When it comes to the name of my trip, Germany and surrounds, this portion, part three of four, is the surrounds. It is my chance to see a city that has been at the top of my Europe wishlist for a long time, return to my current favorite European city, and take some time to explore a place I only briefly stopped in.
As with any itinerary summary, especially one written before the trip even begins, some things are subject to change. I have my lodging arranged, but the activities I do in each of these places are certainly not set in stone. I might take a day trip or two. Time will tell.
Day One – Dresden to Prague
It’s a fairly short bus or train ride, giving me the afternoon to settle into my Airbnb on the outskirts of Prague’s first district.
Days Two Through Seven – Prague
I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to see Prague. I was supposed to go in 2013, but my divorce got in the way of that trip. So here I am, ready to explore one of Europe’s gems. I am especially excited to wander through the Jewish quarter, the largest and best preserved in the world, and even more so for the fact that I’ll be there for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year.
Other activities will include the highlights: the castle, Charles Bridge, the old town and its astronomical clock, and some great beer. I also want to learn about Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, the completely peaceful breakup into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I am torn on whether or not to visit Terezin, one of the most notorious concentration camps a few hours outside the city. I am leaning against it as stands.
Day Eight – Prague to Bratislava
What better way to experience the former Czechoslovakia than to go from one capital to the other? Bratislava is much smaller and less popular, so I was able to find a beautiful flat just a block from the Danube.
Days Nine Through Fourteen – Bratislava
When I showed other travelers my completed itinerary, this was the portion that led to raised eyebrows. A whole week in Bratislava? For most, it is seen as a day trip from Vienna. (In my case it was the first brief stop on a Danube cruise from Vienna to Bucharest more than a decade ago.) Well, I am excited for a week of slower paced travels, of finding a great cafe to watch the Danube go by, of learning what life is like in a European country few visit, and of experiencing the other half of the Velvet Revolution. If I get bored, I will have plenty of writing to catch up on. And worst case, there are some cool looking day trip possibilities.
Day Fifteen – Bratislava to Vienna
It is a very quick train to Vienna, my favorite city in Europe (so far, and just barely over Seville). Time to check in and find a piece of the city’s famous cakes. Yes, I intend to eat cake every day.
Days Sixteen Through Twenty-Two – Vienna
There is so much to see here, and even a full week isn’t enough. Royal palaces of the former Austria-Hungary, a beautiful old city, amazing green spaces, live music venues for Mozart or Strauss, museums, and did I mention cake? So much cake!
I’ve been to Vienna twice before, for a couple days each. But it’s always nice to return somewhere in a different state of mind, and this time through the lens of my writing. So yes, I’ll go back to Schonbrunn Palace for a third time, and to Mozart’s house. But I’ll also visit the National Library – look it up; it must be the most beautiful library I’ve ever seen – and to the Spanish Riding School. New Jonathan, new perspectives.
Day Twenty-Three – Vienna to Munich
A train through Austria to Munich ends this portion of the trip, and it’s on to part four.
Below is a map of this part of the trip. Dresden is at the top, with Prague just below it. Vienna and Bratislava are the twin cities (Vienna on the left), and Munich is at the far left of the map. As always, make sure to follow along for daily photo on my Instagram page.