Author Topic: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague  (Read 23118 times)

Offline rots5

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2013, 12:29:22 PM »
great stuff moish (again)

and damaxer, i understand what you and moish are aiming for and what the idea is. i just happen not to be so into these st. regis (ny) type hotels. i dont appreciate the fancy hotels just yet... ill learn :)
If you have any questions please search and then ask. PM me for detailed help.

Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2013, 01:45:29 PM »
Tuesday, our last day in Vienna, we took the subway to the summer getaway of the Hapsburgs, Schonbrunn Palace, the Versailles of Austria. It’s usually packed during the summer months, so it’s recommended to arrive early. As it’s capacity controlled, it could very well be that when you get your ticket at say 12pm, you’re entrance time will be at 4. Alternatively, you can buy tickets online, but you need to choose a specific time. The third option, which I chose, is to buy the Sisi ticket for 25.5 Euro, which gives access to the Hofburg Palace (I bought my ticket there), Schonbrunn without any time limitations and the Imperial Furniture Collection, which I didn’t have time for. There are two audioguides for the Schonbrunn tour, the Imperial tour and the Grand tour, included in the Sisi ticket, which is bit longer.

There is also a possibility for an English guided tour, but with the baby, it would be too difficult to take. Besides for the actual tour of the palace, there are also huge grounds to explore, including a garden maze, zoo etc. but I didn’t have time for them.



Before leaving on the trip, I downloaded Rick Steves free audio guides, one of which is a tram ride along the Ringstrasse, which we did as soon as we got back from Schonbrunn. The start and end of the tour is at the Opera, across the street from our hotel.

Directly behind the Opera and the Sacher Hotel (known for the famous Viennese treat, the Sacher Torte) is Albertinaplatz, where there are various memorials. One of which is a memorial to the Jews, young and old, who were forced to scrub the streets with only a toothbrush.



We then went to dinner at Pizzeria Prego (Taborstraße 43) for some decent pizza. We picked up the car, checked out of the Bristol, and started our drive back to Prague.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 01:49:51 PM by moish »

Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2013, 01:48:00 PM »
Random Notes:
- Breastfeeding in public is acceptable and normal there, but we used a nursing cover.
- Tap water is safe, it’s actually spring water.
- Any music that comes to you (guys dressed like Mozart hawking concerts) is not worthwhile.

Random Pics

the cobblestones of Europe are no match for our 4x4 offroad 2008 Mountain Buggy


Pretty cool effect...






Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2013, 05:10:11 PM »
The way back to Prague only took us 3 hrs of driving as there were fewer cars on the road, and much of the way is a 2 lane road. We arrived at our hotel, the Sheraton Prague Charles Square. I had used suite upgrades for this hotel as well and was confirmed into a duplex suite. However, when I got to the room, it was extremely tight and asked to be switched. The front desk manager took me on a tour of about 4 different suites until we found one that seemed a bit more spacious.







Street parking in available if you continue on the same side as the Sheraton and make the first left, there are plenty of spots. However, you must start feeding the meter at 8am.

While there is a decent metro system, and I had initially thought I would use it, it’s not too stroller friendly as many of the stations don’t even have escalators. Taxis, for the most part, are cheap compared to other European cities. Most taxi rides within the city cost within 100-200 CZK (~$5-10). Prague taxis are notorious for ripping tourists off, so it’s absolutely essential to call for one, as opposed to picking one up on the street. One of the better companies, AAA, actually has a very useful app that I downloaded before I arrived, that after 2 buttons pressed, your taxi is on its way, and you can track his progress on a map.



Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #49 on: August 07, 2013, 05:12:15 PM »
On Wednesday, after returning the car at the local Avis, we met up with a tour guide for the Jewish area. In hindsight, I would've just done it myself. I have a great book with a wealth of information that I used for the sights not covered by the tour, and I enjoyed it much more. In any event, we bought tickets for the Jewish Museum. The Jewish Museum is housed in various synagogues no longer in use, and their primary functions today are exhibition halls for the museum.

The Jewish Museum in Prague contains the greatest collection of judaica in all of Europe, as this was to be the sight of the museum of the vanished race run by the Nazis. Thus, all the judaica seized by the Nazis made their way to Prague. During the war, this museum actually opened in the women’s section of the Alteneuschul.

We visited the Maisel Synagogue, the Klausen Synagogue, davened mincha in the Hoich Shul, visited the Spanish Synagogue, The Chevra Kadisha building and The Pinkas Synagogue.
At the Maisel Synagogue, a very interesting symbol can be found, as well as in other locations throughout the Jewish area. It’s the Jewish hat inside a magen david. While required of the Jews to wear outside the ghetto, the intentions of the Gentiles were to belittle the Jew. However, as only the most prominent Jews were allowed to leave the ghetto, it became a sign of prestige amongst the Jews. As one book put it, the dunce cap had become a Versace.

Maisel Synagogue






'Hoich' Shul

« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 06:06:36 PM by moish »

Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2013, 05:13:14 PM »
The cemetery, where the Maharal and Kli Yakar are buried, is also included on the ticket.



Maharal


Kli Yakar




Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2013, 05:14:41 PM »
Exiting the cemetery, there are bunch of vans, each one painted with a different restaurant. Apparently, the golem cooks and serves at the King Solomon restaurant.







For dinner, we went to the chabad restaurant, Shelanu, which was just ok.

Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2013, 06:47:50 AM »
At the SR Kauai I just wanted a darn ice machine, not having to call and tip for a bucket of Ice :P
i find the best way to avoid giving a tip is to be in the bathroom when he knocks and my wife answer the door. i generally only tip the guys that help with my luggage

Offline moko

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2013, 07:53:43 AM »
i find the best way to avoid giving a tip is to be in the bathroom when he knocks and my wife answer the door. i generally only tip the guys that help with my luggage
i'm pretty sure bellhops expect a tip from women as much as they would from men (so your wife feels like a fool instead of u?) ???

Offline damaxer91

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #54 on: August 08, 2013, 08:04:55 AM »
i find the best way to avoid giving a tip is to be in the bathroom when he knocks and my wife answer the door. i generally only tip the guys that help with my luggage

Lol. Perhaps you are confusing butlers with Meshulachim?

Offline moko

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #55 on: August 08, 2013, 08:06:31 AM »
Lol. Perhaps you are confusing butlers with Meshulachim?
like ;D

Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2013, 05:26:40 PM »
i'm pretty sure bellhops expect a tip from women as much as they would from men (so your wife feels like a fool instead of u?) ???
bellhops usually help with luggage. see again what i wrote regarding luggage

Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #57 on: August 11, 2013, 04:50:13 AM »
Thursday morning we took a taxi to the Prague Castle, the biggest ancient castle in the world according to Guinness World Records. We opted to buy tickets for the “short visit” which included entry to the following locations: St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, Golden Lane. As you can see, 2 of the 4 locations are churches which I don’t enter. The audioguide was also extremely expensive so I figured I’d make do with the signposts. In the end that was a mistake as I didn’t get the proper experience at the Old Royal Palace.

There is a changing of the guard on the hour, but the one at 12 noon has the full fanfare and flag ceremony which I attended. Some might say it’s a bit too drawn out.





Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #58 on: August 11, 2013, 04:50:46 AM »
After the changing of the guard, we went to the Golden Lane, included on the ticket. The Golden Lane is a 15th century street with quaint little houses that at one time housed the sharpshooters of the palace. Today, they house reproductions of the old world style of living as well as the very interesting medieval armory displaying suits of armor and weaponry throughout the ages.



Torture chamber


Gun knife hybrid

« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 04:55:42 AM by moish »

Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #59 on: August 11, 2013, 04:51:44 AM »
We then strolled down towards the old town, crossing the famous Charles Bridge, dating from the 14th century. I personally didn’t like much of the artwork for sale on the bridge, but as others have pointed out, haggling is possible should you be interested. Coming from the palace, the third to last statue on the left side is the infamous kadosh kadosh cross, paid for by a Jew in 1696 for allegedly “blaspheming” the cross.

We then bought tickets to the Altneuschul and toured it. (Entrance to the Alteneuschul is not included on the Jewish Museum ticket although you can buy it at the same time for a small discount.) As I stated previously, I have a great Jewish guidebook on Prague and we spent some time in the Alteneuschul analyzing the details. After all, it is the oldest continually used synagogue in all of Europe, built in 1270. While no photography is allowed inside, as long as you keep you flash off, you should be fine. Alternatively, you can come for mincha/maariv for free, and can take as many photos as you’d like. Just make sure to come a little early, as during prayer times there’s a guard who asks more questions than security at TLV.





Place of the Maharal, and to the left, the Noda Beyehuda


Attic of the Altneuschul, what lurks within???

« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 04:58:08 AM by moish »