We went to Neuschwanstein today. It is a castle so extravagant and beautiful that Walt Disney modeled his castle after it.
I had been here before, and it is one of the few things I vividly remember from that first trip I took to Germany. It is about a 2 hour train ride down to the Southern German town of Füssen near the Austrian border. We then caught a bus to the small village at the base of the mountain that the castle sits on. We waited in line, got out tour ticket and time slot, then hiked up the mountain to the castle. The views are so amazingly beautiful and make the hike more than worth it.
I woke up, ate breakfast, and did some more site seeing on my own this morning. I then went back and picked up Kalin to check out some more sited and show her some that I had already seen. The plac was to meet up with Coach Hat this afternoon, but due to flight connections that were missed, and the usual airport shenanigans, we were not able to.
We went to the Englischer Garden, a city park even bigger than Central Park, and saw the river surfers and Chinese Garden. I tried eierpunsch. Not a fan. Lebkuchen though…I like lebkuchen.
I then showed Kalin Old Town Hall and Viktualienmarkt, sited I saw yesterday morning in my exploring.
We shopped on our way back to the hostel for a bit. I then headed back out to buy some souvenirs and ended up stumbling upon the most unique Christmas Market I have seen and probably will see. It was a mix of 6th street, hippy art fest, and rave party.
We arrived in Munich this afternoon, got to our hostel, found out how to do laundry, and went to a nearby Brauhaus for dinner.
Visited the first concentration camp Dachau today. The place is already eerie and gloomy, and the fog that covered the grounds just added to that atmosphere.
This evening we visited 3 Christmas markets and got to see a little of what Munich has to offer. It’s a beautiful city. I had some good food and took in the atmosphere around me.
I still have a long list of places I want to see before we leave Sunday. Tomorrow will be a day trip to the castle, and Saturday we will meet up with Coach Hat in the afternoon. Luckily many of the sites are not only close to one another, but also close to where we are staying, so we should be able to view most of them.
Really wasn’t much on the agenda for our last full day in Prague. One thing was for certain though, we would eat at Cafe Savoy before we left. So breakfast there this morning was a must. Let me explain this place. It is one of those Instagram worthy establishments. One of the places that, if you’re a foodie like me who finds out where to eat the second you know you’re going to a certain town, you stalk for weeks anticipating your chance to finally dine there. I’m talking a table full of food that make you look like Marie Antoinette or something.
My mom and I are always seeking out new bakeries and breakfast places to try out, and Cafe Savoy along with Oddfellows in Seattle are two that I wish she could’ve been with me at.
I ordered the Savoy Breakfast. It started off with a basket of 4 kinds of various homemade breads along with French butter and homemade jam. Next came a “bowl” of Savoy Cafe au Lait that had cinnamon and chocolate in it. Then a plate containing Prague Ham, Emmental Cheese, a soft boiled egg, and a piece of their homemade nut bread came out. All for about $7. Kalin got the French Breakfast. For around $12 she too got the basket of bread, a croissant, fresh squeezed orange juice, a cappuccino, a piece of extremely thick French toast with apple slices, Prague ham, hard boiled egg, and French fries of course. Before we left I had to get an apple strudel to go. Let’s just say we didn’t eat again until about 8 PM when we decided to be brave and try out the “Gold Chicken” restaurant next door to our apartment.
After our feast, we went and found the John Lennon wall, searched through some book stores, went and saw a huge national memorial atop a hill in a large park overlooking the city, then chilled until heading to a movie theatre nearby for cheap drinks and a $4 showing of Monty Python.
The plan for today was to meet up at a certain spot at 10:30 to start a guided walking tour. We got there, waited and waited, no guide. So we said screw it and went ahead and walked toward Old Town Square. As we arrived at the Astronomical Clock we saw a TON of yours getting ready to start.
We decided to join in on a free English tour led by a guy from Cali who visited Prague 11 years ago, met a girl, returned two years later, got married, had kids, and has lived here ever since. I’m so glad we did it. It lasted about 2.5 hours and he showed us sights we had seen, and other we hadn’t.
Most importantly, he explained each site in extreme detail, told stories and Czech myths, and pointed out aspects of the buildings that I would have never noticed n my own. The Gothic Tyn Church has two towers and dominated the Prague Skyline. One tower is actually larger than the other. They are named “Adam and Eve”, the larger being Adam.
First full day in Prague went great. We left the apartment and took the first tram to a stop where we were supposed to switch to another tram that would take us up to as close as we could get to Prague Castle. The first tram was packed, and the sidewalk waiting for the second was too. When the second arrived there was no way we were getting on. We decided to just walk and I’m glad we did. I love public transportation in Europe and the time it saves you, but there is NOTHING like roaming the streets of a new city, seeing sites you didn’t know existed, and getting a little lost at times.
Prague Castle is a huge complex on to of a hill overlooking the city. I’m pretty sure I read that it is actually the largest castle complex in Europe. As it is Sunday and the weather was nice and sunny, the place was PACKED!!! We did get to see the changing of the guard in front of the royal Palace at noon which was cool.
We went a little different route back down the hill, saw some more sites like the “Fred and Ginger” Dancing House, ate some street food, and stumbled upon Wencsalas Square, one of the main city centers for shopping and people watching.
We returned home for some down time before heading to a local restaurant that our host recomennded for dinner. I was not too impressed with the food, but it was close and had cheap drinks like this half a liter of beer for the equivalent of $1.40.
We took a bus to Prague today and arrived 4 hours later at 2:15. We left the station, caught a bus, and headed to our AirBnB. It is a cozy studio apartment and the host was very nice. He told us a little about the neighborhood, Prague, restaurants, and even left us some milk, cereal, and beer. What more do you need?
We figured to save some money we would make sandwiches for lunch each day and bring them with us. We went to Lidl, got enough food to eat breakfast and lunch for the next for days, and even got some extra things and the total came out to $11.00. I. America this would’ve cost us $25 at least, and the bread wouldn’t taste near as good.
Today is the day that the people of The Czech Republic celebrate Mikulas, their version of Santa. All in the streets there were to be Mikulas, angels, and Devils. Our host showed up to meet us with friends all dressed up. Interesting first meeting.
He told us to go to the Old Town around 5-6 to see what it was all about. So of course we did. It was EXTREMELY CROWDED, but we saw some sites that we will be returning to for sure in the next couple of days.
At dinner, where I got sum-dried tomato stuffed chicken with amazing mashed potatoes, and Kalin got the Czech sampler, we focused how Berlin is a large city with more modern history, while Prague is an ancient city full of Medieval history. It reminds me a lot of the villages and cities we visited while in Tuscany. Old beautiful architecture, many passages and alleyways just waiting to be explored, local shops and restaurants without all the chains, and a lot of culture. I have a feeling the next 3 days we spend here are going to be amazing.