Lunch In Bratislava

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Nearing the end of the first half of our tour, we faced our most difficult travel day to date. It started with lots and lots of stairs, continued with hectic transfers, long waits, and hot, crowded train compartments. When we reached Bratislava, we stashed our luggage in lockers, then walked through the old part of…

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Playtime In Vienna

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Somehow, Vienna and most of its architectural and artistic treasures escaped widespread destruction during WWII, and then managed to be west of the iron curtain. As a result, it still looks and feels like the seat of an empire. We had only a day and a half to see the sights of this great city,…

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Enchanted Kingdom

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The train station at Český Krumlov set a new standard for near non-existence. The train stopped in what appeared to be a vacant lot, and our tour director urged us to get off. We climbed down into what looked like weedy dirt, but closer inspection revealed it to be a concrete platform in the final…

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Czech Principles Of Design

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Lucky, lucky you, city of Prague! This glorious city has survived over 1000 years of wars, crusades, reformations, revolutions, fires, and even communism. It is one vast, open-air museum of architecture over the ages, straddling the beautiful Vltava River, bedecked with numerous parks and gardens, and populated by the “smiling devils,” the most sophisticated and…

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Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

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The old buildings of Krakow escaped some of the ravages of WWII and communism, even if the people did not. As a result, and for many other reasons invisible to us, I’m sure, the outlook of the city seems more hopeful. Everywhere we looked, we saw signs of humor, pride of place, and appreciation for…

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