Saturday, September 13, 2014

Country Hopping Has Its Perks

The morning after our fairy tale joyride through vineyards involved a brief acquaintance with hangover, but since the sun was finally shining on Austria, we got ourselves up for breakfast (choco and coconut cake included!) and made our way to see some of the sights of the city haloed by sun. We zoomed passed St. Stephen's Cathedral, Hoffburg Palace, and some Roman ruins, taking in the warmth from the skies while simultaneously taking in glimpses of a truly beautiful city. We also passed what appeared to be a small photo shoot where debonair gentlemen were dancing upon the steps of some grand building. All in a day's work. As mentioned before, I feel certain that Austria will be on my radar again in future, and I think I must visit a bit more of Vienna again to actually see more of the sights and nightlife. It was a short day in our segue city because we were off on another train ride to the 3rd of our triumphant trilogy. "So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye"... or wotevs... Until next time!

Once we were finally settled in our train seats (yup! The ones whose tickets had already visited the United States, Paris, Vienna, and now en route to their home destination.), I began to realize that a 5 hour train ride is much different than a 2 hour one... Duh. But this time didn't provide the brief respite from chaotic adventuring, it was a bit more restless in nature, that feeling when you're on your way to Christmas and it takes several hundred years rather than 10 minutes. Even so, it was a nice time to reflect that when you have the unbelievable luxury to be country hopping because you live in Europe and sometimes actually DO step through the looking glass, life seems pretty damn good.

BOOK THREE: Prague Princesses Run Rampant.

One can never tell what unexpected thrills will climax during the third installment of any great epic. Because the train ride was a substantial length, we mainly had time to get to the hotel and drop our things before finding a decent dinner. This hotel was probably the most traditional of the three, small but with all of the amenities. And of course, one of the best things about country hopping is that you meet  wonderful people who can give you amazing advice from their own experiences country hopping. We had a lovely recommendation from cute tour guide in Austria for a traditional Czech restaurant, so we set our sights on that. I was rather happy that it was a small distance from our hotel because it gave us the opportunity to see a bit of Prague by night. As we approached the Charles Bridge I have to admit that I practically fainted in sight of what looked like bejeweled castles in the distance. My dreams of becoming an actual princess had never seemed so real. The restaurant lived up to expectation, offering incredibly large portions of meat and dumplings, and of course our first Czech beer. So much food in fact that we could barely finish our roast duck and bready accoutrements after a mouthwatering garlic soup. En route home we noticed a small shop that was apparently the home of a beer spa. In hindsight, I'm very sad we never got to engage in one of these meccas. Either way the evening was a delightful send off to a night of slumber, preparing ourselves for the following day... The day of all days... the day of my birthday...

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