Friday, April 29, 2011

 Good Morning and welcome to my new followers.  This is typically a stitching blog but today it is a travel blog.  I have been traveling in Eastern Europe with my mom.  My husband won two ticket to Europe on American Airlines last spring at a charity event.  He was not willing to fly to Europe in coach so he gave his ticket to my mom.  We chose Eastern Europe because it was an area of Europe that neither one of us has visited before and mom wanted to go on a tour.  I did not think I could tolerate a bus of seniors and moving luggage daily though Italy so we went on a river cruise. 

Our trip started with a three day visit to Prague.  Prague has been a city that I have wanted to visit for a while.  It is beautiful.  You have to be careful in Prague.  One person on our trip had her passport pick pocketed and another couple was mugged.  You could not take taxi's because they were not all safe so it made you walk.  It was not an easy walk because everything was cobblestones.  I bought a pair of ugly Birkenstocks and they were wonderful for walking on cobblestones.   
 Our first tour was included on package and it was a general overview of Prague.  Above is Prague Castle.  Mom was all about the tours.  We ended up taking about every optional tour.  We felt money spent on tours was better spent than buying trinkets along the way. 
 This is the town square in Prague.
One thing we found very interesting about Prague and the Czech Republic was the formally communist aspects of the country.  Many of our guides would not talk about communism and they would not talk about the communist housing that was everywhere.  I really did not put everything together that the Czech Republic has only been free of communism since 1989.  The picture of the square is bright and colorful, the picture above is how most of the buildings looked in 1989.  They did not have the supplies to maintain the buildings so you still see buildings being rehabbed and a few are in disrepair.  

Most of our trip was on this ship.  River cruising is a neat way to get around.  I would take another river cruise someday when I am old enough to travel this way.  The people on the tour were generally old enough to retire without penalty.  I knew it would be another generation when I signed up for a tour but it was nice to have everything planned for you.  

 This is the town square in Nuremberg.  The clock went around in a song and dance at noon.
 This was a optional tour that took us down the Danube Gorge.
 Cesky Krumlov was one of our favorite cities on the tour.  It was an optional day tour from Germany back into the Czech Republic.  It was a quaint town with a castle and twisted streets. 
 Above is Schonbrunn Imperial Palace in Vienna.  This Palace did have some beautiful embroidery and needlepoint chairs.  Schonbrunn was having an Easter market that was fun to walk through.  We were just a little early in the season for the spring flowers.  Vienna was mainly just a city with tons of high end shopping.  You really have to question why Burberry and Escada need to be on every corner.  You would think that such a specific target market could walk around the corner to the nearest store.

Above is the Hungarian Parliament building in Pest.  It was such a beautiful building.  The government was in session so we could not go inside.  Many people do not realize that Budapest is actually two cities, Buda & Pest divided by the Danube.  We only got to spend a day in Budapest but I will be back.  This is an amazing city.  I want to spend time at the spas and doing more exploring.  I wish now we would have extended our stay by a day or two.  Oh well, it gives me and DH a place to visit.  Below is a picture from their Central Market which was a foodies delight.  They also had lots of Hungarian needle work but I was sceptical of what was real and what was made in China.  Anyway, what am I going to do with a doily in a loft in Chicago. 

I we visited several other cities in Germany and Austria but I am not going to bore you with any more travel pictures.  If you ever get a chance to visit Eastern Europe it is well worth the visit. 

It is a good thing I had the travel pictures to show this week because I have not picked up a needle since Monday.  I have been busy with work and little things after work.  This weekend has both of our large charity events.  Tonight is the fundraiser for Lincoln Park Community Shelter and Sunday is the Chicago House Brunch, an AIDS charity.  It is a shame they both fall on the same weekend.  I don't have a dress for tonight so I think I will wear what I wore last year.  The dress I bought to wear on Sunday will look ridiculous in 50 degree weather so I am going to have to do something else for that party. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for taking the time to read this long post.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your photos of Eastern Europe! My husband and I visited Budapest and also went through the Central Market. The building was actually designed by Gustave Eiffel who did the Eiffel tower in Paris. All the embroidery sold in the market is Hungarian (not from China). However, most of it is now mostly machine embroidered. If you ever get back to Hungary, you must get up to the Castle District in Buda. Across the street from the Hilton Hotel is a small shop where the owner and manager actually do the stitching themselves!! Your travel stories were fun to read - maybe you can go back again. Addie

  2. oh! Oh! I told you I would be looking out for this post, and I am so excited to read it. Ww were also on an Avalone ship for our Danube cruise (Tranquility). And like you, visitng Czesky Krumlov was one of our highlights as well. Were the kids kayaking by the bridge between the town and the bus park?

    And Danube Gorge - so beautifula bd serene. Did you get to the old brewery/monastery there?

    We were thrilled with Schonbrunn Palace - so incredibly over-the-top! The people really did live in another world, didn't they. We finished our cruise in Budapest. Did you notoice the monument of a girl with scarf/cape (I think) on the top of the hill? We thought it looked like a bottle opener LOL.

    Thanks for helping me re-live our trip.

  3. What a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing with us. I would love to do that someday!

  4. Amazing trip and photographs. Thank you so very much for sharing all of this with us. It's a real treat!