Oh Dear Prague

I have to be honest and say Prague was not my favorite city.  I did not connect to it like I was hoping.  We were really looking forward to seeing this city that we had heard so many great things about, so we were quite disappointed and had one of the toughest weeks of our journey so far.  It is inevitable that this would happen and so we persevered and kept on.  I think a lot of lessons were learned this week.  Maybe it was just the timing that was off, as it was cold and grey outside or possibly our experiences with not so friendly locals, filthy streets and smoke-filled restaurants and cafes or maybe just even the apartment we rented which was dirty, missing essential items and had mostly chipped and broken dishes.  I think it was a combination of it all that just left us with an unfavorable impression.  I will not let this one time experience completely dismay me from ever returning though, as I imagine another experience might be totally different.  Although, I am not sure I would recommend Prague for families, as it is not the most kid-friendly town with it’s Las Vegas touches, in the casinos and “girls” and there is just not a lot for kids to do there.

The Old Town is wonderful architecturally but the tacky tourist shops are one too many.  It is the architecture of the city though, that was my absolute favorite part and makes me want to return under different circumstances.  The city was virtually untouched during the World Wars and so it’s architectural history spans 1,100 years.   You can see Romanesque churches, along with Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Classical and Art Nouveau designed buildings.  There are also many buildings that were built during the communist rule (Functionalism) which is such a contrast to the other architectural styles, it is very interesting.  The city is truly a museum of architectural history.

There are wonderful places to hear classical music, affordable nice restaurants and really really affordable beer.  Incredibly the beer was always the cheapest item on our bill, my daughters’ hot chocolates were more expensive!

I do hope that I can return and give Prague another try one day, preferably without kids and on a warm sunny day where the Vltava River might glisten in the sun with the Charles Bridge in the background, ahhhh!  That I would like!

Pure Beauty!

I am not sure what to write about exactly.  There is so much to say about the experiences we have been having, but I am not quite sure where to begin. God, I love, love, love to travel!   There is something new for our eyes to see around every corner.  The thrill of being awestruck by the unbelievable beauty of the Alps, the variety of the autumn colors of leaves in the Black Forest, the rolling green countryside, the new tastes and smells or even that gorgeous Porsche passing by us at 230 kph, is all so magical.  This earth is something special for sure and where we are staying is a big reason why it is so.  We are in the town of Fussen, a picturesque village at the base of the Alps in the very southern part of Germany.  There are many lakes, who’s stillness reflect the mountains surrounding them perfectly.  Of course, there is the Neushawnstein Castle which very much is a fairy tale and poor King Ludwig II!  It is said that this is one of the most amazing castles in all of Europe and they maybe right.  I have never seen anything like it.

We have had a chance to revive here after being in the big city of Paris. Nothing like nature to get you back in balance.  We have been living out of suitcases since July and are all handling it really well, but at times one needs to yell off the top of a mountain, and we have been able to do that here.

I am sorry that we will not be seeing other areas of Germany on this trip, our plans got a little mixed up, but we will take what we can get, and Kaiserschmerr is something we can take and get.  My daughters loved this pancake like dessert served with powdered sugar and applesauce.

We have met some really interesting people here too.  I love hearing about people’s stories because we all have interesting ones!

We will be sad to leave this pristine area and will definitely need to come back again one day.  We are off to Prague tomorrow and can’t wait to see what is around the next corner!

Princess for a day!

It was suggested that when traveling with kids, a good idea might be to give them full reign for a day (or two or three).  We decided while we were in Paris, this would be a great place to do it.  There is so much to see and why not change up what we normally would have put on the agenda and let the kids be in charge for a change. Good for them to have the responsibility to figure out what interests them about the city, where to find it on a map and to plan out the day.

First up was our youngest daughter and her day went a little like this:

1. Musee Rodin

2. Walk down the Champs Eysees and Avenue Montaigne for some window shopping.  Or as they say in France, “faire du leche-vitrines” which literally translated means window licking, although we only drooled a little…

3. Stopped for a sweet crepe.

4. The Eiffel Tower at dusk!

It was a truly great day!

Next, it was my oldest daughter’s turn to be princess for the day.  She chose another amazing adventure and it went something like this:

1. Jardin du Luxembourg

2. A special French lunch

3. A visit to the English bookstore Shakespeare & Co. (it was just across from Notre Dame so we stopped in there also).

4. The Sorbonne

I cannot wait to see where they pick to go next!

Oh, I missed you my dear blog friend!

Well, due to technical difficulties, a.k.a., my computer power cord catching on fire, I have been in blog hold mode.  So in order to get current with our travels, I will  just add a few photos with captions to catch up to our current locale, which is Paris!  When I have more time, I will go back and address more completely the cities we have visited lately, as they have all moved each of us.

Here we traveled from Harwich, England by ferry to Hook of Holland before heading up to Amsterdam for a few days.  It was a very windy day out on the North Sea!

Beautiful Amsterdam with it’s canals and bicycles!  I have never seen more people riding bicycles, it was incredible!

Loved this picture that my oldest daughter took!

Here is a photo from the countryside of Belgium.  I can see how the Flemish painters were so inspired!

Chocolate and beer heaven!  We had so much fun here in beautiful Bruges, Belgium.

And that gets us to…