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13 December 2011 @ 01:48 pm
The Former Capitals of Europe Tour  
Having cashed in all of our Alaska Airlines miles, we are now in posession of tickets for next year's trip to Europe, which I'm calling the "Former Capitals of Europe Tour." We'll be flying to Venice (which dominated Europe in the 13th-15th centuries) on April 18, and returning home from Berlin (which dominated Europe in the 20th-21st centuries) on May 19. Our itinerary in between is not yet set, but we plan to hit Vienna (which dominated Europe in the 15th-19th centuries) and Prague (which was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire in the 14th century), and will probably also take a tour of the Czech Republic.

This is our second visit to Venice and Vienna, my first and Kate's second to Berlin, and our first to Prague. Any recommendations for sites, hotels, restaurants, events, etc. to see (or avoid) would be highly appreciated.


billeylerbilleyler on December 14th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
This sounds wonderful and definitely trumps our 15 day adventures from Istanbul to Lisbon this year!
Queen of the Surface Streets: bunniesironymaiden on December 14th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
in Berlin, Kellerrestaurant im Brecht-Haus has excellent food in a funky basement setting, plus Bertolt Brecht memorabilia including the scale model for Mother Courage.

Prague is amazing, but achingly full of tourists. lots of signs and menus in English, people hawking pizza and hamburgers. while Prague Castle is worth seeing, it's particularly hellish in terms of crowds (i say as someone who hasn't visited Italy, so YMMV). watch Amadeus a few times before you go - buildings and streets will feel so familiar. i highly recommend The Globe - it's an expat hangout and a great place buy/sell/trade books and to get intelligence about the city and things to do from Americans who live there. and they often have free "learn about Czech culture" events. go see an opera at Estates Theatre. you will get lost in Prague, no matter how well you think you read maps. it's okay. it's how we ended up walking through a seasonal pottery festival eating hot trdelnik.
it looks like Český Krumlov is on your tour. (if you don't do the tour, you should still go. IIRC there are several bus and car services between there and Prague or Vienna.) this place is so damn good. supposedly there is some kind of large area where they have tour groups, but we stumbled into a quiet bar full of Czechs (may have been a time-of-day thing).
Pamcanseefour on December 14th, 2011 04:35 am (UTC)
In France in 2004 and Berlin in 2005, we used Accor Hotels. Our son was living in Paris at the time and booked them for us. We stayed in mid-price hotels (they have a wide range) and found them all very nice.
In Berlin we took a 3-hour walking tour which was mostly through the former East Berlin and near to many of the main museums. (The Pergamon is a must). One thing that really got to me was the Book Burning Memorial in the Babelplatz. If you're not looking for it (particularly in the daytime) you'd walk right past it. It's a square of plexiglass in the platz looking down on empty book shelves. The shelves would have held all of the books that the Nazis burned in the platz in May, 1933. It's more visible in twilight or dark because it is lit from inside.
Prague is a beautiful city - just wandering around looking at the architecture is wonderful. The castle needs a visit - you can see the balcony where Vaclav Havel addressed his people during the Velvet Revolution. I was working in news at that time, so those things were very moving for me to see - same with Wenceslas Square. We were staying with square dancers - Barry called a weekend for them - but if we'd been on our own, I'd have looked for a walking tour there too. We did take the river cruise (a couple of hours) and found it quite interesting.
Have a great time! I'm sure you will.
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on December 14th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
Warsaw! Krakow! Salt Mines!

crazysoph: insert title herecrazysoph on December 14th, 2011 08:12 am (UTC)
There is a disturbing lack of Brussels in your itinerary.

Jus' sayin'.

Crazy(and, actually hoping y'all have a GREAT time... even if it is all too far away for us to catch a visit...)Soph
Autopopeautopope on December 14th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
It's a little off your route, but can I just note that the Eurocon is in Zagreb from April 26-29th?