European Vacation

The “big” vacation this year and one that I seem to still be paying for just completed this week .  We went to Austria and Czech Republic.  We spent 10 days out of country.  Our first stop was Pollau, Austria in the Styrian Mountains.  They aren’t so much mountains but more like huge foot hills.  Still very nice.  We stayed at the Retter resort and spa.  It was fantastic.  I’m not sure how you would lose any weight here as their all you can eat meals where amazing.

Our next stop also in the Styrian Mountains was to the Red Bull Ring for the 2023 edition of the Austrian F1 .   As expected Max Verstappen won the race - There’s no two ways about it - he’s a natural born F1 racer.  The rain held off and it was great weather.  Getting back to Vienna was a different story - didn’t get to the hotel till midnight because of some logistical “mistakes” on the road.

Vienna was an altogether different experience.  We stayed close in.  I have to admit that I never got the hang of their public transportation.  We had passes but only used them to get into museums for free.  The Hop on Hop off can be a disaster because you sometimes would have to be on the bus for over an hour to get to where you wanted to go.  Anyway we did a Segway tour, went to a bunch of museums.

We went to Belvedere 21 which is a modern art museum, the “regular” Belvedere, the Albertina and Westlich - a photo museum which had a show of Beatles photography - is was right next door to a Leica store - it was all I could do to keep from going in there!  Both Vienna and Prague are loaded with old architecture and if this were your thing you would be in 7th heaven.  Unfortunately for me , once you’ve seen like 10 of these buildings you have seen them all.  On the Segway tour we saw the legally sanctioned area for Graffiti and they say it has cut down on the random graffiti seen elsewhere.  Prague had a similar area.

In Prague the highlights were the Jewish quarter, Franz Kafka’s statues, Charles Bridge.  While we were in Prague, Zelinsky from the Ukraine was in town and his motorcade passed us.  Once again we tended to use UBER - it was really inexpensive as compared to the US.

Would I go back?  Initially I said no but now I think I would but not in July - too hot and there is a disdain for A/C in Europe.  I would like to go back  for two weeks and stay in one place to really get the vibe of things and also to learn their public transportation system.  I envision a “beach vacation” in a city like Prague where you just hang out, go to concerts, museums in a more leisurely way. Hang out at the cafes, drink Pilsners. Oh and go to the Jewish sector NOT on the Sabbath!

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