May 17, 2007 – June 05, 2007


Photo credit: Evelyn Chang

Whirldwind trip through Eastern Europe with old college friends Shimi and Evelyn and new friend Sarah. Highlights below. Favorites places and most memorable experiences, bold.

View Europe 2007 in a larger map

Prague | Český Krumlov | Bratislava | Melk | Vienna | Salzburg | Munich | Florence | Rome | Amsterdam

Praha, Czech Republic (Prague) 

  • Praha Hlavní Nádraží – main train station
    • Čínský Food (Chinese)
  • Old Town Square
    • Astronomical Clock
    • U Medviku Restaurant – recommended by Global Traveller Magazine – good salads and barley dish
  • Prague Castle
    • Singing reunion group
  • Petrin Hill via funicular / Petrin Tower via 299 steps
    • Views of Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Vlatava River
  • Cafe Radost FX
    • Yum!
  • Wenceslas Square
    • Three people dressed as sperm (Durex condom promo).  I’ll forever think of these costumed people whenever I think of this square.
    • Met up with Helena!
  • Coffee Heaven with Helena

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic | A UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Rented a standard-transmission Toyota Rav 4 with GPS – score! Never been more scared of topos in my life!
  • Fake-looking Disneylandesque buildings
  • Český Krumlov Castle

Bratislava, Slovak Republic

  • Papparazzi – award-winning drinks and menu!  Jane was sick, though…  🙁


Photo credit: Shimi Lin

Wien, Austria (Vienna)

  • Hofburg Palace
  • Adolf Loos American Bar
  • Stephansplatz
  • Cafe Ritter – Viennese coffee
  • Schönbrunn Palace | A UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site
    • One of my favorite places in Europe
    • Labyrinths
    • Fun playground
    • Free Vienna Philharmonic concert!!!
  • Escalators for u-bahn (subway): walk-left, stand-right!
  • Nachtmarkt

Melk, Austria

  • Fancy schmancy high-tech Benedictine monastery
  • Don’t visit

Salzburg, Austria

  • McDonald’s recycles!
  • Rainy: two in one poncho
  • Slept in Rav 4

München, Deutschland (Munich, Germany)

  • We drop off the rental car; Shimi leaves to return to Bahrain via Amsterdam
  • Englischer Garten (English Garden) at the Chinese Pagoda where I ordered a Caribbean Basket (coconut chicken, country potatoes, and wings)
    • Another of my favorite places, if only for the 1 L Radler beers with lemonade
  • Marienplatz: church
  • Street performance – classical trio
  • Dachau
  • Swagat – Indian food. Yum!
  • Deutsches Museum – too much to see in too little time. Probably my favorite museum in the world.
  • Hofbrauhaus Biergarten – great! Ev has great pics of the local performers.
  • Ulter Simpl – coffee shop
  • Pinankothek der Moderne – I set off the security alarm there trying to take a picture…
  • Glockenspiel
  • Evelyn leaves for return to Boston; Jane travels solo until Amsterdam

Firenze, Italia (Florence, Italy)

  • Travel on a NICE private sleeper car; lesson learned – don’t trust the conductor when he tells you it’s your final destination. I got off at the wrong stop (at Firenze Campo Mar) and had to figure out how to get across the city to Firenze Santa Maria Novella, the main train station, after I figured out that I got off at the wrong place, that is…
  • Ostello Archi Rossi (Red Arch Hostel) – only available room was the infirmary!
  • Galleria Degli Uffizi
  • Piazza Deli Signoria
    • My favorite evening in Europe – splurged on myself. Those 55 Euros I spent on dinner and entertainment for JUST myself were well worth the penance I paid.  Maybe I’ll write a more detailed account of this one day.
    • Ristorante Il Cavallino
      • Grilled sole (bad!), fried zucchini (excellent!), Villa Antinori white wine (most excellent)
      • Random accodian player playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Happy Birthday”
    • Mercer & Peres
      • Songs from the 70’s
  • Boboli Gardens, Pitti Palace – one of my favorite places

Roma, Italia (Rome, Italy)

  • Nighttime arrival when a nun showed me the way to my hostel, er um… tent…  Again, a more detailed account of this might be added later…  In short, I slept with a guy I didn’t know!  No, no, get your head out of the gutter!  It wasn’t like that!
  • Plus Camping Roma
    • Part of my €55 penance; $14/night for a two-person tent… and I’m only one person…
  • Villa Giulia
  • Palatine Hill
  • Cryptoporticus!
  • Horti Farnesiani
  • Pantheon
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Colosseum
  • American man pick-pocketed 5 feet from me in crowded subway; good thing I carried a bazillion locks with me
  • Jane trying to finish case study in her cold, wet tent!
  • Roma (6:40p) → Paris (Bercy Station; 9:10a)
    • The private train car from Munich to Florence was NICE. This sleeper car (6 per car) was the most uncomfortable thing in the world… If only I had known that I could have lowered my “mattress” a crucial 4 inches… Not that it would have mattered… My car-mates’ luggage was under my “mattress”
  • Paris (Nord Station; 12:55p) → Amsterdam, Nederlands (Amsterdam Centraal Station)

Amsterdam, Nederlands (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Arrived a couple of nights before my study abroad program began (to finish up my case study), so stayed at the Globe Center hostel (June 4-5).  DON’T STAY HERE!
    • More penance for my €55-dinner-for-one night; even I could have picked the locks on my door, and I’m no prestidigitator!
    • Tired of lugging around my books so I wanted something close to the main train station and something cheap. (It was a sad moment when I realized that the only things that I felt I needed to lock up were my books for my Netherlands case study project! I would have cried if somebody had taken them!  And I really would have.
    • Walking around “my neighborhood” that first night in Amsterdam, I heard a “knock-knock-knock” to my left.  Oh, hello!  I didn’t need to look at you working your red glowing window!  You must be knocking at the guy walking behind me!  I guess that’s why they call it the “Red Light District.”  Hello to you, too, Amsterdam!

Photos can be found in my Picasa Web Album.

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