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Sunday, June 2, 2024


 This year's Mother/Daughter vacation was a trip to the land of my Dad's ancestors.  Depending on the documentation I've collected during my ancestry searches, his family was from: Czechoslovakia, Moravia, Austria, Russia, get the picture.  So I decided I would explore parts of what would have been the "Austro-Hungarian" empire in those days and landed on Prague and Vienna. 

I put together a twelve day trip; 2 days traveling, 10 days on the ground exploring.  We started in Prague.  We had 6 nights/5 days in Prague and the same in Vienna.  As always, I had several hours of activity for our first night...we like to push through to do our best to get adjusted to our new time zone. 

We stayed on the east side of the Vlatava river in the "castle district", which as you'd imagine is near the Prague Castle.  I prefer to stay in areas that aren't as popular with the tourists.  It did mean a lot of extra walking for us each day, but to me it was worth it.   We found a cute little cafe' near our hotel and had breakfast there three of the mornings we were there.  

We took two "day trips" out of Prague.  One was to the town of Kutna Hora to see the Sedlec ossuary (bone church) and St. Barbara's cathedral.  The other outing was a guided tour to the Terezin concentration camp.   The concentration camp was very educational and sobering and the weather was dismal which seemed fitting for the setting. We saw all the usual sites in old Town, including the famous Charles Bridge on our way there.  As usual, we packed a lot into a short amount of time, and before you know it we were on our way to the train station for our trip to Vienna. 
I had done some pre-planning for our first night in Vienna.  We started by seeing the Imperial Treasury and Crypt (from the Hapsburg dynasty), followed by Weiner Schnitzel dinner and then a classical concert at St. Anne's church.  What an introduction to Vienna!  The concert in the church was a "pinch me" moment, the quartet of three violins and one cello played Mozart, Haydn and Strauss on instruments from the 1700's.                                  

I had two "day trips" planned for Vienna, one to the Schonbrunn Palace and the other was to the Wachau valley to see the Melk abbey which overlooks the Danube.  That left us two full days to take in Vienna.  That was quite a challenge since Vienna is so much bigger than the very quaint Prague that we'd just left.     

We took a good four hours at the Schonnbrunn Palace, including seeing the strudel show.  We could have actually spent even more time.  We also took in a stage performance of the Sound of Music (with English subtitles)....that was a totally unique experience!  Nobody holds a candle to Julie Andrews though.

I have hundreds of pictures, but this gives you a sense of what this year's trip was all about.  I can't say there was anything I had researched and planned that I wouldn't/shouldn't have done.  There were some amazing gardens in Prague that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Libraries, monasteries, cemeteries,  the Lipizzaner training tour was fun (would love to have seen a performance, no tickets available)  I'd say each city was worth a couple more days each.    

I guess that's what travel is all about right?  End the trip wanting more.....keep that wanderlust alive!