THE EASTERN EUROPE GUIDE
For the first time in five years, I had three weeks of Easter Break. As I am in Europe I took advantage of it and travelled to seven different places with my best friend.
It was an unforgettable experience. We got to know a little history of each country, meet new people, eat traditional foods and many more things you will now get to know.
It all started in…
Copenhagen, Denmark was our first stop. I have never seen people as beautiful as in that country. The city is so clean and tidy it makes you want to live there.
The most entertaining option to do in Copenhagen was Tivoli, an amusement park. But unfortunately, it was closed. So we found different attractions to visit. One of them was Christiania which caught my attention.Christiania has been famous for its open cannabis trade, taking place in the aptly named and centrally located, Pusher Street. Pictures are not permitted in Pusher Street, but here I share with you an image of its surroundings…
We also got to visit the NY Carlsberg Glyptotek which I highly recommend. It is a museum situated right across Tivoli. It is one of my favorite museums. If you are interested in Greek Mythology, you will absolutely love it.
Another fascinating thing to see is the Amalienborg Palace and the changing of guards held every day at 12:00 noon.
We then flew to…
Fun fact about The Netherlands: their Queen Máxima Zorreguieta is Argentinian. And I attended her same Secondary School back in Buenos Aires.
Amsterdam, also known as the “Venice of the North”, is full of canals and has very peculiar streets and neighborhoods. It has one neighborhood in particular, which is very well known, and it is the “Red Light District”. Known worldwide for allowing prostitution.
We took a tour of the “Red Light District” with Sandemans, which I highly recommend, because the tour walks you around the streets of this neighborhood in a very respectful way. They explain how prostitution works in the streets of Amsterdam and which are the requirements to work there. They made me understand how important are the rules that they have established and that the “worker” is in control and chooses how to proceed, but I’m not going to get into this subject. I am just going to say that, if you are looking for a fun but very respectful tour about the “Red Light District”, don’t hesitate on taking the Sandemans tour.
If you are into the WW2 history, you shouldn’t miss the Anna Frank Museum! And if you are a Van Gogh fan, just like me, don’t miss out on the “Van Gogh Museum”, a three story building, full of his paintings and inspirations. Worth while visiting!!!
Hoping on a train to…
Whilst in Berlin, Germany, we joined the “Fat Tire City Tour”. We hopped on our bikes and toured Berlin. It was very impressive to be walking down the path where History was made. I had the possibility to visit the places where the horrors of the Second World War began, and let me tell you, it gave me chills. I was impressed on how Germans took responsibility of the actions of their Ex-leader, Adolf Hitler. I perceived a feeling that people there, are ashamed of what happened, and it is truly sad because their country is wonderful but turists tend to blame Germans in general for what has happened years ago.
I stayed in the “Mitte” area, which was perfect, very close to the city center, and with many restaurants to sit for brunch, lunch or dinner. I loved one restaurant in particular, called “Da Piadina”. An Italian restaurant, owned by two people, a couple. The man was in charge of the cooking, and his wife was in charge of attending the customers. We loved it so much, that we went there two times in a row.
The trip was continued in…
Immediately after Berlin, we took a bus to Krakow, Poland. A small city, but beautiful in every aspect you see it. Full of History, specially if you take a day to visit the two most known concentration camps: Auschwitz and Birkenau.
Visiting these two camps, was shocking. But to be honest, I thought the experience was going to be harsher. And if you are thinking that I don’t have a heart, I do. I am saying this because people had no respect towards what was shown to us, nor for the horrible acts that took place in those concentration camps. In some places, where taking pictures was forbidden, you could find people taking pictures anyways, as if they were in Disneyland, simply disgusting. Anyways, having had the experience to visit these places, will be unforgettable.
Poland, having suffered so many attacks during war time, has become a terrific place. People there are very kind and helpful. I found Krakow to be a very beautiful place, despite of all it has suffered.
Right after Krakow, we flew to Prague…
Where to start? Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic was one of the highlights of this trip. My best friend and I, completely fell in love with this city. A very picturesque town.
When we arrived, it was raining, but as you can see in the picture above, it soon started to clear out.
I highly recommend visiting the “Dancing Building”, where you can get to the rooftop and take beautiful pictures of Prague as the following one…
Walking through the “Charles Bridge” and then up to the Prague Castle was one of my favorite things to do in Prague. Once again, I got to see the city from another perspective, and it was beautiful. Check it out!
Having said that, my favorite thing to do was to rent a pedal boat at the “Vltava River”. The sun was out, and my friend and I took advantage of it. We bought some snaks and started pedaling through the river. It was the perfect afternoon.
From Prague we took a train straight to…
In Vienna, Austria, I fell in love with the “Belvedere Museum”!!! Its corridors and stairs are very bright and spacious. They had very interesting contemporary and modern exhibitions too. But one of them in particular caught my attention. The exhibition of Lawrence Alma-Tadema. His paintings where clear and bright, and in most of them, he used my favorite colors: blue and white!
Being in Austria, and knowing that in their capital city, Salzburg, was filmed “The Sound of Music”, and it, being my favorite movie of all time, there was no chance I was going to leave Vienna without visiting those locations. At least for a day. So…we took a train to Salzburg.
If you know the movie, you probably know that the main actress is Julie Andrews, playing the role of Maria. Well, I felt that I was “Maria” for the whole day. I got to visit the convent, the Von Trap house, and many more sights where the movie was filmed.
Last but not least, we hopped on a train to…
Budapest, the most habited town in Hungary!
The truth is, that we heard that Budapest had the best night life in Europe, and let me tell you… It was pretty good.
Most of the hostels there are “party hostels”, we didn’t stay in one, but we did go to a party in one of them, at Morrisons 2. Budapest is also well known for the “Ruin bars” they have. We went to “Szimpla”, one of the most famous ruin bars, and we had a really good time. We bumped into some argentinians and had a blast.
NOT TO MISS, the popular…Thermal Baths. One of the most interesting attractions that Budapest has, are the thermal baths. We went to the “Szechenyi Baths” and I can swear to you that I stayed there, doing nothing, literally, for the whole afternoon. It definitely wasn’t a waste of time. Listen to me, I had to recharge all of my energies after so many trips, I deserved that little relaxing treat, don’t you think?
I bet that you already knew that Budapest is divided through the middle by the Danube River, and that on one side of it you can see “Buda” and on the other one, “Pest”. And it is on top of Gellert Hill where you can see this division. AMAZING!
Up to now, this has been my Easter Break, I hope you had the chance to travel a little bit with me through my post. But hold on tight, there is yet more trips to come. X