A road-trip in Middle Europe

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Featured, Posts in French, Trips | 0 comments

On Friday 5th of July, it was a bank holiday. I took the opportunity to do a road-trip to neighbor cities of Prague with 2 others French friends. We left Prague on Thursday to go to Brno, Bratislava, Trnava and Vienna, and came back on Sunday morning.

Brno: Stopover accommodation

We arrived to Brno, 200km East of Prague, around 9pm. One of advantages to live in Brno is because this town is a crossroads between big Middle European capitals (Prague-Bratislava-Vienna-Budapest-Cracow). We were accommodated at Sabina (Brno Foreigners.cz member) and Daniel’s, a couple who I met during the Brno Volley-Ball Tournament at the beginning of June. Once we dropped off our stuff, we went to the city center for dinner. This town is not too big so it was easy to find a nice restaurant, like the Sherlock Holmes.  I tried for the first time the fried cheese, a Czech speciality. It was a mix of Blue Cheese, Edam, and Camembert, with French fries, a real delight!

After the diner, we went to a pub situated on a roof, above the Student Agency building. The atmosphere was so pleasant, and we had a nice 360° view of Brno by night!

The next morning, we went to the Brno Church, with the garden, permitting us to have another nice view on Brno and the suburbs. Then, we get down the hill to go to the Prague Castle, named Spilberk Castle. The hill is a workout, especially with the warm weather!

Spilberk Castle

Finally, we stayed on the top a couple of minutes to not lose too much time for our next destination: Slovakia.

Bratislava and Trnava: Back to €

One hour and a couple of minutes after leaving Brno, we were in Bratislava. We didn’t know what we had to visit so we started logically by the famous castle. But because of a building blaze burning a part of the castle (1811), and the delay for the restoration (1956), there are no more marks of the Renaissance so, it is not the most beautiful castle of the country. Small compensation: you will have a nice view on Bratislava and the suburbs.

Bratislava Castle

We lunched just nearby the castle where I ate the Slovaks speciality : the bryndzové halušky. It’s a kind of gnocchi made with potatoes, water, flour and cheese. The meal is served with grilled bacon strip. It was very good but you feel it in your stomach for the rest of the day. 🙂

After the lunch, we went down in the city center. The old town is small and you can visit it in one day easily.

We saw lot of funny statues that are often used by tourists for some photos. So, we did the same thing. 🙂

One of statues in the city center

We also stopped by the Danube, the big river passing through Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade. The most famous of Bratislava’s bridges is Novy Most, on the Danube, and permit to the motorway to cross the city. You will find easily a high tower, with a restaurant on the top, and if you pay 6,50€, you could go on the roof and have a nice panorama. Height: 85m.

The bridge Novy Most and the tower

After this short but efficient visit, we left the capital for Trnava, 60km East from Bratislava. This town is the seventh city of Slovakia in term of inhabitants (70 000). Its nickname is Slovaks Rome. We arrived late on Friday afternoon so we didn’t have the time to visit.

On the other hand, we met some friends and we were at a party at the “Relax” a club with an outside space and a swimming pool. The atmosphere was awesome and the music was varied.

Our friends work for the French company PSA, situated at some kms from Trnava, and they was able to accommodate us.

The next day, we took the time to emerge, we went to a very nice pizzeria, the “Kitty”, where the smallest pizza was already bigger than the plat, for 8€.

Around 3pm, we left Slovakia to go to Austria and its capital: Vienna.

 

Vienna: Another lifestyle

We arrived in Vienna at 4:30pm, but we took time to find a parking and our youth hostel so we were ready to start the visit at 5pm. We booked 3 beds with the hostel “Wombat” , for 25€ each. The team was welcoming and there was also a bar-club to meet other young travelers.

Once settled in the hostel, we used the public bike system of the city. Seeing that prices were cheap, it would be pity to miss it: the first hour is free, the second hour is for 1€, etc… but this price doesn’t show the real cost of Vienna’s life. Indeed, the cost of everything is around 3 times Prague’s prices.

With bikes, we were able to visit the city and see all of touristic places and quiet gardens easier and faster. The architecture is amazing. Buildings are all majestic, like the Museumquartier, the National Library, the Burgtheater and lot of others.

Alex in front of the National Library

Saint Charles Church

On Saturday evening, walking on Vienna’s street, we found ourselves in the Rathauspark, where lot of food stands offer food from different countries all over the world, and a movie was broadcasting on a full screen.

Activities in Rathauspark

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to visit the Schönbrunn Castle, where the famous Empress, Sissi, lived.

My impressions

This 3 days weekend and the sun appropriate for July were perfect to organize a road trip in neighboring cities. We were 3 and had a car so it was cheaper for each of us. Brno and Bratislava can be visited in 1 day each, but you have to stay a night if you want to party. 🙂 On the other hand for Vienna, it takes more time because this city has a rich history with lots to see and do.

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