so much fun in Prague and Vienna

Oct 12th, 2007, 03:43 PM
  #1  
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so much fun in Prague and Vienna

Sorry in advance, if this has ended up long-winded and boring…..
well..i had a wonderful time in Prague and Vienna last week. I went with a friend, to visit another friend who moved to Prague with her husband about 8 months ago. They are young and just had an idea to move there. so they did.. good for us, we have someone to visit. I was there a few months ago but in a poor state of mind, so I knew this trip would be much better. Even though we only had 1 week.
well, the trip started out in the worst way… puking all the way from PHX to PHL. I believe it was a medication reaction.. its something I take daily, but this time on an empty stomach. Thankfully, I made it to the lav every time.. not quite so embarrassing, though more than one person told me I was quite white and scarey looking during the flight. I kept thinking about the long travel day ahead and wondered how I was ever going to make it. Thankfully, about 30 min before landing, I felt much better. and that was the end of that. yeay! The rest of the travel was fine.. but well, we had the pleasure of experiencing Frankfurt airport (after many horror stories). Definitely the most confusing airport.. and the people who worked there, while friendly, were not helpful in directing us to our connection to Czech Air. They kept asking ‘what air?’ Czech! what? it was comical. We did find our way (and noticed a man following us… all was ok, tho, he was just looking for Czech Air also). We made it to the gate area with an hour to spare… They have the best lounge chairs near the gates, so we relaxed with our feet up and had a cappuccino.

ok… that’s it for my play by play… we stayed with friends in Prague, and so no hotel and not much restaurant info to share.. we did eat at The Café Louvre. www.cafelouvre.cz/en/ Really good atmosphere and food – the best part of it was the small hot chocolate - $1.30… like hot thick chocolate pudding. you eat it with a spoon… decadent!! I will say one thing though… they are not at all open to any special request. My friend who lives there has chemical sensitivities and allergies and asked for the Caesar salad with no dressing. The waitress said ok.. but came back later stating that the dressing was already mixed in. My friend said that she couldn’t eat it and never mind. Well, for some reason, that message did not get across and the waitress brought the salad. When we explained that she could not eat it, we were confronted with an extremely harsh response. It seemed to us that maybe the waitperson would have to foot the bill, by the way she kept saying the Chef had already plated it. We were prepared to pay for it, but she hardly recognized us after that… when we asked for the side of potatoes that had originally been ordered, she said that it would come… in about 10 minutes. well, basically we killed her with kindness and she warmed up to us. (this is not an isolated experience, as we have found in many restaurants that they do not make any substitutions at all).

another place we ate which is about 3-4 blocks from my friend’s flat is Potrefena Husa .. i have eaten there each trip and really like it. Their Goulash and bread dumpling is really good, and the Svickova is yummy also (beef tenderloin, cream gravy, cranberry relish, and bread dumplings). Really nice atmosphere for a drink and convo.. it wasn’t crowded at all when we were there.. but could have been an off time.

Also ate lunch at a place called Pizzerie Green Tomato – yummy.. 3 pizza’s, 1 cappuccino, 1 greek salad, 3 bottles water, 1 beer, 1 tiramisu (mmmm), 3 some other drinks.. $41. really good.. wish I could tell you where we were. We had gone to a high school to be guests in an English class. That was a lot of fun, basically sitting around asking and answering questions. The kids were great. This Pizza place is where the teacher has gone for lunch for the 8 years she has been teaching there. (well, not every day!)

one of the best things was the St. Charles Bridge at 7am before all the people came. It was great for taking photos and just feeling the beauty. We also went to the Jewish Quartier and spent quite a bit of time there. Some local friends said that they had not before paid to go into the Pinkas Synagogue or the Old Jewish cemetery, but I’m glad we did.. otherwise you basically get to see all the vendors. a great site to read about Josefov is: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechR...fov/index.html . We also walked to the Prague Castle; St. Vitus’ Cathedral – which is incredible!! – I was not able to go up the tower since it was such a small claustrophobic stairway, but my friends said it was a beautiful view. . Also Wenceslas Square; Astronomical clock… all the touristy sites.. it was most fun riding the metro and figuring out where we were. ok…next - Vienna –

We took a train from Prague (Holesovice Nadrazi Train Station) to Wien Westbahnhof - 77Euro rtpp We took the 18 tram from Westbahnhof to Sudbahnhof and then had about a 4minute walk to the Wombats Hostel. Wombats is about a 30minute walk to the town center. Really a nice walk. One day we had pouring rain the entire walk.. and got soaked from the bottom up.. but the umbrellas kept our heads mostly dry. BTW, Wombats will rent you an umbrella for 5Euro.. returned when we returned the umbrella. We went to the Mozart Café for breakfast. It is right near the Albertina Museum. There has been a coffee-house on this corner ever since the year 1794..so we figured we had to check it out. Very elegant for breakfast. I had a really yummy cappuccino, a soft boiled egg, bread roll and .. an apple strudel. This came to 17.40 euro. Ok.. more than I would have liked to spend on breakfast, but we hung out there for over an hour .. just really enjoying the atmosphere.

So, without giving the complete minute by minute… I want to say that I just loved Vienna… we had a total of 30 waking hours in Vienna (two nights) .. doesn’t seem that much when I break it into hours.. but it was really a relaxing (though lots of walking) time. I definitely would recommend longer than 3 days, as there was much we wanted to see and missed. I will just tell you some of the highlights of our time there - - one of the first breathtaking sites we saw was the Rathaus, which is the City Hall…. OMG! we got there the first day right before sundown.. and walked around taking pictures for EVER.. it just kept getting more and more beautiful as the sun was going down. We were just taking in the massive beauty of this Gothic structure. We walked around the Rathaus Park, Volkes Garten and just the neighborhood. That night we had dinner at ?? hmmm.. I cant remember at all. Well, some outdoor restaurant along the way.

That night we met our our roommates in the Hostel. .. did I mention how much I liked Wombats Hostel? this was a great place to stay.. $26 USD/night pp. (http://www.wombats-hostels.com/vienna-hostel/index.php .. We had originally agreed to a room for 6, but it was a nice surprise when it was a room for 4. (all rooms there are ensuite – and extremely clean.. great, friendly staff). We made arrangements to meet up with one of the girls for dinner the next night (she is from Chicago)… we ate at Mozartstuberl which is right around the corner from, and recommended by Wombats. It is open daily from 6pm to 6am and you can get original hearty Viennese meals all night. We loved it.. I had Weiner schnitzel, my friend had some hearty soup and our new friend had goulash with knodel (the bread dumpling).. The local people were SO excited about this quite seasonal Viennese wine that happened to be available everywhere during the time we were there… so we had some – its called Storm (or something close to that). It tastes like fruit juice and goes down just as easily.. but it is strong (we were forewarned). We enjoyed the hype much more than the wine. lol… dinner was about 9euro each. Our other roommate was a girl from Germany.. who happens to be a police officer who was in Vienna for a 2 week training. The following night was her last night, and she invited us to have a drink of Storm with her. We went downstairs to the Wombar and found a corner to sit. (I had a couple of sips, but honestly… not that yummy)

We spent about 4 hours at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM).. and really enjoyed that. As a previous poster mentioned, there are many outer rooms that can be easy to miss.. but if you get a system down, you can see it all… it was well worth the time. Also went to the Naschmarket.. and really enjoyed our various food purchases.. cheese and fruit and breads (for the train ride home).

well, I’ve run out of thoughts… tho I am probably forgetting something…. oh.. you can check out my pictures on Tabblo.com – under lilliolilli. I hope that works.. I’m not that computer savvy so basically amazed I even got the pics uploaded there.

hope this was of some interest or help to people planning
callalilli is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 07:02 PM
  #2  
lyb
 
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Since I'm seriously about going to Prague on my next trip...this was very much of interest to me. Thanks.
lyb is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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callalilli - Thanks for the great report - I definitely think the info is helpful in planning - I'm heading to Prague (my first time there) in 3 weeks. I loved the tip about seeing the Charles Bridge early at 7am, and I appreciate all the dining tips that you included too. Would love to hear about your experiences with the language - did you use/speak any Czech, or did most folks respond ok to English? Thanks!
Magellan_5 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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Always nice to read a positive and enthusiastic report. Thanks.
Jean is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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Great report. The (almost) wine you had in Vienna is called Sturm. My husband really liked it.
bettyk is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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oh, thankyou bettyk... Sturm... it was described to us as storm.. like a 'thunderstorm' by the German girl we met... good to know the real name.
Magellan_5 - one thing i would say about the bridge is maybe to go even earlier. We checked to see what time sunrise was, but we got there after the lights were turned off.. i think it would have been better to get there in the dark while all the lights were on. Also, we didnt have any problems not knowing Czech, altho it was appreciated when we used what we did know.. basically please, thank you and hello. There was plenty of English spoken. Enjoy your trip!

did anyone find my pics?
callalilli is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 09:03 AM
  #7  
MaureenB
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When we visited Vienna, we were fortunate to be invited to a reception and dinner at the Rathaus, hosted by the mayor. (It was part of a medical conference my husband was attending.)

We were so amazed at the huge ballroom on the torp floor, where it was held. A gorgeous room, and I think that's where Kennedy met with Kruschev. So cool. They also presented a Viennese waltz exhibition, which was beautiful. A very memorable evening.
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Oct 13th, 2007, 11:00 AM
  #8  
lyb
 
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I tried to see your pics but it asked for a login and password
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Oct 13th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Awesome - Thanks for the great tips callallli - a sunrise trip to the bridge it is!
Magellan_5 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 04:17 PM
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Callalilli, your friends were right. Sturm is the German word for Storm.
bettyk is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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I saw Croatia, Ireland, and Poland, but couldn't get the photos for Prague adn Vienna...?

GReat report!
lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 09:11 PM
  #12  
lyb
 
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was finally able to see them and I did enjoy them! thanks
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Oct 14th, 2007, 08:23 AM
  #13  
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ok... i figured it out... try this to see my pics -- http://tinyurl.com/yvomap
bettyk - thanks - thats great to know for my "Storm/Sturm" stories.
Magellan_5 - you will NOT be disappointed. Enjoy!
MaureenB- i'm envious.. we could only peek inside the doors as they were preparing for a party.. it must have been incredible inthe top rooms.
callalilli is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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MaureenB
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Callalilli, yes, it was quite memorable. We walked up that beautiful staircase, and it felt like something in a movie. The Austrians know how to throw an elegant dinner party, I can say.
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Oct 14th, 2007, 09:09 AM
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ttt
RonZ is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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you've brought back my wonderful memories of Prague. Thanks
virgi is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Great picture collection! Prague is extremely photogenic, but in addition to the usual sites, you also captured the details, such as the metro tiles & sidewalk designs. Beautiful. Makes me Prague-sick every time I see other people's awesome travel photos! I miss Kozel beer!!!!
amp322 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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What a fun report! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I love both cities, and your report brought back such great memories for me. Now off to check out your pictures.
lucy_d is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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Great report! Very useful to me as I'll be doing nearly the same exact trip in Nov. I was considering staying at Wombats also. I see that they have two hostels in Vienna (the Base, and the Lounge), and they appear to be very close to each other. It sounds like the Lounge is newer and nicer and possibly closer to the metro. Do you have a sense of which one is in a better location?
Great pics by the way!
spatzle is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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Hi spatzle... we stayed at the Base (due to availability). Yes, they are quite close to each other (3-4 blocks). The Lounge is slightly closer to the Metro, and definitely easier to find first time. It is right on Mariahilfer Strasse.. whereas there are more turns after that to the Base. We passed the Lounge each time we went anywhere but didnt go in to check it out. I wish i had, so i would know more about it. We really enjoyed the Base, though it definitly was 'base'.. nothing fancy about it at all... but the staff was excellent/helpful/friendly and it was very clean.
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