A Travellerspoint blog

The great cities of Central Europe trip conclusion

Looking back six months after our arrival in Munich, I can say this was another very successful road trip. We accomplished everything we set out to do and had amazing family experiences we will all remember forever. Except for the kids of course, which is the main reason I write the blog. I would love to be able to look back at my own travels with my parents from when I was a kid but unfortunately most of those memories are gone forever.

There were very few disappointments among the cities we visited. I would say most met or exceeded my expectations, especially Kraków and Prague. The only slight letdowns were Vienna and Salzburg, but I wouldn't sacrifice any of the time we spent in those places. What was missing for us in Vienna? I'd say that it's a beautiful city with amazing architecture, but it feels a little sterile and almost boring compared to the relative chaos and gnarliness of the major Eastern European cities and Munich. Perhaps if I went again, I'd have a completely different experience. It's hard to say what makes us less compatible with certain cities that others find amazing. We don't care for Paris, Chicago, or Seattle either. Go figure.

I won't bother with a ten best meals list. The only standout gourmet meal was at Cafe Sochy in Banská Štiavnica in Slovakia, which came as a complete surprise. Lokal in Prague was amazing for local specialties and atmosphere. Steckerlfisch and other Bavarian beer garden classics at the Hirschgarten in Munich were unforgettable. We had very good dinners in Oberammergau and Innsbruck. However, the food overall was undistinguished. It usually wasn't bad but it wasn't particularly creative or delicious. If we had meals like that in a restaurant in Miami, we wouldn't go back. We won't be remembering this trip for the food, but rather for the long walks through beautiful and historic cities and our repeated encounters with the Danube, possibly the greatest river in the world.

Best experiences:

10. Trhovisko Miletičova market, Bratislava, Slovakia
9. Linderhof Palace, Bavaria
8. Munich beer gardens
7. Český Krumlov, Czechia
6. Highline 179, Austria
5. Neighborhoods and markets of Kraków, Poland
4. Exploring the Wachau Valley, Austria
3. Walking around Budapest
2. Jan's farm, Slovakia
1. Walking around Prague. The most beautiful old town of the trip, hands down, and possibly the world. The Vltava river, castles and forts and bridges, and David Černý sculptures. We were blown away.

So how are we going to top this? Maybe we can't, but trying is half the fun. Over the summer we'll be doing our third round-the-world trip. Plans are still fluid, but the current projected stops are Taiwan, Mudanjiang, and Copenhagen. We've already bought the flights for Cleo and Ian's spring break from school this April, which we'll spend in Sicily and Malta. Aside from the fourteen hour flights, that one should be amazing. I still need to blog our recent trip to Nicaragua over New Year's. I expect I'll be getting started on that over the weekend if I get any time away from the kids.

Posted by zzlangerhans 16:32

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