Europe · 17 Days · 79 Moments · May 2017

2017-Germany,Austria,Hungary, Czech,Holland

10 June 2017

Departing Amsterdam... Received text arrive minimum 3 hours before boarding... so up at 3:30a ( laid in bed they had Law & Order on!) at airport by 4:05am... lucky hotel attached to airport...Where do I go? Nothing open? Me and two other people... head to KLM area.. but lady says no it's not KLM only Transylvania?? I could not understand but a nice janitor showed me where Sky Priority was and guess what! Do Not open until 5am!! Finally lady shows up early takes my two bags...sends me to escalator that sends me down a long hallway- closed... umm? So I go back down stairs ask another lady she says well that terminal security not open yet have to go to other terminal... back past the Sheraton, complete other side of airport...get thru security... now have to back track pass all the tax free stores (took photo did not purchase anything)...Can you believe my gate is two from the end at the complete opposite side of airport! Found gate no food in sight; back track again 30 gates- got COKE!

9 June 2017

Bike tour awesome at a cheese farm! Gouda- farm cheese - do not put in refrigerator - never expires if not open wax - once open leave covered by towel outside fridge- good for 2 months - wood shoe maker - (only 3 wood shoe makers in Netherlands) - fresh popular tree only - 5"8 174cm tall = 25 cm shoe size - cut; try two weeks, paint -yellow farmers, red for dancing, man blue shoe for church, plain for garden - shoe size 59 inches = 149 cm / 6.96 = 21.53 cm shoe size - then he bought brushes in China to pair with shoe? Netherlands no long make these brushes - wear because no cold in winter, no sweat summer, & orthopedic
Ok woke up and 60 & raining!!! One day I want to be sunny nice! Oh well still going; rain supposed to end by 1p and now it is down to a drizzle but really humid! And I am sweating! So funny people here wearing like full parka! How do they do winter? It is a warm 60.-- I am using my vest as rain coat and columbia long sleeve as the arms... I did buy a rain hat... my ball cap was too suspicious; no one wears ball caps? I have not seen one European in a ball cap... in Prague I saw Asian women, but that is all?? So I wanted to fit in a bit! I am packed for trip home... after bike ride I have to admit could take train but going to cab to next hotel... getting tired... so this is my last fun European activity until airport Sheraton and ride home! Mom- I think maybe I am a gypsy; I love just backpacking around and seeing new stuff! Or maybe I should look at retiring and selling snow cones for circus Knie like the old man in movie "water for elephants?"

8 June 2017

Well just few blocks over is the red light district... went to a museum; amazing over 30,000 people walk thru here every day! There are tourists from everywhere... met two girls from California celebrating their birthday... just strolled got a gelato - streets still packed but better get sleep tomorrow big day with bike ride!
Notice time and notice still daylight! Long days here! And the city is bustling with activity! Since still light went for a walk because I am just blocks from old town!
Arrived and found my hotel... a true adventure! Real Holland House!
After busy day with Stagemobil slept in- but a bit too much! Woke up to angry German woman yelling at me... "must leave 11 o'clock!" I was like ok ok.. shower and pack! So finally packed went to bistro 1904 had some great German Knoochi special of day? Then little walk along street and found a fantastic bike shop! Had to buy some gadgets for bike! My new soapbox is Americans need to ride bike and use more public transportation! ( let's see how long I last in ATL JULY 100 degrees?) Now at train station to Amsterdam! Just few more days... but have to admit besides always having to follow the rules I really like it here So today is my day for angry German woman experience- no reservation on train ( not required) but 1st class completely full! So she say stand... so I have made a nice cozy area in the vomitary (where train cars connect and exit doors are?) still first class!i am not only person without reservation about 20 others... this is long train! Bonus get to see schedule

6 June 2017

Ride home on Tram 1 Few students prepping their art displays Cool Mercedes model
Great German restaurant found on trip advisor... off the beaten path on the river located in an ancient hospital over 100 years ago- Karl's; owner came out to chat with me... I think she was only one who knew English. I just said " give me what you recommend"- of course schnitzel, but in Kassel they use a different kind of sauce... more like a Tatar sauce? Really great! Plus it came with a salad! Can't believe some veggies! One of my best meals! (sorry Marisa took photo after I started to eat- I forgot!). Back to main platz and back on tram 1; notice clock and sky-- still dusk at almost 10p! I also noticed people do not gather as a group- at the tram stop no one stands near anyone and some people pace around almost on purpose not to be a target? All blonde people- few brunettes... also people walk really fast! I mean really fast! Back at room early to get good rest and start tomorrow early!
So hit the streets immediately! Found out I came in on the regional train line so hopped tram 1 to center city...10 minutes later in city center... all pedestrian streets only trams allowed! So nice to see a German non-touristy town. People closing shops, commuting home, hurrying to a cafe/bistro for dinner. Obviously a university town and this weekend a huge arts festival. Estimated 30k people coming tomorrow and for weekend! Nice stroll and headed to a great dinner. So funny it is chilly.. earlier today I was sweating like crazy in a sleeveless shirt now I see people bundled up with scarves, jackets like it is winter. It's not that cold but temp on train hot, and hotel no A/C no wonder they don't use much energy!
Made it Kassel (kastle) Germany checked into best western in city center with view of cafe and train station! First impressions this is like a "fairytale" town- perfect groomed lawns, birds chirping, hear few cars, people on bikes... will unload pack and go explore a little bit! Tomorrow starts some 100 days of art festival and I guess a big deal signs up and hotels are all booked starting tomorrow but I got room.
On train to kassel (PRAGUE-Berlin- Kassel)/ looks just like Kentucky Now I can say I have been to Fulda Germany too! So you can see I am in the middle of nowhere! Next stop Kassel which is just 30 min from STAGEMOBIL town! So tonight in Kassel- my gut says it will be like griffin size?

5 June 2017

Having a nice cheese & sausage lunch by the Danube river under the Charles Bridge. (Next hopefully we walk on it). In old times 1000-1700; castle and noble folks on one side and jewish quarter old town on the other side. Until Charles bridge built in 1357 started construction- finished 1402 had to ferry across.

3 June 2017

Totally EPCOT... booked for tomorrow night!
So Prague the Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge of Europe! So these photos are the silly touristy things I saw... City is an old medieval city; its allure is that it was never bombed in either world war so most "old stuff" is actual old stuff. As a city it has always been ruled by someone else until recently (now Czech Republic). Its heyday was late 1800's- early 1900's pre WWI; so most architecture is considered Art Nouveau. Just like in Paris, Prague showcased its industrial revolution inventions. So we did the Thai foot massages, fantasy medieval show+ dinner & pushed our way thru the tourist crowds - I am happy I have had the Chinese experience because I was able to push thru their "private space" competing with all the Asian tourists! Jealous of all the young 20-somethings going to clubs and partying, but Marisa kept me on the straight & narrow path... in bed nightly by 11p
Made it to Prague- hate to saw I feel one I am at EPCOT... tourist crowds overwhelming.., I think now to get European experience have to go out to countryside? Asian, European , American ...let me correct ... fewer tourists at EPCOT!

2 June 2017

Here are some pictures from the castle hill area on the Buda side of Budapest! Nice tour today.
Little behind but will get caught up on 6 hour train tomorrow to Prague, but love Budapest! Today just out exploring on a rented bike... well google navigation killed me when riding up to castle! Had to stop for water & nourishment! I definitely burned some calories but atleast ride down will be easy my view from the table!
More of the castle then I rode by the parliament building
While riding thru the castle I saw this crew tearing down little Hampton and a Petey playhouse... interesting to to keep weight down on equipment all sides are canvas instead of metal
Mary rags castle at city park
Peace square... giant square Hungarians just want peace and live...
Random stuff saw on my ride today! Check out the cool paddle boats and where they are building a stadium ... city park
Today's bike ride saw this deal... pedaling beer keg... bar! Would be great to have for big beer festivals charge by 30 min... all u can drink and pedal!

1 June 2017

Last nights pizza boat tour! On the Danube river

31 May 2017

Gellert resort baths... medicinal springs amazing! Funny I met 4 guys who just graduated from Alpharetta-- 1 from ole Miss, 2- UGA, and 1 played football at Yale! They said- " wow" you are a cool lady"- I have proof Marisa heard them!
So who would have guessed- Budapest has medicinal waters and known for their Neo-classical baths! Built early 1900's there are several beautiful baths... today not as many photos because I forgot my water-proof phone case but tomorrow we are going to the other one in city Park. Today at the Gellet is the resort affluent baths; interesting folks from other European countries are prescribed to visit and it is paid under their government health insurance. These waters are for high blood pressure & arthritis & joint pain.
Beautiful tour on the hop on hop off bus through Budapest
Big Bus tour photos... so far Opera, Ferris Wheel (don't worry Marisa snapping photos of everything as I monitor map and read Rick Steve's notes!)
Our new friend Leslie from San Francisco. She is traveling alone; met her at the hotel breakfast! Great to meet new folks... that is what traveling is about! Last night we met Carol & Tim from San Diego they were on a Viking cruise until Tim had a gall bladder issue had to go to hospital they were on train to meet up with their cruise ship in Budapest. Very nice folks! On the Big Bus in Budapest. I think this will be my favorite city!

30 May 2017

Budapest here we come! No more euros... now Hungarian Froft (275-$1) And Hungarian language- no more german! ( german can guess what means- Hungarian way more difficult!) Having fun... it's an adventure!
Last few moments in Vienna at the hotel intercontinental ... then off to the bahnhof( train station) to BUDAPEST! Should be exciting... it is a Romanian train... we will experience a little bit of the "old world"!
Best Frankfurter ever. They toast the inside and then drop in ketchup, mustard and your choice of sausages.

29 May 2017

Michal playz got a piece of chocolate and gelato at famous Demel bakery where queen SISI WENT!-
Chanel, Burberry, fendi- rodeo drive of Vienna- hopsberg palace at end!
St Stephens
After a morning of new running shoes for Marisa, new unbreakable sunglasses (already broke mine from Innsbruck!) nice Mediterranean lunch - stopped by this church... neat. Trying to find the main - highest steeple in town St Stephens... odd how that we can go in circles

28 May 2017

Had to take a picture of these folks... the perfect brooks bothers family! The son with all white including the white sweater around his neck has the words "YALE" on the back of his phone. I had to sneak the photo- no photography allowed... zoom in for a good laugh!
Of course... front row for sounds of Vienna ... opera! Don't worry got a CD & program with tickets- only seats left were the VIP package of course! Feel like Royalty!
Day of sweets! This is a Viennese specialty from SHulka family in 1828
Day of sweets! This is a Viennese specialty from SHulka family in 1828
Now in the center of old town Wien; St Stephens cathedral is the center of town with its spire towering and seen throughout the city. Artists sell their works on the plays!. Pedestrian only avenues is what is missing in the USA- reason why they are so healthy here! Plus they ride bikes everywhere!
My images of the stations is out of order but also notice the statue of st Frances - kaisergruft Also notice crypt of Hapburgs- who ruled Austrian nation
Relaxing on kanterstrasse!
This is Hopsburg Platz. This is where Hitler addressed the people of Vienna and made them part of the Third Reich. They were excited because Hilter promised them renewed prosperity.
Sacher hotel is a famous hotel which was run by owners daughter who made the hotel a success and place for aristocracy! Also where the " worlds classiest chocolate cake is served" story behind is that chef was out sick and young nephew created it quickly and it was loved by king & queen.
So back of Vienna opera house and horses in Albert plays
Starting my Rick steves audio tour in Albert plata
Day 1 Vienna... had a fantastic sleep at the hotel intercontinental plus did the breakfast buffet with lots of fruit, cheeses, sausages & I had a little egg! Now waiting for the RINGSTRASSE BAHN- a street car that basically goes around the old town which is the old city walls. Sunny- light breeze, warm- oddly even though about same latitude of Minnesota - very dry; no humidity at all! Can tell a difference in people .. formal, but stockier, dark hair whereas in Germany - blonde tall, pushy (except for the Turkish immigrants- their Mexicans)

27 May 2017

Literally on top on the world! Highest peak
Making it down! Did not slip on ice! All limbs good... glad I had that disney workout a few weeks ago!
Wow! Innsbruck Austria! Look Europeans not too stupid to fall off mountain - no guardrail! Snow and 78 degrees! Snow is super bright... bluest sky ever!
At the peak! Had to chill feet in the snow! Felt great to lie back and feel snow! (Especially after carrying 25lb backpack!)
Marisa taking a siesta in the sun- last images of me before I hike up to peak in the snow! Will I see the YETTI?
Team up to peak! 8825 km up I think- need to look again! Bavarian alps; Italy on other side of mountain... 20 min by car
Up early again ready for train to innsbrook! Yep my first McDonald's!

26 May 2017

Still at Salzburg castle! Found the real foundation! Plus some army stuff!
More Salzburg Castle- archbishop's quarters. Noice the baroque style woodwork and cathedral style ornaments around window. In addition, I think I must be royalty, all doors short- people were much shorter way back! I even got a photo of the holy throne! (Castle potty)! For dad; museum of war- lots of guns & stuff. Click on my iCloud photo album for videos and audio of famous marches written by the Austrian soldiers!
Salzburg castle! One of Europes top castles to tour. Never bombed during world wars; originally built 1186 by Archbishop. Additions added during the Middle Ages- and OTTOMAN Empire.
Ok- so now really a tax write off! Check out the deck staging. Other things to look at: 1) easy truss entrance, power boxes, wood picnic benches
Ok I threw in the Australian ducks for a duck pond... that could then buy the cool Land Rover! Haha! Notice the different wagon & trailer hitches!
See just like PIkeville ky if had pretty buildings!
Made it to Salzburg Austria! Can't tell a lie reminds me of a pretty Pikeville Ky - ( they also had to put in a river barrier!). Riding the hop on/off bus to get bearings; basically I try this as first thing in city to determine what is good to go back too! Plus relaxing with open top roof- and an audio guide! These are the Salzburg castle and old town

25 May 2017

Air Force headquarters but a few remaining nazi items
On columns- dents marks from ww11 bombs War museum Glass additions added 1991 unification of Germany- glass used to symbolize open transparency
Dodgers alley Essentially behind generals statues - during nazi regime- if in area had to hail Hitler's if dodged area for no reason sent to Dachaua.
Generals statue - important is lady Bavaria- symbol of Bavaria. Notice she is looking away; she was very independent Notice lions- one lion mouth open- facing residence- means you can say anything you want about king etc but lion facing catholic cathedral- mouth closed- can't say anything about church Baroque style Rise of the Reich - Hitler born in Austria - goes to Vienna for art school but does not gets accepted (he can't draw faces) 1913 draft dodger leaves Vienna comes to Munich; is found tried & talks his way out of prison; he makes living drawing postcards- but goes to war (WWI for Bavarian army -sovereign- he was a messenger / he never moved above private) injured twice but accepted in a psychiatric hospital . To keep working he becomes investigator for army of all the little groups- he likes the workers party. 1923- he gathers 1000 men and speaks at bier hall.1932 Mussolini takes over areas - Hitler follows idea and takes over Bavaria. "bier hall march" where it began.
Inside muncher residence
Max's house Facade redone mostly destroyed WWII - actually 80% of Munich destroyed
Finally after a decade doing "Mike Bikes" in Munich! Photo# me & "Maximilian" ruler in 1810! Cut deal with Napolean so not take over - MAX daughter marries Napolean nephew (ugly guy)- the big wedding was a 2 week party late sept to first weekend of October... now known as Oktoberfest.

24 May 2017

Welcome to my home "NYMPHENBURG PALACE" in Munich
Gothic revival style End of street that was main trade street in 1100's Salt traders came here to pay their dues- that was a boom era for Munich
Largest science museum in world!
Home of I think Edward Diesel man who invented Diesel engine
Day 1 MUNICH! Greyline hop on-off tour bus! Style provided by "Lidl" - a german family dollar type store where you can buy fruits veggies frozen foods & cheap clothes !