April 2011 - Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany
April 30, 2011
April 23, 2011
Hi Everyone We had a great three weeks with Connie and Steve. They flew home on Tuesday and are safely back on Lake Pulaski, Minnesota. We got a few more projects finished this week, water in batteries, new thermostat sender on main engine, finished side curtains for "the Fort", ran Dutchman and reefing lines on mainsail and varnished the toe rail. It's hard to stay motivated after three weeks of touristing:-) Still lots we should do before we cast off our lines for Cruising 2011.
We hosted Mexican domino's last night. Al always hates to play but this is the game of choice for most cruisers we know. I think it's beginning to grow on him. We're going to Rome for Easter mass in English at Santa Suzanna. Then we're meeting Bob and Cindy on God Speed for brunch. Pope Benedict does a special blessing at noon but we don't know if we'll have enough time after 10:30 mass to get to St. Peter's Square by then. We hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.
April 14 - 17, 2011
Hi Everyone Okay everyone cut me some slack. I reread some of my emails sent while on this road trip and I can't believe some of the errors. Blame it on late nights and lots of fun! Oh and we celebrated New Years 1972 in Munich not 1971.
Thurs. April 1 Our second day in Munich we took a wonderful free three hour tour of Old Town. Our guide, Marcin, was great, and worked for tips:-) He also works for a tour company that he was promoting. Unfortunately it was very windy and colder so we were glad to see the tour end at Viktualienmarkt (Open Market and beer garden). We had brats and then decided to head to the English Gardens. You can't blame us when low and behold we ended up in front of the Hofbrauhaus and needed a warm up and bathroom break 3 hours later and 2 liters each we wandered across the street too The Augusteiner and had another liter and wonderful dinner, pork knuckles.
Germany | Lake Starmberg | Neuschwanstein Castle
Fri. April. 15 On the road again... Poor Al always behind the wheel. Great drive through the Alps. We headed to Lake Starmberg where King Ludwig II built beautiful castles. One of which Walt Disney still pays Munich royalties on. The Neuschwanstein Castle was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's castle. Grandpa had to head there so he could tell his girls he was at Sleeping Beauty's Castle. (Now when we told Josie this she informed us she wanted Grandpa to take her to Disney World:-)) You'll have to work on that Josie! We saw no fewer than 15 castles this day and at least 6 forts. The driving was spectacular although at times Al was not as enthusiastic as he was the driver. We drove through Innsbruck and then into Italy. It was a long day of travel but arrived in La Spezia early enough to relax and then head out for a quick bite to eat. Beautiful night and it felt great to be back to warm weather even at night.
Italy | Cinqueterre | Riomaggiore | Sally, Connie, Steve
Sat. April 16, 2011
Happy Birthday Maggie! We had breakfast and then boarded a train to Cinqueterre. We started in Monterosso (last of the five cities) this time to avoid the crowds we encountered last October in Riomaggiore. Unfortunately parts of the trails were closed due to erosion over the winter and spring. We climbed the first 45 minutes of the trail to find it fenced and paddle-locked against hikers. So we climbed to the road and caught a bus back to Monterosso. We still had great views, just didn't get to see Vernazza on the approach from the west. We took at train. We tried some farinata (chickpea pizza)before hiking around. We were able to hike the trail from Vernazza to Corniglia. It was suppose to be closed too but we encountered no problems and had a beautiful 1 and half hour hike (Well maybe 2 at our pace). We sure did a lot of up hill climbing today so the downhill which normally kills my legs was a relief. In Corniglia we hiked down to the train and visited Manarola. Then it was a short, easy walk to Riomaggiore. Great day. We grabbed a slice of pizza to go and caught the train back to La Spezia. We had nice dinner lasagne for Steve, calamari for Connie and seafood pasta for Al and I.
Italy | Pisa |
Sun. April 17
We made a stop in Pisa this morning so Steve and Connie could see the highlights. We took our pictures and headed out for Nettuno arriving back at Artemis at 3PM. Wow safe and sound and we put on about 2,500 miles in two weeks. Where has the time gone. We've had such a great adventure and will miss our travel partners when they go home on Tuesday. Having Sausage/meat rigatoni for dinner tonight. If we aren't too tired we'll finish up with gelato. Love and God Bless Sally, Al, Connie and Steve.
Czeh Republic | Myslin | Connie and Al town Pribyl's came from
April 12, 2011
Hi Everyone, Al had some genealogy information about the Pribyl's in Bohemia from Helen Hudek Dougherty in Maple Lake, Minnesota. We drove 100km to Myslin, Czech Republic and met a man that turned out to be the Burgmiester (Mayor). He made a few phone calls and talked to the "Oldest man in town". He showed us two houses one that Pribyl's lived in and one and Dobners in the other. That would be Great Great Grandpa William and Anna Pribyl where Great Grandfather Joseph Pribyl was born and he married Anna Dobner in 1879. Their son William (Willy) was born there and then Grandpa Frank Pribyl and Ed Pribyl were born in USA. He had us follow him to nearby Milovice and the mayor there looked up the archives. Unfortunately the cursive writing used was too difficult for him to read and it was written in Czech. He called the English teacher over from the school to visit with us and the headmistress had to take over her class. Then they called Henry to talk with us and ride with us to Trebon to look at the archives for the Pilcek area. We were told the director there spoke English. Henry left Czech Republic 40 years ago. First to Germany for 10 years then to California for 30 years. He was quite a character so not too sure if all he told us was the absolute truth. We drove 3 hours down and back listening to his stories. We drove through Ceske Budejovice (Home of Budweiser)then to the quaint town of Trebon. The director said he couldn't help us as he was too busy and all the information was on the internet. Oh well the ride criss-crossing Southern Bohemia was worth it.
After dropping Henry back home we went another 100km over to Pelhrimov to visit our sailing friend Miro, "Snow White", who was our Group Leader on the 2008 EMYR (Eastern Mediteranean Yacht Rally). He took us to see his new apartment building, his offices and warehouses for his trucking company. Then we drove out of town to see the house he designed and built himself 25 years ago. His son lives there now as Miro lives on Snow White in the Med and is headed for the Caribbean this year. Great house, fun patio, pool, fireplace. Cool " Man's Cave" in the basement designed like an authentic Czech pub, sauna and shower. Neat wood winding staircase up to the bedrooms. Miro took us to Czech restaurant for dinner, beer, and then shots of Becherovika. Then we ordered one shot of each of these to share: Magister, Fernet, slivovice, Fernet Citres, Rum and Konak Vajecny. Happy 59th Birthday Steve!!! Poor Al, our designated driver couldn't drink. After driving us back 100km to our Prague hotel we took him to our favorite Pub down from the hotelPub Smichovsky Radnicni Sklipek . Late night for us...midnight!
Wed. April 13, 2011
After breakfast we headed 380km for Munich (Munchen). We stopped in Pilsen (Plzen)to visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. We did a quick museum and outside tour. Didn't wait the 2 hours for the next English tour. Bought some beer mugs for the boat and some beer. It was cold up in the mountains we actually had a few snowflakes. Very windy in Munich. We bundled up and walked to Frauenplatz to Bratwurst Glockl for late lunch/supper. We shared a special mixed sausage, sauerkraut, potato salad platter, soft pretzels (brez'n) and beer.
Germany | Munich | Hofbrauhaus
We walked to Marienplatz and watched the Glockenspiel on Town Hall. We stood in the same spot Jan. 1, 1972 and watched the 32 mechanical figures dance, re-enact scenes of Munich's history and listen to the bells play. The wind was quite nippy. We went to the Hofbrauhaus for 1 lt stein beers. The place was hopping already at 6 PM. We snuck upstairs to peek into the Festival Hall where we danced and drank in the New Year in 1972 while on tour with our college singing group from St. Catherine/St. Thomas, The Chamber Singers. Memories old and new. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Czech Republic | Prague | views from The Great Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral
April 11, 2011
Hi Everyone, Monday April 11 Great day in Prague. It was a little cooler today but still plenty of sunshine. We have been lucky with the weather since Connie and Steve arrived. We had a short rain hail storm the first day they arrived and great weather every day since. We left the hotel at 8:30 today and arrived back at 9PM. Big day, lots of sights and excitement. We walked to a Funicular that took us up to Petrin Hill a beautiful green park above the Prague Castle. We walked through the Hunger Wall, past Petrin Tower (Eiffel Tower lookalike) Loreta Square, Strahov Monastery, to Hradcany Square. Beautiful views of the river and city below...At the Prague Castle main gate, Matthais Gate we watch the changing of the guards and listened to the band play. A quartet on the street played "Die Moldau" which was special. St. Vitus Cathedral is amazingly beautiful. Most was build during 19th and 20th centuries. The stained-glass windows are spectacular. We climbed the 297 narrow steps to the top of the 96 meter, Great Tower. The views of the city made the climb worth the great effort put out:-) We walked down through the terraces of the Castle Gardens to St. Nicholas Church(or as we were told Santa Claus Church) Had another nice Pub lunch about 2:30 and then headed for Charles Bridge, Old Town, and Our Lady before Tyn Church. Easter Festival in the square and we had Trdelnik (tube shaped bread sugar, vanilla, toffee, almonds and nuts. We watched folk musicians and dancers perform. Great fun but by 6PM we'd had enough for the day.
We caught the subway at Republica that took us back under the river to Lesser Town where our hotel The Bridge and favorite Pub Sklipek was located. We had another great meal/beer at Sklipek's before heading to bed at 9:30. Another 13 hour busy day...Connie and Steve will be ready to go back home to Lake Pulaski. We plan to drive to the Pribyl ancestor's town of Mylsin tomorrow. If we have time we'll visit Cesky Krumlov castle before visiting our sailing friend Miro in Pelhrimov. Then back to Praha to celebrate Steve's 59th birthday. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Austria | Vienna | Cathedral
April 9 - 10, 2011
Hi Everyone, Wien Hotel Senator (Vienna-Austria)We asked the reception for a restaurant recommendation. She gave us three...Chinese, Italian and Greek. Hmm...where is the Viennese food? We walked to the Greek Restaurant and Al and I both agreed it was one of the best Greek meals we've had anywhere.
We had a wonderful buffet breakfast and REAL coffee again. Our group isn't into espresso. We took a tram into the Old Town and got off near the Votive Church. We hopped a Ringstrasse tram to the Hofburg Imperial Palace and Museum Quarter. A young mom on the tram wrote down a Viennese Restaurant suggestion for dinner. What a contrast from the old cities of Italy. Much of Vienna was bombed and rebuilt after World War II. So the buildings and streets are much brighter and cleaner. We toured the Hofburg Palace with and audio guide. Great tour Beautiful! The storyline of the Empress Elizabeth was a bit overdone but otherwise good history and great artifacts.
Good signs so easy to travel around Old Town. We saw the Spanish Lipazoner horses going back to the Riding stables after their performance. We walked by the State Opera House (Staatsoper),Graben area and shopping street promenade up to St. Stephens Cathedral. We got a brat and ice cream for lunch then visited the Cathedral. A choir from England was singing when we visited St. Peter's Church. We saw Mozart's Vienna house and headed back to the State Opera House for a tour. Way cool...the lobby and entry way are original but much of the theater, backstage, reception rooms are new after bombings and fires of World War II. Back stage we saw the sets for that nights performance assembled. At the State Opera House they rotate Operas with a different Opera each night about 50 different Operas a year.
After our tour we walked in the Volksgarten (People's Garden), Parliament, Rathaus and City Hall. Below City Hall we discovered a festival. Each of the nine areas of Austria have a weekend that they "Present themselves to Wie n". We experienced Steiermark's Festival of wine, beer, food, music and crafts. We hopped a tram and went to the restaurant recommended to us earlier in the day for Wiener schnitzel at "Ter der 2 Heserlu". Great variety of schnitzel's and Connie and Steve were surprised to discover it wasn't hotdogs! We caught subway U2 and Tram 43 with a couple of short detours safely back to our hotel.
Czech Republic | Telc
Sun. April 10, 2011
We had another great buffet breakfast and left Vienna for Praha (Prague). We decided to skip the freeway type roads today and take the roads less traveled. Great countryside driving. Now we know why so many Czech/Bohemians moved to Minnesota. The countryside of rolling hills, small towns, farms and pine forest could be Minnesota. Now if they could just add a few lakes they's have it made:-)
We took a detour onto a real country road and visited a World Heritage Renaissance style town of Telc. Telc was an original 14th century fortified village with a castle, now a chateau. You enter the walls of the town and walk through an English style park surrounded by two duck ponds with quaint little bridges and paths winding back and forth between the ponds and streams. The main square was a burst of bright pastel facade buildings with neat contrasting lintels or paintings upon them. Fortunately we were leaving as the first of the tour buses arrived.
Czech | Prague | Pub Smichovsky Radnicni Sklipek | Sally and Al Favorite Pub
We arrived easily in Prague with only one missed turn. Oops wrong way, make a U turn whew just in time a tram came around the corner where we had been sitting! Free parking in front of our hotel, "The Bridge" one block from the Vltava River. The Bridge is old but clean, no frills. We went to a local Pub Smichovsky Radnicni Sklipek for dinner. Great food cheap beer! Steve and I had Bezousek (Spicy Goulash)) It was huge chunks of beef, sausage, potato, and carrots served in a spicy red sauce. Al had roasted rabbit with side pork and Connie had Meatballs stuffed with spinach. Tomorrow we'll tackle Praha. love and God Bless Sally and Al
Italy | Assisi | Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi | Steve, Connie and Al
April 6, 2011
Hi Everyone, Mon. April 6 We had a wonderful drive to Assisi, Italy and then on