Well, our Prague, Vienna and Budapest trip is done and it was absolutely wonderful in every aspect.
I would like to extend my thanks to the folks on these forums who have generously contributed their advice in making it such a success. We used Rick Steves individual books and that was enhanced by the people here who know and love these cities & areas and are willing to share their “on the ground” intelligence, opinions and ideas.
We wanted to see many places and by spending 6 to 7 days in each city, also experience what each had to offer and take time to enjoy them. We arrived back last week and I hope to have a trip report prepared once I sort thru & organize my notes and photos before the memory fails and I forget I ever went there :-)
Some of the overall impressions, thoughts & highlights during our April 22nd to May 11th trip :
How many nice people we met every day that took the time to chat & help us out as we “stared” at a city map. The staff of the places we stayed and whom we took advantage of their knowledge of the city - Patrick at the Hotal Hastal, Michael & Brigitte at Pension Suzanne, András and Timea at the Butterfly Home BB.
The transit systems in all cities that are easy to navigate once you've got a transit system map and a willingness to venture forth. The Jewish Synagogue’s and memorials in every city that were so moving. And finally, the tumultuous history of these countries never ceased to amaze us.
Navigating 3 different currencies in 3 countries (ATM for cash in each) certainly challenged one’s math skills!
Prague / Czech Republic - Old Town Square, Castle Hill, Lobkowicz Palace & Concert, Charles Bridge in early morning & late at night, Municipal House, Alphons Mucha Museum, Terezin Memorial, Cesky Krumlov and it goes with out saying - the BEER.
Vienna - Schenbrunn Palace, St. Stephen Cathedral, Melk Abbey / Krems day trip, Vienna’s GREAT Cafe’s (I made almost ALL on Emily’s list!), Hapsburg Treasury - all those jewels.
Budapest - a sheer delight to discover this wonderful city, kudos Peter Polczman, a RS recommended guide that we booked back in January for our 1st day, the incredible baths - Szechenyi & Gellert, Danube / Parliament area day & especially at night, Castle Hill, Hungarian Folk & Dance concert Duna Palota. Their quirky history with putting up all kinds of statues for the strangest of reasons (Ronald Reagan?). And of course, it goes with saying their coffee culture and delicious food.
The list goes on & on but one has to stop somewhere else I would have written my Trip Report :-)
Thanks again / Gene