A Travellerspoint blog

Leaving Prahahahaha and cracking onto Krakow

Prague, Krakow

overcast 14 °C
View Map 2 - 03 Praha to Krakow on krystalmat's travel map.

Matt typing - Krystal drinking!

Sunday the 5th of October

After a much much needed sleep we all awoke nice and refreshed and ready to tackle the city of Prague. Our first impressions of Prague were a little ordinary as our transfer from the airport to out hostel took us through the ''Getto'' area so to speak and it left a sour taste in our mouths. But as they say never judge a book by its cover and this was soon rectified as we wandered through the streets early Sunday morning.

The beauty of not heading out on Saturday night is that you get out early while everyone else is sleeping off their previous evening hangovers! First we headed to the banks of the Vltava River and took in some views of the famous Charles Bridge. Once satisfied, we headed to Prague Castle and its surrounding grounds and spent a couple of hours strolling around and enjoying the views, the buildings, and the sunshine. From there we headed to a little tourist hot spot called 'Golden Lane' This has got to be one of the worst things I have ever paid for! Even with our fake Student Cards we were headless that we dipped into our pockets for this place. To give you an idea of what this place was like picture this. Think of a lane about 30 metres long, five metres wide, filled side to side with souvenier stores and you get my point! Another moment where the local government traps the unfamilar tourist!

From here we headed back to the river and walked across Charles Bridge and made our way to the main High Street of Prague. Walked up the street towards to the National Musuem then onto a Catherdral before making our way back our hostel to call it a day. We made a quick stop at the railway station to arrange tickets for the next day then we headed to a local supermarket to pick up a couple of pre dinner drinks. From there we headed out for our final dinner with Jeremy and Fliss then headed back home, said our goodbyes to our fellow travellers and hit the sack.

Monday the 6th of October

With some time to kill before our train to Krakow we walked back to Charles Bridge and took some nice photos without the 10,000 tourists flocking there like the day before. Once happy with ourselves we picked up our packs and headed to the train station for our 2pm trip to Krakow, Poland. Not a great deal else to write really. 7 hours on the train, bored, Krystal smashing me in cards, and then arriving about 9:30pm tired and ready for bed. We made it the hostel about 10:30 which I would have to say is by far the best one we have ever stayed in anywhere so far and plonked into bed for some rest!

Tuesday the 7th of October

We decided that 2 days was going to be enough for us here so today was going to be full on to ensure we got through everything we wanted to do. Tomorrow was already taken with our trip to Auschwitz. First thing on the agenda was a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mines about 15Kms South East of Krakow. After some bus confusion we found a couple of other travellers who were just as confused as us and the 4 of us shared a taxi to the site. Now I have been given some different opinions about this place, most good and only one negative. The negative one coming from a friend of ours who is Polish herself. We should have listened to the local girl and avoided this place. Very very gimmicked up and totally made for tourists with random stops in gift shops and being herded around like some cattle in a field. I must admit the Catherdral (Chapel of Saint Kinga) in the middle of the mine totally made from salt was impressive and the actual size of the place is huge (total length of 300km and maximum of 327m under ground) but other than that the only good thing that come from this visit was the lift back up to the surface! Oh and also we learnt that the word salery originates from Latin where its meaning is payment is salt. Good for the trivia quiz night I guess?????

Krystal typing now - Matt's turn for drinking!

After the salt mines we wandered into the main part of the old town to have a little look around. Checked out the main square which is a tad on the big side! Rynek Glowny is meant to be biggest town square in Europe. There is also a fairly big castle, but we both decided that over the past year we have both been castled out so decided to give it a miss. We both decided to head out of the main part of town and check out the orginal Jewish quarters. We crossed the river and made our way to Schindler's factory - for anyone who doesn't recongise this, it's the factory from the Steven Speilberg's true story of Schindler's List. We found the site, but there were quite a few factories there, all of which seemed to be in use, and all seemed to be quite run down. We wandered around for a little trying to figure out which one was Schindler's, bumped into another traveller and teamed up and found it. The Polish are in the process of creating a muesum out the front, due to open 2009 - we were too early! But we were both more than happy to have seen the factory ourselves.

After checking out the factory we decided to go have a drink with the guy we had just met, found out he happened to know a fair bit about the area. We crossed over The Most Krakusa Bridge back to the main part of town, and he explained this was the same bridge that the Nazis made all the Krakow Jews cross over to re settle in the ghetto to be seperated from the rest of society.

Had our drink, and then we headed off to purchase our train tickets to Berlin. Had some nice polish dinner and then made our way back to our hostel to update our blog! So there you have it, you are up to date!

Auschwitz tomorrow - something that we have both wanted to see first hand to fully understand.

Love Krystal and Matt
xx

Posted by krystalmat 12:06 Archived in Poland Comments (1)

Europe Road Trip

Cesky Kromlov, Obersalzburg, Salzbury, Fussen, Munich

overcast 12 °C
View Map 2 - 02 Cesky Kromlov to Praha & London-Cesky Kromlov on krystalmat's travel map.

Hi all, hope everyone back home is having fun - working! We've been having a ball so far. We've managed to have survived the European roads thanks to Matt's right hand side driving ability, not to mention Graham's help also (our trusty GPS).

Well I guess I better take off from where matt left off.

Wednesday - 01 - October

We woke up early Wednesday morning and said our good byes to the cute picturesque old town of Cesky Krumlov and hit the road. We drove from the Czech Republic through Austria to the town of Obersalzberg in Germany. We may as well be driving along the Calder freeway while we pass through EU boarders - just the surroundings are a little nicer, especially since it's Autumn and a lot of the leaves are turning bright red - very pretty!

We made it to Obersalzberg and caught a bus and then an elevator up to the top of a mountain along the Bavarian Alps to Hitler's holiday house, the 'Eagle's Nest', although Hitler only went there a few times. He celebrated his 50th birthday here. This was a gift to him for his 50th B'Day by the way.

Anyway the views from the mountain were amazing, on one side was the typical rolling green hills with little clusters of Austrian style houses, and then on the other side was the snow capped mountain range that seemed to rise vertically from below. Not a bad little spot for a holiday home!

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We headed back down the mountain and spent a couple of hours wandering through the Dokumentation Obersalzbery museum, a museum dedicated to Hitler's political life. It was really interesting as it showed the good that he did at first and then went through his transformation to evil. It also spoke a lot about the propaganda techniques that were used by the Nazis. After that we headed down into Hitler's bunker which was absolutely massive!

Jumped back in the car and crossed the boarder back into Austria and stayed the night at Salzburg.

Thursday - 02 - October

Today we spent the morning wondering around Salzburg, where parts of the Sound Of Music was filmed. Haven't actually seen the movie but the town was really nice. Wasn't a whole lot to do there so didn't hang around for long. All 4 of us jumped in the car and headed back over to Germany to Fussen.

Fussen in a town at the foot of another mountain range where a castle - Schloss Neuschwanstein castle is. Most people probably would have seen photos of it at some point. The castle sits on the top of a small mountain / hill at the beginning of the mountain range. Pretty sure Disney based their logo from this castle. Anyway it's beautiful, even more so though because of it's location.

We managed to book a hotel for the night right next to the castle where the workers lived while building it. The general public aren't allowed to take cars up, but instead have to walk 40 minutes up the hill. But since we were VIP for the night Matt dodged through the masses of tourists and pulled into king Ludwig's pad for the night.

We spent the afternoon wandering the castle grounds than were then given a guided tour though the rooms that were actually completed. Due to the Kings death in 1883 (approx) only about a 1/3 of the inside was ever completed. What was though was pretty impressive and the attention to details as always was second to none.

Friday - 03 - October

Muchin Oktoberfrest - we do not discuss! Peeing down with rain, German public holiday, too packed to get into any tents! Grrr so we sat outside the tents drinking steins with everyone else who couldn't get in.

Matt typing now

Jeremy and I still managed to get out hands on a Pork Knuckle so 1 good thing came out of the day. That’s it though!!!!

Saturday - 04 - October

With thanks to some local lads who thought that it was fine to play German Techno pull blast at 6am we were woken nice and early. I don't think they actually realised that in camping grounds, sounds travels!!!!

So we managed to get out of bed, pack up J and F's tent and leg it out of Munich. We drove about 30 minutes North and headed to Dachau. This little town just outside of Munich is where the Dachau Concentration Camp was based. Dachau Concentration Camp is the oldest camp of its kind and it was interesting to hear some of the stories and learn some of its history that is had to offer. We wondered around the grounds for a while then headed for a film at 11:30 to give us some more information about the camp. Once completed we wondered around the museum and learn some pretty horrific things about the living conditions and also human experimentation that went on in this camp. I still cannot work out how little disregard there was to human life and how this all could have taken place. In a few days time we are heading to Poland and will be visiting Auschwitz (the largest Concentration Camp) which is going to be while interesting to learn, even more difficult to understand.

We headed out of Dachua and had to gun it 3 and 1/2 hours straight to Prague to avoid a late fee from the rental company. Bessie (that what we named our car) never let me down and we flew along the German roads and into Prague airport to say our goodbyes. We grabbed a shuttle bus and headed into our hostel, grabbed some dinner and called it an early night. Well Krystal stayed up and typing this and now I am up nice and early to finish it off.

So now it’s Sunday and we have all day in Prague to explore and relax before we head to Krakow tomorrow at some point. Hope everyone is safe and well and I will speak to you soon.

M + K
xxoo

Posted by krystalmat 12:58 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

They drive on the wrong side!!! Now so do I!!!!

London, Cesky Kromlov

semi-overcast 18 °C
View Map 2 - 02 Cesky Kromlov to Praha & London-Cesky Kromlov on krystalmat's travel map.

Sunday the 28th of September

It is official we are finally on the way home to Australia!!!! At approximately 1830 hours on Sunday the 28th of September our journey began!! Why this time you ask?? Well upon arriving in London Krystal and I had always wanted to drive a car across Tower Bridge. Call us strange but this is something that just seemed like it had to be done! So we hired our car on Sunday, filled it with all our boxes and backpacks and headed towards the most famous monument of London.

Monday the 29th of September

Up nice and early and refreshed after Ian and Debbie had kindly let us stay at their home for the evening we headed to Croydon to get rid of all the clothes and books and added extras that we had managed to get our hands onto over the past 12 months. After a minor complication (forgotten vital info) we made it to the depot, dropped off the excess and headed top Gatwick. I must add, if there is either spelling mistakes or strange sentances in this blog, that is because I am pissed! Anyway back to point upon working out things we got to Gatwick and were ready for our first departure. 1225 and we are on our way to Prague! Not only Krystal and I but we have the pleasure of sharing the next seven days with Jeremy and Fliss! Anyone at home these guys are 2 of our great friends who we have had the pleasure of living with for the past 10 months in London. Safely landed and through customs we headed to pick up the hire car, loaded up and GPS fitted we were ready to hit the roads of Europe!!! Me in the drivers seat, Jeremy in the navigater possession and the girls sleeping in the back! 30 minutes later we are still in the airport trying to work out this stupid computer system! Finally work it out and we are on our way. After driver approximately 2kms we get a voice "At the next exit perform a U Turn where possible" Strange we think. Do as the computer says I say so we do this and strart driving back. Next thing we know, we are back in the airport car park and exactly where we began!!! Take two we say and this time we are on track and heaed south towards Cesky Kromlov our first point of call on this part of the adventure. 3 hours of driving (impressivly I must say by yours truley) we made it to this lovely little medievil village in the Southern part of the Czech Republic. Being a pretty long day we checked into our hotel, ducked out for dinner and called it an evening.

Tuesday the 30th of September

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Call it what you want but for some reason I cannot sleep in, especially on holidays! 7am I am well awake and that means one thing............SO is Krystal!!! Showered and ready to by 8 we were right in the middle of the most beautiful city of Europe I have seen so far. After a few action shots we meet up with J and F (Jeremy and Fliss) and we headed for a quick breaky before climbing up to the Cesky Kromlov Castle. After walking through the castle and gardens we took the 168 steps to top the the Kromlov Tower for an awesome view of the city below us.

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Once satisfied with our tourist agender we headed to the nearest off licence got a bottle of vodka and relaxed for the afternoon on the belcony of our hostel.

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After many drinks we headed for dinner (another awesome Czech Cuisen) and called it a night for the evening. Well I lie actually cause I am currently sitting here writing this entry while Krystal and Jeremy are out in town taking night shots of the town while Fliss is in bed snoring!!!! Tomorrow I am back on the right hand side of the road driving further South to Salzburg and onto the Eagles Nest.

Hope you are all well and we will speak to you soon!!

M and K
xxoo

Posted by krystalmat 13:00 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (1)

Day 1!!!

London

sunny 19 °C
View London-Cesky Kromlov on krystalmat's travel map.

Well we have finally made it to the date that we have been after. Sunday the 28th of September!

Mind you this is not really the best way to begin our holiday. It is pretty much consisting of cleaning up our flat, packing boxes and trying to get everything sorted out.

I guess the trip is really going to begin tomorrow at 1220 when we depart Gatwick Airport London to Prague! Once that plane takes off then there is no return and plenty of fun and games and maybe the occasional drink here and there! As most of you know who are reading this I am not a big drinker (also this is Matt typing) and much enjoy having quiet nights curled up with a novel and blanket.

Well the last week or so has consisted of long days of work, late nights of catching up with friends, and sleeping on the airbed at the flat. Also we got to see the Hawks tough up the Cats in the Grand Final which was very very satisfying. Now we are running around trying to finish everything up before we head south to stay at a friends place before going to the airport tomorrow.

So the next time we enter an entry in this is will actual be about travel which is a good thing considering this is our travel blog! Most likely somewhere in the Czech Republic

Hope everyone is safe and well and we will see you in 5 short months! Well hopefully not too short anyway!!

M and K
Xx

Posted by krystalmat 03:08 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

We're backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!

22 Days and counting!

overcast 16 °C

Well its been 10 months since we wrote our last blog. 10 months to long I say!!!

Since now and then we have been living and working in London, doing as much as we can and seeing as much as possible. We made a flying visit back to Australia for Amy and Deano's wedding in Feb which was great and seeing family and friends during that time was just the fix we needed! From Feb to Sept we have managed around 10 small trips around the UK and Europe all of which we little teasers for what we have planned coming up!

Also during our time in the UK we had the pleasure of spending a week with Amy, Dean and Alison and then had the Mittons, ALL 4 of them and their wonderful company.

Now its time to leave London (just in time before their winter hits) and head onto a new location!!!

Over the next 5 months we will be travelling throughout Europe, the UK and South America. During this time we have certain highlights such as Oktoberfest, Berlin, Scotland, The Inca Trail, The Amazon Jungle, Xmas in Cusco with the Lords, Buenos Aires, and Rio Carnival! This is just to name a few and I am sure there will be plenty more!

So I hope you all enjoy reading our blogs and listening to our stories. I am sure there will be plenty of ups, downs, and surprises over this time and we will see you all on the 4th of March back in Melbourne!!!!

Love Matt and Krystal

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Posted by krystalmat 07:01 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

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