It was a comfortable 5 hour train trip from Prague to Vienna.Â We easily found our way on public transportation to our AirBnB on Plenergassestrasse. It is less than a mile from the flat of our Austrian sailing friends from “Risho Maru”.Â We then walked to Risho Maru’s flat and got a wonderful warm greeting and a lovely dinner.
The next morning we all went for a walk to Turkenschantz park for the first day of the holiday Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt). We had spiked punch, roasted chestuts and a delicious gingerbread cake. Later that day, on the way to the see the Marriage of Figaro at the Staatsoper, Mark and I stopped at a really big Christmas market at Rathausplatz.
We had terrific seats at the opera –first row box seats in the first balcony, but not together.Â The opera was just wonderful and we both enjoyed every minute. After the opera, we had dinner at Cafe Landtmann (one of Freud’s old favorites).Â The next morning we flew to Istanbul, where we are now.
We traveled by train to Prague from Berlin on November 11 (Tuesday).Â We stayed in a cute flat in a classic building in the Vinohrady district, one block from the tram and the metro.Â We had tickets for the Czech State Opera a couple of hours after we arrived from Berlin, and we barely got organized in time to get there. We ended up walking to the theatre which really was not too farâ€¦ maybe a 20 minute fast walk from the apartment. We had great seats (10th row center) for a very good price, and enjoyed a very well done Barber of Seville.
We spent the next couple of days just walking around the town, taking trams and the metro and enjoying the beautiful architecture. The restaurants in our neighborhood were all cute, trendy and reasonably priced. The best find of all was a restaurant called Parlament, closer to the center of town, that served real Czech food.
On Friday night we went to another opera, Rigoletto. This time we were in the third row center and enjoyed it even more.Â Saturday morning we left for Vienna.
We spent three days in Berlin with our sailing friends Michael and Britta of “Vera.” The most special part of our short stay was participating in the celebrations commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. We also shared great meals, toured around, and then Laura and I saw a great concert by the Vienna Philharmonic on the last evening. We then took the train to Prague. More on that later.
Brandenburg Gate illuminated during the 25th anniversary celebrations. The lit white balloons represent the actual location and height of the Berlin Wall.
We cancelled a planned sail north when the weather turned cold and rainy and returned to KaÅŸ to get the boat ready to be hauled and stored on the hard.Â There has still been plenty of time to socialize.Â We attended Republic Day celebrations on the town square with our Turkish friends Eren and Bensu and our Canadian friends Michael and Gloria from “Paikea Mist” with delicious food by Ratatouille.Â The period of rain has passed and we now have clear skies and pleasantly cool temperatures.