4 August 2014
With what is becoming our new normal today started off with fairly long train ride to one of our favorite cities, Prague. This allowed me to catch up on writing while watching more scenic countryside pass us by. And to the guy in the train car two seats over, cutting your nails on the train is so not cool.
We didn’t arrive to our hotel until just before 7:00 so after checking in and dropping our bags in our room we set out to a nearby brewery and restaurant that I had found online, Klasterni Senk. I don’t think Adam stopped thanking me for finding this restaurant, because not only was the food absolutely delicious (seriously one of the better food we’ve ever had), but they also brewed an IPA which Adam has been sorely missing over the past few months as he’s been relegated mostly to pilsner type beers.
Also with the beer being cheaper than the water here (seriously have we mentioned that Prague is one of our favorite cities) it made for a great dinner and a wonderful welcome back to Prague.
So we saw this sign on the walk back from dinner, thought you might enjoy.
Today’s Travel: From Vienna to Praha by train
Accommodations: Penzion Chaloupka. This very nice pension about 20 minutes by tram from the Old Town city center has everything we needed. The rooms were spacious, laundry is available and breakfast is included. For us the location was a huge plus as it was far away from the crowds and the tourist price restaurants.
2 August 2014
After our short stopover in Ljubljana we hoped on an early morning train ride towards Vienna. We had what turned out to be a rushed departure as it took a little longer than we thought it would to get some breakfast at the train station. With about 10 minutes before our train was scheduled to depart we thought we had plenty of time to pick up some takeaway and make our way to our platform which from the signs we assumed were right outside the door. Unfortunately breakfast took a few minutes longer than we thought to prepare, and then as we walked through the doors to the platforms we had a panic stricken realization that in order to get to our platform we had to go a few hundred meters down the track to reach an underpass. At this point the departure board had blinking lights showing for our train which we can only assume meant we had to get a move on so we took off at a run (or as fast as you can move with two backpacks strapped to you) and somehow managed to make it onto our train with about 30 seconds to spare. Quite a fun start to the morning.
After several hours we soon were pulling into Vienna and hopping on the metro to get to our hotel.
In the evening we made our way out to Zahel Heuriger to taste some local wines and eat some traditional dishes. Heurigers are local wineries that back in royal times were allowed to open up inside the city center. The wineries specialize in produce young wines so that they only sell what they produced last year. Last time we were in Vienna we had visited a Heuriger that was aimed more at tourists so the wine and food unfortunately weren’t the best. This time we did a little more research and had to travel a little longer on the metro and trams to reach a local establishment and were we glad we did. I opted for the meat stew with potatoes and some veggies and of course sauerkraut (which is really good here, not the crap you find in the stores in the US), while Adam ended up getting the schnitzel which was easily bigger than his face but very delicious. Also the wine actually tasted like wine this time as opposed to the almost cider like variety we had last time.
Today’s Travel: We were back on the train for a six hour trip from Ljublijana to Vienna with a brief stop in Villach to change trains. Once in the city we took the U6 to the U3 to the U2 and walked up the street to our hotel. Later that evening it was on the tram to the metro to a neighborhood just passed the summer palace.
Accommodations: Pension Baroness. Although the hotel does show some age it’s still very clean and quite impressive in its Victorian styling. Also the rooms are seriously large, it’s close to several tram lines and the metro, and has some breakfast options and groceries close by.