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Category Archives: River Cruising

Prague, Czech Republic

by MDee

 

                                                   The Prague Castle-St Vitus

Prague

My visit to Prague, the Capital of Czech Republic. (Formerly known as Czechoslovakia.) A country in central  Europe. Czechoslovakia was formed in 1908 from several provinces of BOHEMIA, MORAVIA and SLOVAKIA, due to the collapse of  AUSTRIA- HUNGARY  Empire in World War 1.The collapse of the Empire brought Czech and Slovaks together for the first time as Czechoslovakian, up to- until the last modification of the modern Czech Republic in January 1,1993- that separated the country into 2. Which is now CZECH Republic and SLOVAKIA.

Prague is separated by Vitava River and is known for it’s old Town Square. The heart of the historic core with colorful Baroque Buildings, Gothic Churches and the Medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show and attached to the Old Town Hall. This clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third oldest in the world and the oldest clock – still operating. Located at the southern side of the old town hall tower. When the clock strikes the hour from 09:00am to 11:00 pm the 12 Apostles sets in motion. The astronomical clock, Horologium or Orloj– is a clock of special mechanisms and dials to display Astronomical information such as the relative position of the SUN , MOON,  Zodiac Constellations and sometimes Major planets.

The Old Town Square is incredibly beautiful, it is like an open book on Architecture. Please your senses with the Gothic Town Hall, with the Baroque St Nicholas Church or with the Rococo Golz-Kinsky Palace, the Pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic Saints. As you walk around you will wonder how the old masters built this amazing iconic city and will make you proud that you have been there. Even early morning people are lining up to see the old town square show.

What excite me more about Prague is the St Vitus Cathedral,  I only read it in The Book of Life. It is not only the biggest Castle in Prague- dating back to the 14th century, also a great example of gothic architecture designed by Petr Parler ( who is the mastermind behind the iconic Pedestrian Charles Bridge.) St Vitus Cathedral is also the most important landmark in the Czech Republic, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cathedral took almost 600 years to complete and is packed with Tourist attending the daily service and mostly are just to admire the amazing stained windows and architecture. Over the years the castle and grounds have undergone several changes and expansions.

As I was a student of private catholic school, Prague is a familiar word close to my heart. “The Infant Jesus of Prague” located in the Discalced Carmelite Church of our Lady of Victorious. This was another known place that interest me to have a chance to visit Prague. My whole heart wanted to see the Shrine. Had tried to find a way, but due to a limited time on a day trip- not enough to get there. It was heart breaking however if I ever get another chance to visit Europe, this will be one in my list. There are so much more to see and explore in this country…. Also I had never known that the Kings and Queens that lives in the worlds Palaces were mostly are related until joining this guided tour. – So fantastically amazing.!!!!!

I am proud of having been there. Make a Plan on your next Travel Destination.!

 

Photo: praquets.com                                            AIRBNB: cheaper accommodation

 

 

 

 


Luxembourg City

by MDee

                                                           City of Luxembourg

Luxembourg City

A visit to Luxembourg City- Capital of Luxembourg, Is a tiny nation -nestled in the border of France, Germany and Belgium. One of the riches in the world, second to Qatar. Mostly known for its tax breaks for big companies and recognized as the banking center of Europe. Luxembourg is 998 square miles and presently has 562,958 inhabitants. Half of the population are foreigners.

The city has 3 languages- German, French and Luxembourgish,(which has much same syntax as German) and cuisine is heavily influenced by both German and French. Nearly half of the country  workforce are cross-border workers from Belgium, France and Germany. Cost of living is so high in Luxembourg City.. Way higher than New York, USA and Toronto, Canada.

Award winning wine Crémant de Luxembourg – high quality sparkling wine, won 22 awards produced in Moselle in a traditional way similar to champagne.

The Bock Casemates– is the 18th century Tunnel and WW2 shelter, A stone bridge and ancient tunnel under the city, is a 17km-long underground tunnel network beneath the Capital City. At some point this tunnel penetrates up to 40 meters inside the rock face. The tunnel and fortresses were originally built in 1644 and earned Luxembourg the tittle of “GIBRALTAR of the North” The Bock Casemates are now called THE UNESCO World Heritage Sites and remain open to public for guided tours from March to September.

The city also offers 2 hours walking tours to Vianden Castle. Located in Vianden- Is one of the largest fortified Castle west of the Rhine. An outstanding historical monument, was built between 11th to 14th century. For long, this Castle belonged to the Grand Ducal Family before passing it to state ownership in 1977. There is so much history in this castle if you are willing to spend for the fee – for me it cost almost my return ticket. There are so much more to see and learned about Luxembourg if your time and wallet permits. Most residents go cross border shopping to the nearby country of Belgium, Germany and France on big ticket items.

There are affordable accommodations if you chose to stay at Luxembourg Old Town Area: Hostel for Backpackers, Budget Hotels, Midrange Hotels and affordable Luxury Hotels.

If you are traveling with a family and arriving via train? The Gare District is another option in finding accommodations in Luxembourg . There are hotels, as well as shopping in the historic Old Town District in just 20 minutes from Gare District. Has many residences and 19th century homes currently housing Embassies. They have grocery stores as well to chose from in meeting your accommodation. needs.

City Nightlife :: There are so many best places to explore depending on your taste and have a good time!!!!!!!.

Plan your Trip to Luxembourg !!!

 

AIRBNB – for cheaper accommodation                                           Photo by: Wikipedia

 

 

 


Cologne, Germany

by MDee

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Germany

We had traveled to Cologne from Amsterdam in the summer few years back via train and is the most convenient and economical way to access places from almost anywhere in Europe.  Cologne is the largest city in Germany and fourth of most populated in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Once your train arrived at Cologne Central Station you will be greeted by the city’s landmark of High Gothic twin-spired architecture set amid reconstructed old town. Cologne Cathedral is also known for its gilded medieval reliquary and sweeping river views and is the most visited landmark where International pilgrimage are seen and is now a UNESCO site. Just adjacent from the Cathedral is a Romano-Germanic Museum- House the  Collection  of Roman Artifacts from which modern Cologne is built.

City Bus Tour around Cologne is the best way to explore the city. Hop-on and Hop-off the double decker bus to visit the many Cologne attractions. Select the 1day pass then board at any of the 16 stops and get to know the city landmarks. You can create your own personalized itinerary and Hop-on back. Visit the Cologne City Hall, the old town district that is bustling like the Roncalliplatz is a model of spire, Easy to locate at top the Cologne Cathedral, a superb piece of stone art and is worth checking when you are in the area, the historic Alter Market Square, the Chocolate factory. Which exhibits the entire history of chocolates. I admire Cologne’s panoramic view by water along the Rhine River either by day or night cruises, the old town view and the Hohenzollern Bridge unfold as you cruise along. The city views from the world- famous Rhine River is so magical, you may choose from a range of departure times. Have a refreshing cold drink from the bar while you sail as tour guides announces the illustrious history of Cologne by water.

The city has a lot of history, like in year 1709 a perfume maker from Italy moved to Cologne, Germany named Giovanni Maria Farina launch a fragrance in honor of his new hometown Cologne (a spirit-citrus perfume that reminds him of an Italian spring morning with mountains of daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain). He named it Eau de Cologne.

I also have such a personal memory about River Rhine even when I was a young girl growing up. A song by BOBBY HELM- Fraulein- Lonely River Rhine. Which I never knew I will be able to visit and see in my lifetime.” Do you have a memory like this? “Please leave me comment.

AIRBNB– for cheaper accommodation              photo: Wikipedia


Budapest, Hungary

by MDee

 Buda Castle from Danube River

A Day in Budapest

Budapest is capital of Hungary and one place in Europe in my bucket list. Budapest is an old city was officially created on 17 November 1873 from a merger of the three neighboring cities of Pest, Buda and Obuda. Smaller towns on the outskirts of the original city were amalgamated into Greater
Budapest in 1950.The origins of Budapest can be traced to Celts who occupied the plains of Hungary in the 4th century BC. The area was conquered
by the Roman Empire. Which established the fortress and town of Aquincum on the site of today’s Budapest around AD 100. From around 1300 to the
incorporation of 1873, Budapest was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary.

Visiting Budapest – I advise to take a guided tour to learn more about the country and its rich history. Bus Tours- offers a guided tour with walking tours
combined on historic areas through the old town district of Buda, to the most interesting and most beautiful tourist attractions of the city like the
impressive Parliament, the magnificent Opera House, the historic King’s Palace, the Matthias Church- which is a UNISCO World Heritage site. Buda  Castle is a historic Palace for the Hungarian King of Budapest on Buda side.
The original palace was ruined during world war11, Was rebuild during the Kadar era. During our walk about, have a chance to take photos at the the Matthias Church, A Roman Catholic church located in the Holy Trinity Square, in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion at the heart of Buda Castle district. Also the famous Heroes Square – a tribute to Hungarian National identity and favorite spot for tourist and locals, has celebrated a 1000 year Anniversary. We’ve also walk through Vaci Street the most famous area in central Budapest. It features many restaurants and shops. It is a tourist ground. Line of cafés and shops, catering mainly to tourist market. VACI Utra is the main shopping street in Pest. Housing high end products and accessories which are also found  in high end district in other cities of Europe. While waiting for our tour bus, We’ve watched river boats cruises by the Danube River.

Danube River Cruises from Budapest  to Amsterdam via Viking Cruise is a chance to visit 5 countries at the same time from Budapest to Austria, Czech
Republic, Germany and Netherland. A couple I know, dreamed for many years to join these river cruise. Finally went and had the best time of their life,
It was a dream fulfilled.  Plan yours now!

AIRBNB- for cheap accommodations   photo by Wikipedia


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