We left Dresden and were on to Berlin. After arrival in Berlin we were on our own for dinner. We went to a local restaurant and of course had beer.
Then on to the Christmas market. The market was closing so we returned to the restaurant for a nightcap. While we were inside it started snowing. The snow was accumulating pretty quickly, but was gone by the next morning.
The next day we had a brief bus tour of Berlin. We saw the Brandenburg Gate
The State Opera HouseWe also saw remnants of the Berlin Wall and the Reichstag building. We did not have time to tour inside the Reichstag but if you go it definitely is a must see. We were taken back to the hotel and had several hours before our farewell dinner. My son and I walked to KeDeWe a German department store that is like Harris in London or Macy’s. On the way we saw a Lego store went in and saw a huge replica of the Brandenburg Gate made from Legos.then we went to the Christmas market until we had to return to go to dinner.
The next morning we were up early for transport to the airport. We flew from Berlin to Zurich. The Zurich airport is bigger than Atlanta so it was a sprint to make our connecting flight. We flew from Zurich to Tampa and now we have been home for several months before I have completed this section of the blog.
Again we were in the bus this time headed to Dresden. We were met by a local guide who gave us a brief history of the city and then we walked to several really nice Christmas markets. The pictures are of the palace and a museum.
We were up early to catch the train to Fuessen. Were had reservations to see Neuschwanstein Castle and Marsha and I went to see Hohenschwangau Castle since we had seen the “Disney” castle previously. The train ride is 2 hours from Munich to Fussen and the time at the castles about 2 hours. We had to catch the train back to Munich before it got too late. We had a few minutes at the hotel before we were off the the Ratskeller for dinner. Dinner was great, but too much. Some of the girls went on to the Hofbrauhaus, but I decided to return to the hotel.
In the morning after breakfast some of the girls went on a free walking tour and the rest of us went in our own tour in center city. We had a great time. When I can post pictures you will see the sites. We had left our luggage at the hotel so after we ate lunch at the Augustiner Restaurant (I had a dark beer) we went to the hotel to get our luggage and head for the train station for the train to Graz.
We are presently on the train and due to arrive at 10:30pm in Graz. Tomorrow is the “Aufsteirem” (a giant party) in Graz.
We took a train from Veitsch to Vienna. In Vienna we boarded an Austrian overnight train to Frankfurt. Nice train and we shared the compartment with 3 very nice women. The conductor woke us up and brought us breakfast. Breakfast was a piece of bread, a croissant, butter, jam and tea or coffee. We changed trains in Frankfurt to go to Brussels. In Brussels we got the Chunnel Train to London via Lille, France.(Recap of countries- Austria, Germany, Belgium, France and England.). Once we were in London we had to take the subway to the train station that would take us to Bath, England.
But I got ahead of myself. We had about 6 hours to spend in Vienna. We had prepaid for a hotel so we checked in for a few hours. Naturally we went walking around and found a mall – see pic. We also decided to eat because we knew we would be traveling for a long time. See pic of our last meal in Vienna.
Back to Bath, England. When we got to Bath we could not find a place to stay for the night. Apparently there was some Jane Austen celebration going on and it was packed. We then got a bus and traveled on to Bristol, England. We found a place to stay and went to look for food since we were tired and hungry. We lucked out again. We fond an Italian restaurant that had really good food. Marsha had bruschetta and I had pâté for appetizers. Marsha had spinach and ricotta ravioli and I had penne with spicy sausage. See pics.
In the morning we went back to the bus station to explore our options of getting to Ireland. Again we were lucky! We could take a 10pm bus (that includes the ferry) and arrive in Dublin at 10:30am. That left us with the whole day in Bristol. We headed out to see the town. See pics. After we walked the entire downtown we decided to have an early dinner since we would have a long night of travel. We went to a restaurant called “Slug and Lettuce”. Marsha had a veggie burger and I had Thai tikka chicken. All was good. We are now in the hotel lobby after retrieving our luggage waiting to go on the short walk to the bus station.
I almost forgot!!! I had my first English breakfast at the hotel in Bristol. It had toast, croissants, muffins, crumpets, baked beans, baked tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, scrambled eggs, sunny side up eggs, ham, sausages(bangers), various cereals, yogurt, 2 kinds of fruit salad, coffee, tea and juice. I had my first crumpet and banger here in Bristol.
Also, as we were walking around Bristol we came upon a 5 lane bowling alley. Of course we had to bowl a game. The lanes are much shorter than the ones in the US.
It is now 2;45am and we are on the Irish ferry headed to Ireland from Wales. The ferry has wifi so I can send this message.
Today we took a regional train to Potsdam to see the Sansoucci palace. We did not tour the inside because we would have been assigned a time that would have made us late for our train in Berlin. But we were able to tour the gardens. See pics. I should tell you we had planned to check our luggage in a locker at the Berlin station. We followed the arrows to the lockers but we were walking in circles around the train station. Every time we followed an arrow up the escalator when we got there the arrow pointed down. Very confusing. For a train station that was clearly marked, new and nice we just could not figure out why the arrows for the lockers were so confusing. When we finally found them, they were all full so we decided to take our bags to Potsdam and see if they had lockers. Fortunately they did. I took pics of the Berlin station so you can see how large it is. The pics were taken from the bottom floor and there are 5 floors.
We are now on a train from Berlin to Prague – where in Prague we will catch an overnight train to Krakow. We know it seems like we are backtracki
ng sometimes because we will stay in Prague later. The reason is we are trying to keep the amount of train changes per trip low. If we went the most “direct” way we may have to change trains 7 or 8 times. There is also a cost factor as our rail passes are not valid in Poland and we try to keep the trip on Polish soil short because of cost.