Our second day in Vienna we visited the Schonbrunn palace gardens, not quite as elaborate of those in Versailles, but nonetheless a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. We also visited the zoo that is on the palace grounds. The only downfall was we did get rained on, but not too bad.
Later that evening we took in a classical symphony/opera that mostly played music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Musik Verein concert hall was beautiful.
The next morning we were up bright and early and headed on our way to Praha (Prague).
We arrived in Prague at a decent hour and checked into the Hilton. We spent the next couple of days wandering the charming streets of the old world city, with its elaborate bridges (specifically Charles Bridge) and interesting blend of European culture.
We spent an afternoon at the Prague Castle and walked the Golden Lane.
We definitely did our fare share of walking, lots and lots of walking. We even walked for over forty minutes opposite the city center to get a glorious apple strudel from a hole in the wall shop that we watched on a Samantha brown episode…and it was totally worth it.
From Prague we took the train into Poland. On our way to Krakow we had to change trains in a town called Katowice. We got off the train and nobody spoke english and insisted that we needed to get onto a very shady bus. Thankfully we figured out our way and got on the right train, although it wasn't in any better condition than the bus.
Since we are both big WWII history buffs, we had planned on passing through most of Poland and making our main stop in Krakow, where we would do a guided day tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. However, when we arrived in Krakow, we realized that the small city was super charming, lively, and really a little European gem!
As expected, our day trip out to the camps was a sobering experience. Having a tour guide made for a much more informative and personal experience. Our guide was an English speaking young Polish woman, who gave a lot of insight from a Polish perspective.
We had the rest of the evening to spend wandering around the small Eastern European city. The streets were lively with food vendors and sidewalk cafes. We took the opportunity to feast on one of my all time favorite dishes…pierogis! We had to leave Poland early the next morning to catch a train to Berlin, but Krakow is definitely a place we would recommend stopping if you are ever in the area.