent!

I.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 03:05 PM
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"Your photos are excellent!"

Thank you.
I gotta show this to my wife!
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Gabriel-What a fantastic trip report! This is definitely worth a reread to soak up all the information you've provided! We'll be in both Prague and Dresden in early June (along with Belgrade in late May) and your report is certainly helping us plan our days. Pictures were great too by the way! Keep traveling and writing great reports!
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 05:16 AM
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Thank you for your appreciation, Debs. Glad you liked my report and moreover that it's useful for your planning.

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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:25 AM
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What a wonderful report! It has certainly helped with my planning for a very short trip to Prague after a few weeks in Greece. Many thanks. Just wondering where you stayed in Prague and whether you'd recommend it?
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