Prague

We arrived in Prague yesterday afternoon after a 4 hour bus ride, and after checking in to our authentic Czech airbnb we headed towards Prague Castle – the largest castle complex in the world! It’s located up on a hill so we had great views over the city.

We started with a visit to St. Vitus Cathedral, which had the most beautiful stained glass windows.

Next we checked out the Old Royal Palace. The painted coat of arms on the walls and ceilings of one section of the palace were my absolute favourite – I would have taken more photos but apparently you aren’t supposed to photograph that section.

We went through the story of Prague Castle, which includes artifacts from different periods of when the castle was lived in.

The next part of the castle complex was St. George’s Basilica, the oldest church in the Czech Republic.

We went through the Rosenburg Palace which featured more royal artifacts.

Our last stop in the castle complex was Golden Lane – an eclectic lane of brightly painted stores and armory museums.

From here we slowly made our way down the hill, past Prague’s oldest winery and meandered through the beautiful streets. Fact: those macarons at the end of the pictures? They are filled with the most delicious gelato and I could live on them forever.

We found ourselves at the gorgeous Charles Bridge, and it wasn’t as full as we expected it to be which was a pleasant surprise.

From here we made our way to the Old Town, featuring the most beautiful buildings and the world’s oldest working astrological clock.

And that was it for day one because we were exhausted! After 3 days with over 30,000 steps walked we needed a little break.

But today we were up and at it again! We started the day with a 3 hour walking tour – and we were leaving for Munich that afternoon so there wouldn’t be too much more we can fit in.

The walking tour took us mostly through the same areas we walked, so I didn’t take many photos.  What we did get was a great overview of Czech (and Prague) history.  But you can’t expect me to remember it all so I guess you’ll have to make it to Prague to learn about it yourself.

What was new for us was visiting the Jewish Quarter and learning about that part of Prague history was so interesting.  There’s a few synagogues I’d like to check out in the future, alone with the Jewish Cemetery.  I really loved my day in Prague and would love to spend more time here in the future, so I’ll add those to my list of things to see when I come back one day.

 

Vienna

On our second (and last!) full day in Vienna, we hit up all the sites we missed yesterday.

We started with St. Charles Church.  Before we got there we read that you could take an elevator to the top of the church for some views.  What they don’t say is that the elevator is built as part of the restoration scaffolding and that you still have to climb 12 flights of scaffolding stairs to get to the top.  Zoe made it up 2 flights before turning back and that was all the motivation I needed to also go down.  I was no more than 5 flights high and the stairs were shaking.  We met someone who made it all the way up and she said the shaking gets much worse the higher you go.  Not fun!

From here we continued to just stroll through the city.

When we got to the imperial treasury we thought it’d be worth checking out.

We had the most delicious and nutritious lunch.

IMG_2109

And then headed towards St. Stephen’s Cathedral, including a visit up the north tower (yay for elevators that go all the way to the top!)

It was recommended that we check out a really cool architectural building that ended up being quite closer to our accommodation and then walked down to the Danube River.  Unfortunately it started raining half way there, and we were fully exhausted so we ended up cabbing back, but it was really nice to see more of the city!

And in the evening we attended a beautiful Mozart concert! We couldn’t leave Vienna without attending an orchestra, and it was the best!

And tomorrow we’re off to Prague! Time is just flying by!

Vienna

I met my friend Zoe in Vienna yesterday! It was a long flight from Toronto for her, and an early flight from Malta for me, so we were both pretty tired and also very excited to begin our trip together!

By the time we got settled in our airbnb it was later in the afternoon and we just decided to walk around the city and familiarize ourselves with some of the local sites and check out the naschmarkt.

We started today with a visit to the Schonbronn Palace – the summer palace for the Austrian royal family.  It reminded us both a bit of Versailles, with a grand palace and huge gardens in the back, and both the inside and outside was lovely to walk through.  We spent many hours here this morning/afternoon.

From here we headed into Vienna’s city center and took a stroll with no real destination in mind. The buildings are astonishingly beautiful and there are statues on the top of a vast majority of them.

We found my favourite spot of the day just by accident – the national library.

And we had heard that the buildings are all lit up at night, so we stayed out til the sunset to see the lights on the buildings.

It was all very dramatic and I regret how full I was because we walked by MANY delicious gelato stalls that I would have loved to try.

Malta

Last day in Malta, and only three weeks left of my trip! I didn’t do anything today, so here’s some pics of my family from over the last week 🙂

I wish there were more but we got a lot of good quality time in and that’s more important than pics.

Malta

Today I went to Comino! There are two smaller islands next to Malta: Gozo and Comino.  Each with their own charm, I spent the day going to and hanging out on Comino, home to the Blue Lagoon and the tower from the Count of Monte Cristo.

It took about 2 hours to get there, with a stop in Gozo to let people off.  I was mostly on the wrong side of the boat to get views of Malta’s coast, but I planned to get more on the way back,

We had two hours to explore the island – so I went for a walk for an hour then hung out by the gorgeous blue lagoon.

And then we were headed back! Unfortunately it got super windy, so even though I was on the right side of the boat, it was hard to keep your eyes open let alone take pictures. It also got pretty overcast.

But I did treat myself to dinner for the first time in a while, and got some Mediterranean bruschetta.

IMG_1210

It’s my last day in Malta tomorrow, and I’ve no plans except dinner with the family (and catching up on this blog!).

Malta

 

On Monday I started my day with a visit to Marsaxlokk, the fishing area in Malta where you can find traditional colourful boats.

From there I went to Valletta to see a few of the things I missed that my cousin David told me to see.  This included the archeological museum.  Normally in museums you’ll find artifacts from all over the world but it’s cool in Malta that you’ll only find things in museums that were actually found here.

From here I went to see Malta 5D, a 5D (yes 5D) movie about the history of Malta that includes a 3D movie, chair that moves, and actual mist when it rains on screen.  Pretty much like a roller coaster, but still very interesting.

Then I caught the ferry back to Sliema for a different view of Valletta.

On Tuesday I started with a visit to the Hagar Qim and Mnjadra temples.  Built in megalithic times (about 3600 to 3200 BC), it is thought that they were built to observe the equinoxes.  I’ve seen temples like this before, Newgrange in Ireland, and Stonehenge), and while these two should compare, I feel like the fabric covering which prevents further deterioration takes away from the gloriousness of these buildings.  But it does preserve them for future generations, so pros and cons I guess.

First was Hagar Qim, which features one of the largest single blocks found in any temple in Malta (it weighs about 20 tonnes and is 6.4m long).

Then you have a beautiful coastal view as you walk to the Mnjandra temple.

And the temple itself.