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On the road: a trip through Central Europe

5542 Views 42 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Torontonia
A Road Trip through Central Europe

Hello there everyone!

In this thread I will showcase the pictures I've taken on my journey through the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia by ways of posting pics from my Flickr account.

Currently I'm posting my pics of Prague, and plan to move on to Vienna within a few weeks if time allows me to post everything in time.

Hope you will enjoy my photography, and please leave comments on my posts!

Kind regards,

Torontonia
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Prague, July 18-19th 2017

We start this journey with a 13h bus ride from Amsterdam to Prague. I've met some of the very interesting people during my nocturnal journey through The Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic. From student backpackers making their way across the continent, to hitchhikers at gas stations along the German autobahn. After thirteen hours, a 882 kilometer long road trip and one hour of sleep, I finally arrived in Prague.

The bus arrived at the Florenc International Bus Station just after 10.30AM, after an adventurous road trip of thirteen hours. The first Prague landmark I visited was the Hlavní Nádraží: the main railway station of this bustling metropole that underwent several name changes and has a rich history. Opened in 1871, it first beared the name ''Franz Josef Station'' in honour of the Austrian emperor and Hungarian king Franz Joseph I of Austria. The station was rebuilt between 1901 and 1909 in the popular Art Nouveau style by Czech architect Josef Fanta. During the First Czechoslovak Republic and from 1945-1953 the station was named after former US president Woodrow Wilson, who supported Czechoslovak independence.
Nicholas Winton used this station to save over 669 (predominantly Jewish) children to the UK from Nazi terror shortly before World War II, known as Operation 'Kindertransport'.
[/url]Praha Hlavní Nádraží by Mike Bakker, on Flickr[/IMG]
Prague, July 19th

After navigating through Prague by means of subway and tram, I found my hotel in a suburban neighborhood with early 20th century mansions and park-like avenues. I waited for my UK friend to arrive by Uber, checked into our room to store our luggage and go for drinks and explore part of Hradcany. We took the tram down to the border of the Castle district and made our way downhill, following a lane lined with trees, the leafs bustling each time a warm summer breeze passed by.

We sat down on a patio with a good view of one of Prague's landmarks: the Cathedral of St Vitus, situated in the middle of the castle and on top of a hill with a magnificent view over the entire city. A very strategic point to build your city's most prominent building and sign of affluence.

Officially, the cathedral is dedicated to Saint Vitus, Saint Wenceslas and Adalbert and is easily recognized by it's four spires dominating the skyline. Construction started in 1344 with architect Matthias of Arras in charge and lasted -with a long interval which lasted several hundreds of years- until 1929 when the two Gothic Revival spires on the cathedral's front were finished. In the meantime the (unfinished) main tower was topped with a renaissance spire and served as a bell tower, and is home to Bohemia's largest bell: Sigismund, with a weight of 13,500 kilograms.

Several attempts to finish the construction of the Veitsdom during the Renaissance and Baroque eras were unsuccessful, and the cathedral's choir was closed by a provisional wall. In the 19th century, renaissance and baroque additions were removed by Gothic Revival architect Josef Kranner and new foundations were laid to construct the nave of the cathedral. Architect Josef Mocker designed the two symmetrical spires that dominate the west façade of the cathedral. After hundreds of years, construction Veitsdom was finished just before the jubilee of Saint Wenceslas.

[/url]St. Vitus Cathedral in evening light - Prague 1 by Mike Bakker, on Flickr[/IMG]
Prague, July 20th

Flash forward to the next day, where my friend and I start our day by exploring the Strahov Monastery with it's baroque basilica.

Strahov Monastery is a premonstratensian (Norbertine) abbey, founded in the 12th century. It is home to the Church of St Rochus and the Basilica of Virgin Mary's Assumption.

Church of Saint Rochus
[/url]Svatý Roch - Praha 1 by Mike Bakker, on Flickr[/IMG]

Basilica of Virgin Mary's Assumption
[/url]Klášterní bazilika Nanebevzetí Panny Marie na Strahově by Mike Bakker, on Flickr[/IMG]
Prague, July 20th

The garden in front of Strahov monastery offers a fanastic view over the historic center of Prague.

[/url]Panorama of beautiful Prague by Mike Bakker, on Flickr[/IMG]

[/url]Katedrála svatého Víta, Václava a Vojtěcha by Mike Bakker, on Flickr[/IMG]

[/url]Spires in Sunlight by Mike Bakker, on Flickr[/IMG]
Great, very nice photos from Prague! :cheers:

BTW, when posting flickr photos, you dont need to quote again the IMG code; flickr does it automatically :)
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Great, very nice photos from Prague! :cheers:

BTW, when posting flickr photos, you dont need to quote again the IMG code; flickr does it automatically :)
Thank you very much, and I will follow your tip! There are still many more posts to be written, so keep on following my thread :)
Prague, July 20th

After a quick coffee, my friend and I went down to the Lesser Town with its famous Wallenstein Palace, elaborate Church of Saint Nicholas and many picturesque streets.

Nerudova Street








Church of Saint Nicholas


Column of the Holy Trinity


Church of Saint Thomas, with a hefty summer storm coming up
Great travel report, Torontonia! :applause:
(Am excited what you will show about my home town, Vienna! ;) )

This is my favourite pic, with the beautiful thunderstorm clouds
standing in the background:

Church of Saint Thomas, with a hefty summer storm coming up
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Great travel report, Torontonia! :applause:
(Am excited what you will show about my home town, Vienna! ;) )

This is my favourite pic, with the beautiful thunderstorm clouds
standing in the background:
Thank you, Yansa!

I've seen nearly everything in the Innere Stadt in Vienna, and one of my friends gave me a tour around the city where we visited the Justizpalast, Rathaus, Schloss Belvedere and was so kind to take me to a fancy bar with a great view over the entire city. Next time I visit I definitely want to see the Prater, but more of that in a few weeks ;)
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Thank you, Yansa!

I've seen nearly everything in the Innere Stadt in Vienna, and one of my friends gave me a tour around the city where we visited the Justizpalast, Rathaus, Schloss Belvedere and was so kind to take me to a fancy bar with a great view over the entire city. Next time I visit I definitely want to see the Prater, but more of that in a few weeks ;)
Then you have seen a lot of nice places and I'm looking forward to your pics -
you are a good photographer, Torontina. :eek:kay:

Prater is not the safest place in Vienna, but as long as not visiting as a girl
alone at night it should be okay.
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Kostel svatého Mikuláše minutes before rain starts to pour down on the streets of Malá Strana.

St Nicholas' Church - Malá Strana by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

A stuffed Tram 22 racing through a centuries old gate next to the Church of Saint Thomas.

In Motion by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

A nice, cooling rainstorm hit Prague the moment we walked through the old gate and decided to wait for the storm to pass over under the gate. Various people took the risk of getting wet and ran as fast as they could or opened their umbrellas and moved on to their next stop.

Umbrellas Out by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

My friend and I decided that we had waited long enough as soon as it stopped pouring and continued our journey towards the Wallenstein Palace with it's beautiful gardens. The gardens were dominated by people wearing colourful ponchos, as the rain drizzled on our heads every now and again. Resonating sounds of thunder in the distance could still be heard, but thankfully no other summery lightning storms passed over Prague for the remainder of the day.

Ponchos in a rainy Prague by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

Spires and Domes by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

After exploring the gardens of the Wallenstein Palace and attending a brief concert that was held in one of the palace's pavillions, we headed for Charles' Bridge that connects the Lesser Town with the Old Town and was the only bridge spanning the river Vltava for multiple centuries, providing Prague with a secure connection between the East and West, and lots of traveling merchants passing through the city, meaning trade and money).

Construction of the bridge started under Charles IV in 1357 and completed in 1402, and replaced the Judith Bridge of which part of a tower remains in the Lesser Town and is incorperated into the gothic arch that provides entrance to the Lesser Town. The bridge got it's current look in the 18th century, when baroque statues were installed on the bridge. Floods in 1784 and 1890 damaged the bridge severely, and the towers underwent renovation between 1874 and 1883.

Vltava Ensemble by Mike Bakker, on Flickr
Thunderous clouds slowly leaving Prague

After the storm left by Mike Bakker, on Flickr
Then you have seen a lot of nice places and I'm looking forward to your pics -
you are a good photographer, Torontina. :eek:kay:

Prater is not the safest place in Vienna, but as long as not visiting as a girl
alone at night it should be okay.
Thank you!

I've only been to Praterstern station so far, as I had to rent a locker for my luggage on my last day in Vienna. The only thing that made me feel uncomfortable in Prater was that there were a few odd characters lingering in and around the station.
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Thank you!

I've only been to Praterstern station so far, as I had to rent a locker for my luggage on my last day in Vienna. The only thing that made me feel uncomfortable in Prater was that there were a few odd characters lingering in and around the station.
Praterstern is the problem zone, and those odd characters you describe are
there most of the time. ;) Once I witnessed a brawl where some beer bottles
got broken. Keeping distance helps, and the police keeps a wary eye on that
place. On my photo tours I'm always alone in Vienna, and so far I was lucky
not to get into any serious troubles.
Praterstern is just a place to be extra observant, then it's okay. /

Fine update, great light after the thunderstorm! :eek:kay:
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We've made a similar trip 5 years ago. One of the best places to travel around in Europe. Beautiful cities and nature, well connected by public transport. Great thread!
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We've made a similar trip 5 years ago. One of the best places to travel around in Europe. Beautiful cities and nature, well connected by public transport. Great thread!
Since I'm still a student, I decided last minute that I was going to spend a couple of hundred euros for a trip after a hard last two months in college where assignment after assignment was thrown at me.... and I must say, this trip has been of the best ones yet.

I bought three tickets from Flixbus for a total of 100 euros that took me from Amsterdam to Prague, Prague to Vienna, and from Vienna back to Amsterdam. I've never had such an interesting experience before as you meet people from all walks of life on long-distance buses..... the trip to Prague was lenghty and quite boring at first but after a while you just get in the mood and enjoy the best of it, especially in a double-decker where you're sitting front row watching the sunset and sunrise (13 hour bus ride, 1 hour of sleep) while the bus is rolling down the autobahn.

My favourite trip - by far - was from Prague to Vienna, when the bus drives over a regional highway and passes various towns such as Znojmo. I will also post pictures I made during that journey to Vienna! ;)

Stay tuned for more!
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Prague, July 20th

Let's continue with our journey in the Lesser Town, known for it's picturesque streets and palaces.

Sunshine Returns by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

After walking for less than five minutes, my friend and I stumble upon one of the gates of the Charles' Bridge, consisting of two towers and an arch in the middle. In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting and beautiful buildings in the Lesser Town.

Malostranská mostecká věž by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

As you can see, the Church of Saint Nicholas' with its iconic ensemble of a baroque spire and dome dominates many streets in this part of Prague.

''Dvacet'' by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

People quickly crossing the street, with the Church of Mary Magdalena in the background.

Kostel svaté Máří Magdalény by Mike Bakker, on Flickr

After exploring a couple of smaller side streets, my British friend and I come across the Church of the Maltese Order. The gothic entrance between the two small towers leads to a smaller courtyard, faced by the 18th century baroque church.

[/url]Church of the Maltese Order - Prague by Mike Bakker, on Flickr[/IMG]
Delightful photos :eek:kay: stunning architecture!
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