This blog post is a continuation of my Prague itinerary from the previous two blog posts. You should check them out if you haven’t done so already – Days 0 to 2 at Why is Prague the “Taiwan” of Europe, and day 3 at Visiting Powder Tower, Jewish Museum, Eating Chimney Cakes.
Prague Castle (website)
Prague Castle was situated a little further away than Old Town Square, and so we dedicated one day to visit this Castle. Supposedly it would take us 5 hours to see the whole thing.
Prague Castle, located in the heart of the Czech capital, is one of the largest and most ancient castles in the world. Dating back to the 9th century, it spans an impressive area of almost 70,000 square meters and presents a blend of various architectural styles, from Gothic to Baroque.
Serving as the official residence of the Czech president, it also houses numerous museums, galleries, and historical landmarks within its complex. The stunning St. Vitus Cathedral, an iconic feature of the castle, showcases remarkable stained glass windows and the tomb of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech Republic. With its breathtaking views of the city and the Vltava River, Prague Castle is a must-visit destination for those seeking an immersive experience in the rich history and cultural heritage of Prague. Continue reading Prague Castle, Lennon Wall, and a Railway Restaurant
This post is a continuation of our time in Prague from “Why is Prague the Taiwan of Europe.” In this post, you will see lots of information about the Jewish Quarter, the Prague Castle inside and its gardens, restaurants we ate at, and a revisit to the old town square.
We revisited the Old Town Square first because we were going to the Powder Tower.
Church of Our Lady before Tyn Continue reading Visiting Powder Tower, Jewish Museum, Eating Chimney Cakes
Our driver, Mr. Lau from goeugo.com, told us that Prague, and the rest of Czech Republic, is pretty much just like Taiwan. Why? That’s cause Prague is super cheap, especially in comparison with other countries like United Kingdom, Italy, and also the country we last visited – Austria. We’re talking like at least half price to 2/3 cheaper. And not only that, the way they maintain their nature is also similar – it just feels more rundown and unkempt than say their neighbor Austria, where their grass and gardens were maintained to perfection.
From a history and cultural standpoint, I think Vienna takes the cake here. That doesn’t mean Prague didn’t offer anything interesting from their museums and castles, they still were impressive, but just not AS impressive as Vienna and Austria. On the plus side, at least the variety of food there was much better than eating schnitzel and beef broth soup everyday in Austria.
Enough of the chitchat, let’s get straight to our itinerary and photos. Continue reading Why is Prague the “Taiwan” of Europe?
Karlovy Vary is a picturesque spa town located in the western part of the Czech Republic. It is situated in the Karlovy Vary Region and is the largest and most famous spa town in the country.
The town is nestled in the deep and narrow valley of the Teplá River and is surrounded by lush green hills.
Karlovy Vary, also known by its German name Karlsbad, has a rich history dating back to the 14th century. It was founded by the Emperor Charles IV and quickly gained recognition for its natural hot springs with healing properties. The town’s architecture reflects a mix of Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Renaissance styles, giving it a unique and elegant atmosphere.
The main attraction of Karlovy Vary is its 13 thermal springs, which were believed to have curative powers and attract visitors seeking wellness and relaxation. Continue reading Karlovy Vary, the Spa City of Czech Republic
My driver said that the infamous black death, or what I call the plague, the one that killed tens of millions up to an estimated 100 million, apparently killed over 99% of the inhabitants in this town called Kutna Hora. At least, this is according to my driver. He could be speaking the truth, could be exaggerating, could have heard it wrong, or maybe I heard it wrong. In whatever case, it must have killed enough people that this town actually has a bone skeleton cathedral dedicated to the people who died from the bubonic plague.
Anyway, Kutna Hora wasn’t our first stop of the day. Our first stop was actually at this small town called České Budějovice.
České Budějovice, also known as Budweis in German, is a city located in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. With a population of around 94,000, it is the largest city in the region and serves as an important economic and cultural center. The city is renowned for its beautiful historic center, which features well-preserved medieval and Renaissance architecture. Continue reading Kutna Hora, where the Black Death Killed Over 90% of People
After our last night in Austria, we made our way to Czech Republic, first visiting this fairy tale like town called Cesky Krumlov. It was a wonderful town, a much more charming and authentic town than Carmel By The Sea.
Cesky Krumlov is a picturesque town located in the southern part of the Czech Republic. It is known for its stunning medieval architecture and the enchanting Vltava River that runs through it.
We stopped by a gas station near Linz and I bought this Spezi. The gas stations in Linz are so clean and organized and well taken care of! Unlike the ones in United States. The ones in Japan along the roadside are the ones that are comparable. Continue reading A Picturesque Little Town Named Cesky Krumlov
The hills are alive with the sound of music.
Do, a deer, a female deer, Re, a drop of golden sun
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Do these phrases seem familiar to you? If they do, that’s because they all are song lyrics from an incredibly well known movie called The Sound of Music. And lucky for us, we actually managed to visit the place where they shot a couple scenes from.
This was our second day in Salzburg, and also our last day in Austria before we headed into Czech Republic. For those of you who just want to know what attractions there are to see in Salzburg, the ones we visited include: Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn), Mirabell Palace and the Gardens, the main shopping street called Getreidegasse, Salzburg Cathedral, St. Peter’s Abbey, and Fortress Hohensalzburg. Continue reading The Hills Are Alive – what to do in Salzburg
Hallstatt is a fairy tale like, picturesque small town that is both charming and idyllic, located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. It is situated on the banks of the Hallstätter See (Lake Hallstatt) and is surrounded by majestic mountains, making it a stunningly picturesque destination. It’s walkable distance from Salzwelten Hallstatt (oldest salt mine, click here to read post) and offers a visual of skies and water that looks so clear it seems untouched, ever, by human industrial actions. What’s the most impressive was that the swans seem unfazed and unafraid of human beings; in fact, they kind of embrace it and seem to notice when you want to take photos of them. And if you feed them, they will definitely come nearby as well.
The town is renowned for its natural beauty and is a popular tourist spot. Hallstatt has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. It is known for its salt mining industry, which began as early as the Bronze Age and has continued till the present day. The town’s name has even been given to the Hallstatt culture, a prehistoric culture that existed in Central Europe during the early Iron Age. The charm of Hallstatt lies in its well-preserved historic buildings and traditional Alpine architecture. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with charming wooden houses, some dating back to the 16th century. Continue reading Hallstatt is Where the Swans Say Hello
We booked a private driver from goEUgo (https://www.goeugo.com) called Mr. Lau who was super friendly and knowledgeable and punctual. In our itinerary, we went to three places in one day! – an ice cave called Dachstein Giant Ice Cave, the oldest salt mine in the world called Salzwelten Hallstatt, and a small beautiful town called Hallstatt right around the corner. For this blog post, I’ll be posting photos basically from the first two activities.
We went to Obertraun, nearby Hallstatt, a village and also a popular holiday destination for people to engage in activities such as skiing, mountain biking, snowboarding, swimming, and kayaking. Continue reading An Ice Cave and the OLDEST Salt Mine, in Obertraun, Austria
Today began our six days tour of visiting different small towns in Austria and Czech Republic, our first stop being in Linz. But before stopping by Linz, we actually stopped by the town of Melk to see Melk Abbey and also took a detour to see Dürnstein Castle. We hired a driver through a tour agency called goEUgo (website) that also helped arranged us for our hotels. If you’re looking for mandarin or cantonese speakers, they can definitely help you out, but do note that there are not that many Cantonese drivers available We called a driver called Mr. Lau who was able to speak Cantonese. We were very pleased with him throughout the entire trip because he was knowledgeable, super friendly and nice, and very punctual every time, and never complained once even if it meant working longer than what was supposed to be a 10 hour work day (we had shorter days on other days)
Anyway, while Dürnstein Castle was pretty cool to see, Melk Abbey seriously blew our minds off. Dare I say it was quite possibly one of THE highlights of my 3 week trip. It was beautifully designed, with a pastel yellow that made it look significant but yet humble, and special. We also had some time on the way to our hotel that we also visited Stift St. Florian as well. Lastly, I’ll be sharing with you our horrible experience in the hotel we stayed in, at ibis Style Hotel Linz. Continue reading Visiting the Incredible Melk Abbey and Dürnstein Castle