Europe

Prague, Czech Republic

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Commando would be proud. We dragged our luggage 2.5km through the rain this morning, across the cobblestone higgelty piggety roads to where our bus departed for Prague. A short 4 hour bus trip and another walk to our hotel had us weary but excited to explore the much awaited Prague.
Czech doesn’t use Euro so I had to withdraw cash from the ATM. Withdrawing 4000 Czech dollars turned out to be the same as $200 so my initial fright turned to concern that I didn’t get enough!
We managed to catch a train into Prague and walked around for a while before sighti g big black storm clouds. After a very yummy meal we came back in time for the storm to hit. Here’s a pic of the sky just before we left…

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Dresden, Germany

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There is an odd atmosphere in old Dresden which I can only describe as similar to Gertrude st Fitzroy. Low socio economic status mixed with urban grunge, alternative trendiness, lots of graffiti, cigarette butts, dog poo and broken bottles mixed with unusual trendy cares, shops and bars. That’s on the ‘new side’. The old side over the river is quaint and full of history. It’s bigger than I expected and our rooms are further away than we thought so had to cart our luggage 2.5 km across the cobble stone roads.

Last night we went on the Dresden night walking tour, which turned out to be a little odd. The guide was an East German guy with a political agenda who took us around ‘new Dresden’ and gave us tastings of locally made herbal liqueur. We were a bit worried about the herbs for a while. Sophie and I were a bit childish and snuck away and left the others there. Ive no idea when the tour ended but we didn’t get back to our hotel until midnight as it was.
The next day we explored the ‘old Dresden’ which is like another world. Sophie likened them to Heaven and Hell but there is something exciting about both parts. Off to Prague tomorrow which I’m really looking forward to.

Please send us some vegetables. Label them as we have forgotten what they look like. We haven’t seen any for so long and are eating so many carbs we may take off like rockets. Sie sind vom Aussterben bedroht. Ich bin unterernährt.

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Berlin

Just to get you in the mood for today’s blog post from Berlin… here’s a little entertainment:) If you look carefully you’ll see us in the background.

After 9 hours on a bus we arrived in Berlin at 6pm. On the way, we were entertained by the history of Germany AND Sophie winning the grand German speaking competition. The prize was a chula chip which she never received.
We had decided to get separate hotel rooms rather than stay in the hostel as we have 5 nights here. Somehow we managed to carry our luggage up and down several flights of stairs and get a train to our hotel room. The rooms are like luxury after the Amsterdam experience although we have separation anxiety being in different rooms. There is much excitement as we have TV! woo hoo! Now we can hear about Prince Phillips bladder infection over and over again because CNN is the only English speaking channel.
The next day was very very chilly but being the tough stock we are we went on a 4 hour walking tour of Berlin and afterwards we walked the 8 km back to the hotel room. We managed to see the Berlin wall, Hitlers bunker and place of death, the holocaust memorial and many other interesting places. Our tour guide was a very tall pommie guy named Barnaby, who was both funny and knowledgeable PLUS easy to find in a crowd, being tall as a bean pole.
On returning back at the hotel, we went out for Thai food and had to order it off a German menu with German speaking Thai waiters. That was pretty challenging but we managed to get our order in successfully and it was delicious!
Sophie is hoping to catch up with her. Good friend Sophie H who she has known since school and is German.

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Chick trip itinerary 2012

On May the 25th Sophie and I will hit Europe for 7.5 weeks to celebrate her finishing Uni. Nice excuse hey?

This trip will be more of a backpacking trip on the ‘hop on hop off’ Europe bus. With this bus travel we can choose how long we stay in each place and have the safety of traveling with a tour guide on the Busabout bus. We have the freedom of ‘doing our own thing’ once we arrive at the destinations which is much better than having to hang about with a tour group. Since I’m now a ‘seasoned’ traveler I cant stand the thought of going on a tour so with the safety of the bus travel it’s a good compromise. Although I’ve been to half of these places before, I will enjoy returning and seeing them through the eyes of my daughter… instead of the Dishmop;)

We are packing lightly (aren’t we Sophie?) and taking backpacks with wheels (as opposed to a suitcase).  Afterwards, Sophie continues on to the USA with a friend so she will be gone for 3 months all up.

The MOTH is going to learn how to use email and if we progress well through the lessons, Skype as well. Otherwise we will resort to courier pigeons.

Here’s our map and itinerary…

ITINERARY

25/5/12     Melbourne to Paris

26/05/12    Paris (sleepy sleepy time)
27/05/12     Paris
28/05/12     Paris
29/05/12     Paris

30/05/12     Bruges, Belgium 6pm
31/05/12     Bruges

1/6/12     Amsterdam, Holland 6pm
2/6/12     Amsterdam
3/6/12     Amsterdam

4/6/12      Berlin, Germany 6pm
5/6/12       Berlin
6/6/12       Berlin
7/6/12       Berlin
8/6/12      Berlin

9/6/12      Dresden Germany 3.30pm
10/6/12     Dresden

11/6/12       Prague Czech Republic
12/6/12       Prague
13/06/12     Prague

14/06/12     Cesky Krumlov Czech Republic
15/06/12     Cesky Krumlov

16/06/12     Vienna Austria
17/06/12     Vienna
18/06/12     Vienna

19/06/12     Salzburg Austria
20/06/12     Salzburg (Sound of music tour) ‘High on the hills was a lonely goat herd’…

21/06/12     Munich 5pm
22/06/12     Munich
23/06/12     Munich Day trip to Neuschwanstein castle

24/06/12     Innsbruck Austria
25/06/12     Innsbruck

26/06/12     Venice, Italy   13.30
27/06/12     Venice
28/06/12     Venice

29/06/12    Rome, Italy
30/06/12    Rome
1/7/12     Rome
2/7/12     Rome Pompeii day trip
3/7/12     Rome

4/7/12     Siena, Italy
5/7/12     Siena

6/7/12      Florence, Italy
7/7/12       Florence
8/7/12       Florence

9/7/12     Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore) , Italy
10/7/12   Cinque Terre
11/7/12   Cinque Terre
12/7/12   Cinque Terre
13/07/12  Cinque Terre
14/07/12  Cinque Terre

15/07/12     Nice, France

16/07/12     Barcelona arrive late, Spain
17/07/12     Barcelona
18/07/12     Barcelona
19/07/12     Barcelona > Fly out (Jenny home and Sophie to USA)