Saturday, June 3, 2017

stunNing travelbook 4 - EASTER I (Nuremberg, Prague, Krakow)

Yes, I'm going to write about my Easter trip after 1.5 months!
 because I don't want to start revising for finals *cries*

Background story: Why Nuremberg?
I don't even know this town before this trip lol, sorry world my geography no go. People were so crazy with Prague at that time and this made me curious about Prague. 
What's so nice about this city? 
So I made Prague my first destination. However, the airtix to Prague is tooooo pricey during Easter because everyone is going to the same place at the same time LOL (3 out of 5 people who are on the SEP in Lausanne are going to Prague). With the help from my travel assistant aka Jia Jing HAHA, I managed to find a way to go to Prague in a cheaper method: Lausanne to Nuremberg by train (€39) >> Nuremberg to Prague by bus (€14)! (Can you imagine that the total transport fee + the accommodation fee in Nuremberg is still cheaper than the airtix from Geneva to Prague?)

15/4 Nuremberg

At the Lausanne-Flon metro station. Easter holiday = time to go home for international students in Lausanne! (To me, 大地是我家HAHAHA) Knowing that some universities have only 1 or 2 days for Easter holiday, I'm so glad that UNIL finally has a relatively long break this time for me to travel hoho. (Guess what, Labour Day is a Swiss public holiday but not UNIL's holiday LOL)

This is Lianne, my travel mate for only one day haha! 

So the 8-hour train journey begins! 8-hour ride sounds daunting but it's not that bad because we have 2 short transits at Zurich and Stuttgart & travelling by train is always better than by bus! At least we get more comfortable seats and be able to walk around when we're tired of sitting hahaha! (Gibson opted for a 15++ hours bus ride to Prague as it's cheaper bust he said it was horrible!) Just remember to prepare for the meals so that you don't starve yourself! 

Our accommodation: B&B Hotel Nurenberg-Hbf (€27/person)!
As we have to catch a 7am bus the next morning, I opt for this hotel which is just 5 minutes walking away from the Nuremburg ZOB (bus stop)! Apart from the good location, it's very beautiful and comfy!

It has been gloomy and rainy from the start of our travel :( We have been praying for good weather in Nuremberg but unfortunately the God didn't receive our letter LOL. Oh well, we didn't know the worse are waiting for us at Prague......

BUT the rain doesn't stop us from exploring Nuremberg! 

Frauentorturm, the old city wall!

Once we walk into the city wall, we discover a cute place selling art and crafts! :)

Heilig-Geist-Spital, the Hospital of Holy Spirit.
A nice spot to kill some films (if anyone is still using the old style camera haha) It used to be a hospital but it's now a restaurant! We visit the main market square and St. Lawrence Church before coming here but I think they are less attractive compared to the rest!

Come to Weissgerbergasse for some picturesque photos! (but honestly it's quite disappointing) Note that I'm wearing the thickest clothes that I have for this trip! ^^^

The evening spent in the city is rather disappointing as it's more windy and colder than what we've expected and the views are less impressive due to the gloomy weather :( It's worse when the restaurant we wanted to go is fully booked!

But Ritter Sport comforts the sad souls! AHAHA

But the story doesn't end here. It suddenly gets super windy and we know that a heaving downpour is coming soon. Just before we step into a beer house, it rains tremendously LOL.

Landbierparadise is a beer house but it serves food as well!
We decided to eat and chill slowly until the rain stops.

It's a huge mug of black beer (€2.95), I can't finish it LOL.

It's huge portion of Pock Knuckle (€5.80), I can't even finish half of it LOLOL.

Ps: Sorry I didn't do it on purpose but S7 automatically beautified my face LOLOLOL.

I can't finish anything LOL. Don't get me wrong! The pork knuckle is delicious and the black beer is really nice that I'll recommend people to visit this beer house! Just share the food if you have smaller appetite!

A closer look on our food! Sausages and pork knuckle!

We 're almost freezing once we step out of the beer house. Obviously, we aren't ready for such a winter-like weather. Nevertheless, we decided to go to the Nuremberg Folks Festival!

AND IT'S WORTH IT! It's so vibrant, fun and pretty with the lights! It's even better when it's free for entrance yayyy. Just pay for the rides, popcorn, chips, etc!

Feeling young to visit the theme park again! Although I no longer have the courage to take any rides hahaha

All the rides look exhilarating! The background music, rides, food and vibes are on point!!!
Although we didn't try any of them (how to enjoy in such cold idk lol) but we spend more than 1 hour in this theme park! It's so huge and organised!

It's twas a fun way to end the night!

Coming to Nuremberg is not in my plan, but the more I discover (aka Google lol) the more I find about this city. It's not just an old, picturesque city. It has the stories of WWII that people should come for it to know more about WWII. We didn't visit any related museums/places as all of them are closed when we're there :(

 16/4 Prague

Good morning!
Taking the 7.20am bus to Prague! Have to praise DB for their good wifi on bus although I don't like their trains lol (Swiss train is the best!)

We have a good time watching Burlesque. an American movie featuring Cher and Christina Aguilera! I wouldn't have recognised Christina Aguilera if Lianne didn't tell me that Ali was acted by her LOL.

1st thing to do at Prague: Find a currrency exchange counter for PLN haha!

And I have lunch ^ in a random restaurant while waiting for Wanjuan & Lisa, her friend from HKU to arrive Prague! 

And I think everyone really come to Prague during Easter LOL. Like everyone, I'm not joking lol. Especially our 同胞 from East Asia *ahem*

I don't know how to describe this, but it's good to meet your friend from high school at another country after >3 years and speaking Chinese for a long time after 2 months in Lausanne! I'm surprised when they say that I have a Malaysian accent for Chinese & SG accent for English. How do I do this? HAHA

I opt for the free walking tour at 2pm from this company:! Our tour guide is really informative that he tells us alot of interesting historical stories of Czechia (previously called Crezh Republic) and valuable tips of travelling around Prague! I will say, join a free walking tour once you arrive Prague (even before changing the currency because they will tell you which company offers the best rate, which is very hard to find it online!) to get the tips and a better insight of this country!

In Europe, visit Easter Market on an Easter Sunday!
It's in the Old Town Square!
Ps: Kürtőskalács (Chimney cake) is NOT Crezh food but Hungarian food!

Cute & beautiful crafted egg but the price is not lovely LOL.

Recalling the good old days. My lovely childhood hehe.

We stroll around b.Wenceslas Square (& I shop in H&M because it's much cheaper than in Switzerland, Switzerland 为什么你要这样TT), admiring the architecture and visiting the grocery store HAHA until dinner time! We're thinking hard of what's for dinner until we bump into a queue of a restaurant : This is it! HAHA

We ended up waiting for 1++ hour! *cries*

It's U Pravdu! The ambience is really good and the food is nice too! Won't say it's cheap but still worth for a try! 

I love my Goulash! I think it's Hungarian food but I'm hungry so who cares 
It's a thicker version but it's really nice! *Yummy*

Airbnb for the night! Yay! The sound proof system is rather poor that we can clearly hear the cars speeding on the road but who cares when you sleep like a pig HAHA

Good night!

17/4 Prague

Good morning from Charles Bridge! It's just 8.30am but the tourists begin to flood the Charles Bridge. Sobs the weather is still gloomy and rainy AND IT'S EVEN COLDER!

And we are crossing the Charles Bridge to explore the Lesser Town today!

Upon passing by Lesser Town Bridge Tower, there's a very cute, old uncle holding waiting to beat the ladies butts (it's an Easter tradition in Prague!) I mean it's a cold and rainy day but he's willing to stand there to practice this tradition which I never see it at all yesterday! Some tourists are so mad at him but I don't get why....

We continue our walk on the rather steep Nerudova Street to the Prague Castle district!

And we arrive the best spot to have a shot with the Prague typical red roofs: the Starbucks near the Hradcany Square! Surprisingly there are many tourists from Korea but they are really polite!

It's still stunning despite the gloomy weather!:)

If it's not the queue at the back, I'll spend more time sitting here and admiring the view :)

And we entering the gate to the palace district! There is quite a long queue for security check but it moves very fast! 
Note: ^ is the exit, the entrance is on the left!

St. Vitus Cathedral!

There is a long queue to visit this cathedral! I'm not joking, it's the longest queue I've seen at a tourist spot  = = We queue for around 15mins but when we enter the cathedral we are only allowed to stay at a particular area unless we pay €5 to visit the cathedral! I personally think that if you don't have the time, skip this queue! 

It's too cold that we have to consistently hide into some indoor areas on the way to get some warmth!
And we enter this shop selling pretty Christmas decorations! I really love it! Everything is so cute!!! The prices aren't cute though lol

I have a soft spot for crystal balls! It's really cuteeeeeeeeee *love*

The expensive angels *cries*

Upon leaving the castle area (surrounded by the ancient walls), we find another nice spot for the roofs (but I love the 1st spot most!)

Wah it's so competitive to take a photo here. There are lower walls where you can easily sit on the them for a photo with much feels. BUT SADLY THE TOURISTS DON'T HAVE THE CONCEPT OF QUEUING AND BEING POLITE which really drives me mad! 
不是我要讲but 这种时候你真的要比别人狠你才可以拍到照= =

So we end up climbing up to the higher walls (yes climb lol) so that we can have the entire view for ourselves without having some random phone/people entering to our photos.
How high is the wall? Taller than me LOL.

With Wanjuan & Lisa :)

We are quite lucky because once we take the photos, the sky begins to darken and rain. (And it stops only until evening time!) We walk down the streets and visit the Secret Garden to settle our lunch!
To be honest, we desperately need a place to shelter from the rain (the shoes are all wet cries)

It has a laid back vibe and is so cosy to have a break before continuing our journey!

The salmon & avocado sandwich + side salad (around €6, pay PLN as the rate is quite bad) that I order is really really good! The portion is big and the salmon is fresh! OMG I really miss seafood TT The seafood in Switzerland can easily cost my arm/leg lol.

And then the waitress served us the toasted bread with homemade strawberry jam and IT'S FREE!!! Thumbs up for this cafe! The food, service and ambience is value for the money!

Unfortunately the rain doesn't show the sign of stopping when we leave the cafe :( In fact, it gets heavier *cries* And I don't have an umbrella HAHAHA

And something cute happens :)
Background story: Jia Jing told me that Xintian's in Czechia in the morning but from her instagram, I knew that she's in Cesky Krumlov and I didn't think much about it! (I thought everyone were in Czechia at that time, Xintian, Qian, Huiqin, Lianne, Gibson, ...)

Remember I said that we enter all places with a shelter for warmth? 
So we run into an atas jewelry shop again hahaha! And there's 3 Asian girls entering the shop right after us too. I'm shocked when I see the familiar faces at a foreign country after so many years! IS THIS FATE?:') So I call the 3 of them and everyone are surprised haha. We even ignore the shop owner and chit chat in the shop for quite some time. She must be thinking that we are those China tourists LOL.

The CHKLs in Prague :')

I don't know what to say but I really have mixed feeling when I see 3 of them...... I'm so awkward when I take this photo that there's an obvious gap between me and the rest LOL. Qian's one of my closest friend in form 2 & 3 but we drifted apart after that. I am jealous of seeing how close they are right now, but at the same time I feel really empty... 

We were in the same class in form 2 but I seldom talked to Xintian and Sheau Yun.
My Form 3 gang was one of the friendships which I cherish the most in my life. We were all crazy & had strong personalities but we're compatible with each other :) I felt really really sad when I'm the one going to the art stream whereas everyone are going to the science stream. I even had a passive thought that I'm abandoned LOL. From then onwards, I almost lost contact with Qian & Thiam Yu.... Sometimes I wished I could at least know more of what's happening in their life from their blog but I'm the only one staying in the world of Blogspot. I sometimes felt envy when I saw Qian and Peiyin are still that close but I didn't do anything. I didn't initiate the conversation among us again.
I can't stop thinking of what would have happened if we had kept in touch after that. And this thought lingers around my mind for the entire day. Haih.

The Lennon wall without the crowd when it rains.

Sorry I don't know any other swag poses *cries*

Since the rain doesn't stop, we decide to brave the rain and continue our journey haha! We visit the Kampa island and then to Petrin Hill, hoping that we can't have another great view of Prague.

We wait patiently for almost 30mins but this is the best we can get :/ We also go to the Golden Lane but it's really nothing much. I don't even bother to take a photo of it lol.
Ps; The Golden Lane is free to visit after 5pm!

Fat swans haha.

We stroll around the Lesser Town, visiting some random shops to look for postcards until it's dinner time!

Ps: Book it beforehand so that you don't disappoint yourself!

Sharing one roasted pork knuckle, soup and salad! And this is really good!:))

Strolling along the Vltava river and enjoying the night views (& also singing some old songs haha)! I really love sunset & night views so be prepared to see more dark photos in my blog HAHA!

The Charles Bridge and the main streets nearby are so crowded! Really superrrr crowded! We spend the night getting lost in the street until it's time to rest hehe.

18/4 Prague

Wake up later because we wanna have enough rest for the entire day & to take the night bus to Krakow (€4.78) later! Sadly it's still raining today... ;( 

After checking out & depositing our luggage at the bus station (yes, we walk in the rain, some more get lost on the way to the bus station = = ), we have our lunch at Bistro Sister! OMG I'm really happy to visit this resto because I initially think that we won't have the time for it!

So nice!

Seafood and egggg *love* All of them are so yummy! I love the asparagus soup too!

Views from the Letna Park!
Go to Starbucks in the castle district for the red roofs!
Go to Letna Park for a full view of Prague!
It's quite dark and gloomy due to the bad weather but I guess it will be even prettier if the weather is nice! The park is on a hill but the walk is quite enjoyable:)

And we have another really really long walk to another castle:  Vyšehrad Castle!
But the views are really meh...

It takes us almost 3 hours for the return trip from the castle (because we have nothing to do in Prague already! HAHA So guys I think 2.5 days is enough for Prague! We spend the entire evening lepak in Prague, looking for indoor for shelter and warmth until it's night time (cause it's really really cold here!!!) 

We randomly find a dinner place, aiming to to finish all of our PLN before leaving Prague haha!

We collect our luggage,  wait for around 30mins at ÚAN Florenc bus stop before the bus is late! When I see so many people waiting for bus, I tell Wanjuan & Lisa that we must be fierce and fast to get into the bus ASAP because it would be a war to get into the bus lol. AND IT'S REAL. Walao these poeple, sometimes we think Asians are rude but some Europeans are equally rude,no queue into the bus, everyone rushing to the front without bothering they are actually squishing the rest!!! But luckily we tiny Asians are really fast to show the driver our QR Code so that we can board the bus and get a seat early! 

Ps: collect your luggage earlier because who knows that there will be a queue?

19/4 Krakow

We arrive Krakow at 4.50am *yawn* But then I immediately wake up once I leave the bus.... it's freezing cold!!! We hide in the train station until it's 8am hahaha! I give up sleeping already because I am just too awake to go back to sleep lol.

The Fresh Apartment that we're staying is super duper nice! I really love this interior design OMG! I volunteer to sleep upstairs because I'm always the earliest one to wake up haha. Like 7am. I don't know why, maybe it's a sign of aging *cries*

We don't have much time to admire our room because we're all hungry for breakfast!

And this restaurant is heaven!
If only I can bring liquid in my cabin luggage, I will buy 10 boxes of hummus back to Lausanne. *sobs*

This is only the medium portion but it's so huge for me to finish it! It's served with bread & side salad (cucumber, carrot, pickle & olive)! Only hummus lovers will understand how good it is, haha!

And luckily we are on time for the Jewish Krakow Free Walking Tour! (
If you can see, it's already snowing! OMG... I don't expect to see the first snow in spring... it wasn't even snowing when I was on Matterhorn in early March lol. Despite the bad weather, the guide is really determined to keep the tour going, even when the snow gets heavier later.

Look at the snow... My feet are numb and they are painful. I even feel it's hard for me to walk each step lol. Oh man, it's just too cold!!!
(I'm really curious that I ask the apartment receptionist if it's normal to be that cold in the late April and she replies that it's extremely abnormal. It only happens in the Easter week. For the week before & after Easter week, Krakow is warm, like 20 degrees LOL)


We decided to visit the Schlinder's Factory as we really can't walk in the snow anymore LOL. 
From the online resources, almost all of them shows that Schlinder saved many Jewish during the WWII. But our guide gives us another interesting perspective to think about... Is he really kind or is he just trying to help himself? Hmmmm.

There're many things and exhibitions inside that are quite interesting & help to kill time hahaha!

Cute bottles in a random souvenir shop! Ohhh dragons are popular in Krakow I don't know why lol.

And its time to wander around the old town when the weather gets better! :) Some of the architectures are really beautiful & antique (is this even a proper way to describe architectures ahaha)

Dinner time at Smakolyki!
Super worth for the price! Make it into your list if you're visiting Krakow!

Spend the night lying on bed because the tiredness finally hit in after a long day haha!
(Too bad I don't have the time to visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camp :()

Good night Krakow!

--Okay gonna split the Easter trip post into 2 or it will be a super long post again haha!--

See you:)
Maira Gall