Saturday, January 13, 2007

Eastern Europe trip summary

We visited Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and France. The 12-day trip was good and in reasonable pace. We were pleased with Globus. We had our leisure time at each destination to do whatever we want if we chose not to join their optional excursions. The weather, well not quite what I expected. It was cold but not much snow in sight. There was some snow flakes and frost and that was it. It was apparently the warmest winter in don't know how many years. In Salzburg, they had snow started in October 05 through to April 06, but this winter, not a sight.

The locals were good though not as friendly as Kiwis. I suppose the state of mind as a result of communism is still widely adopted.

Most of the locals we dealt with could understand reasonable amount of English which makes our trip free of language difficulties. People were elegantly dressed most of the time, from high heel boots to full length fur coat and some, walking with their snobbish looking dogs. Designer apparels and accessories from tip to toe!

We visited the infamous Christmas market in every country and had local sausages/hot dog for lunch almost everyday. That's the cheapest food available and still costing us 3 Euro each, equivalent to NZD 6!! Hell! The locals drank hot wine to keep warm and we drank our self-filled tap water (yes, the tap water is safe).

These iron curtain catholics countries are full of well preserved baroque and gothic buildings, which, each has it's own story to tell......

Cars are driven on cobblestoned roads.....

I felt like I was being brought back to hundred years.

The Christmas spirit was unbelieveable. I love Christmas but I've never had such a strong emotion about it. The winter chill, the Christmas markets, the people, carols/songs, street decors, horse carriages and the traditional architectures all added to a perfect Christmas ambience.

All in all, the trip is an eye opener for me. My favourite place of all? VIENNA!!

p/s: Brace yourself for my next coming posts. Make sure you don't drown in the sea of photos!! (^_^)

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