Here is the summary of the things I did in Central Europe (Vienna, Budapest, Krakow and Prague) trip in 2009:
Note: Italics shows that I didn't saw the inside
- Sunday May 3rd 2009: Meeting Laurier and airplane
- Monday May 4th 2009: Arrival in Vienna, meeting with Lubos (pronounced Loubosh). Dropped the luggages at the Favorita hotel, Tafelspitz meal on the Favoriten strasse, Belvedere Palace and its garden, Red Army liberation monument, walk on the Prinz Eugen Strasse and Wiener Schnitzel meal at the hotel.
- Tuesday May 5th 2009: Upper Belvedere and its garden, bus ride on the Ring to locate the main elements of the city, building Krawina Hundertwasserhaus, Stephansdom (St-Stephan Cathedral), plague column, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Swiss portal, Josefsplatz, Albertina, National Opera visit, including behind the scene, Burggarten with its Franz-Joseph statue, Heroes' Square and Volksgarten with its statue of Elizabeth (Sisi), Augustinerkirche visit. Bus ride beside the Viennese Secession palace and the Prater to lead us to the top of Kahlenberg hill and meal at an Heuriger in Grinzing.
- Wednesday May 6th 2009: Schönbrunn Palace. Visit the Upper Belvedere museum (paintings of Gustav Klimt, Friedrich von Amerling, Hans Makart) and Lower Belvedere (temporary exhibition of Alfons Mucha). Evening Concert at Kursalon (mostly pieces by Strauss, accompanied by opera and dance).
- Thursday May 7th 2009: Excursion in the Vienna Woods: Liechtenstein castle, Heiligenkreuz Abbey Mayerling. Meal in a winemakers village nammed Gumpoldskirchen. Walk in Baden (small spa town).
- Friday May 8th 2009: Vienna Central Cemetery (graves of great musicians: Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Johann Strauss and painters: Friedrich von Amerling, Hans Makart), departure from Vienna by bus to Hungary, goulash and paprika chicken meal on Vaci street in Budapest, overview of the Andrassy Avenue, dropped luggages at the Lion's Garden hotel and walk in the city park and Vajdahunyad castle.
- Saturday May 9th 2009: Heroes' Square, Buda castle, Matthias church, Fishermen's bastion, tramway ride, visit of the Hungary Parliament and its royal crown. Meal in a gypsy restaurant. Gellért hill followed by a cruise on the Danube.
- Sunday May 10th 2009: Visit the Museum of Fine Arts (Alfons Mucha exhibition), walk on Andrassy Avenue, saw a Trabant car, visit the House of the Terror and walk along the Dózsa György avenue (used by the Russian Army parades during the occupation).
- Monday May 11th 2009: Departure by bus from Budapest to Poland through Slovakia, meal in Ružomberok. Customs of Poland in ruins. Many construction sites on the roads of Poland, arrived under small rain to the RT Monopol hotel in Krakow.
- Tuesday May 12th 2009: Day by bus: across Solidarnosc square in Wadowice to visit the native home of Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II). Many construction sites between Wadowice and Oswiecim. Visit the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camp, followed with the visit of the beautiful Wieliczka salt mine. Her Royal Majesty Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visited the mine a few minutes before us, which has somewhat disrupted our visit, but also allowed us to have a unique visit: instead of rising from the bottom of the mine using the tourists lift, we got out with the one used by the miners! :)
- Wednesday May 13th 2009: Walk through the Planty park created after the destruction of the city walls. Teatr Slowackiego. Barbacane and St. Florian gate (North) of the Stare Miasto (Old Town). College Maius clock. Overview of the Old Market Square: Town Hall tower St-Adalbert church and Cloth Hall. Opening the altar of the St-Mary basilica followed by the herald trumpet on the top oof its tower. Visit to the Wawel Royal Castle and the Saint Wenceslas and Stanislas cathedral. Purchases at the Cloth Hall and return to the hotel.
- Thursday May 14th 2009: Departure by bus from Krakow to the Czech Republic. Arrival at the Hotel Union in Prague.
- Friday May 15th 2009: Municipal house, Powder tower, State theater, Wenceslas Square, statue of King Wenceslas on a dead horse, National museum and the statue of King Wenceslas (on a living horse). Astronomical Clock, House at minute (home of Kafka), Old City square, the memorial to Kafka (his birthplace), overview of the Jewish cemetery, museum of communism, Mucha museum, and lunch with Rikapt and Honeyhair :D and sight of the National Theater at night.
- Saturday May 16th 2009: Overview of the Strahov stadium, visit the Strahov Monastery library, visit of the Loreta cloister, overview of the Petrin tower, Euro-wide event "Fighting the crisis : priority to citizens" of the European Confederation of Trade Unions (which includes Solidarnosc) on the Prague Castle square. Visit of the Prague Castle, visit of the St-Vitus Cathedral (featuring a beautiful stained glass by Mucha) and overview of the Golden Lane. Walk in the St-Wenceslas vineyards, Charles bridge, statues of babies of the television tower in Prague and overview of the Dancing house.
- Sunday May 17th 2009: Airplane