A Travellerspoint blog

Krakow Day 3 Sat 10th July 2010

Some kind of homecoming?

sunny 35 °C

Yesterday we travelled to the old Jewish area of Kazimierz and found the Apartment building where the Penner family lived until they and all Jewish residents were moved by the Nazi's to the Ghetto across the river in the neighbourhood of Podgorze. The house still has the stairs and bannisters the Penner/Scher family would have used to get to and from their tiny flat. Later that day we took a horse and cab ride after eating at the new Hard Rock Cafe.

Today we visited Schindler's Emailia Factory which has recently been converted to a impressive Museum of the Nazi Occupation of Krakow during the second World War. Our visit lasted 2 hours of viewing photos and videos from that era.The most moving part of the visit was to see Celina's family's names taken from the famous list and placed inside the dome-like monument made out of enamelware.

We then wandered the streets until we eventually came to the famous Ghetto square in centre of the now long-gone ghetto. This area of 350 dwellings had to house 17,000 in an area which had previously housed 3,000 Poles. Each person was estimated to have 2 sq metres. We also found the site of the Ghetto hospital on Jozefinska Street.

This afternoon in 35 degree heat we walked up to the historic Wawel Castle area where Celina's family used to go to relax prior to the Nazi invasion. The various exhibitions drive home the loss of almost an entire Jewish Community of 80,000 now reduced to 1,000 of whom only 100 are observant Jews.

This whole visit has a somewhat surreal aspect!

Posted by acudoc 10:55 Archived in Poland Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Krakow 8-10th July

What are we doing here? Is this real?

sunny 27 °C

We have now been in Krakow for a day and a half. Arrived at tiny local airport and were met by Polish speaking driver and taken to our very comfortable and well-located 17th Century hotel.Bonerowski Palace Hotel

Bonerowski Palace Hotel

Wandered down to the Jewish quarter of Kazimiericz and found jewish centre in an old Synagogue.Ancient Tombstones R'emuh Cemetry

Ancient Tombstones R'emuh Cemetry

Wailing Wall of Broken Headstones Krakow

Wailing Wall of Broken Headstones Krakow

People there were fascinated by Celina's story and seemed very happy to meet someone who survived as a child of the Krakow Ghetto. We met a lady at Jewish Centre and an Anthropogist from Canada who was intrigued and excited by Celina's story. We purchased a new book on Schindler in which the photo of the family survivors with Tom Kenneally is shown.

Today we will take our own tour to the Jewish quarter Schindler's factory and the Wawel and tomorrow we are to take a private tour to Auschwitz Birkenau. Up to now we have largely enjoyed the noise and music and old buildings of this Medieval city.

Our Hotel sits on the edge of the Market Square and we had a birdseye view of the square from the new Hard Rock Cafe sipping cocktails and watching buskers horse-drawn carriages and listening to music for the last 2 nights.Horse and Carriage in Krakow

Horse and Carriage in Krakow

Cocktails for one

Cocktails for one

Posted by acudoc 00:39 Archived in Poland Tagged luxury_travel Comments (2)

Vienna to Prague 5th to 7th July 2010

Cobblestones and Cathedrals and the sound of Music

sunny 22 °C

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DSC00836

Have just returned to our hotel in Prague after our second day wandering the cobbled streets of Prague. We have walked about 7 hours per day in what is probably our favourite city in the world. The wonderful old architecture and the abilty to get high over the city sights combines to create wonderful empathy with the city. CIMG3009

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Yesterday we stood in the pouring rain and lightning of a storm over Prague in the old Jewish Cemetry attached to the old Pinkus Synagogue whose 1520 era walls are covered in the names of the 80,000 Czech Jews who were murdered by the Nazi's.

We have attended a Mozart Strauss concert on the first evening and have spent hours wandering through St Vitus Cathedral and through the tiny streets of Hradcany Castle high over the Old City. Music is on offer everywhere but our feet are too tired and sore after the walking marathon today. We have climbed hundreds of steps and feel physically fitter than we thought we are. CIMG3099

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Early tomorrow we leave for Krakow and hope the mood continues.

Posted by acudoc 09:08 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Vienna 2nd to 3rd July 2010

Sailing the Danube - Wachau Valley to Vienna

sunny 32 °C

Arrived in Vienna 2 nights ago after sailing the picturesque Wachau Valley part of the Danube. We were deighted by the Crew Show and the continuing excellent service from the most attentive staff on board Ruby. One of the highlights of the Crew Show was a solo performance of a classic rock number originally sung by Whitney Huston by our cabin stewardess Cherry. She outsung the original recording and Ms Huston's rendition of it and we wonder how it is she is not a recording star! Vienna is stunning as ever but the over 30 degree temps are exhausting. Glad we are not here in 2 months time. Yesterday we visited the Hunderwasser haus - the appartment building designed by the Austrian graphic artist - Freidensreich Hundertwasser and completed in the early 1980's. Hundertwasser Haus

Hundertwasser Haus

We also visited the Kunst haus museum CIMG2967

CIMG2967

which houses the complete Hundertwasser collection including his architectural designs and graphic art. Last night we experienced a private concert of classical music opera and ballet at the glorious Palais Liechtenstein - a wonderful hapsburg era palace not normally open to tourists except on weekens. I hope my poor photos do it some justice.Marie-Antoinettes Wedding Coach

Marie-Antoinettes Wedding Coach

Frescoed Ceiling in Palais Liechstenstein Vienna

Frescoed Ceiling in Palais Liechstenstein Vienna

A Private Concert

A Private Concert

Today we toured the inside rooms of the Schonbrunn Palace and saw the original rooms and furniture in situ. Neptune Fountain Schonbrunn

Neptune Fountain Schonbrunn

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Posted by acudoc 06:55 Archived in Austria Tagged luxury_travel Comments (3)

Regensburg to Cesky Krumlov

Danube at Sunset, Oom Pah Pah, and a Magical untouched Rennaisance Town

sunny 27 °C

Today it was another 3 countries in one day experience. Starting at Passau, Germany then onto Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic then finishing here at Linz, Austria. At present Scenic Ruby is having a barbeque for the passengers and how they are tucking into it. We had a wonderful day traveling 1 1/2 hours from Passau to the untouched beauty of Cesky Krumlov which was the setting for Edward Norton's movie - The Illusionist. Untouched by the Germans and almost abandoned after 500 years of occupation during the Communist rule of Czechoslovakia it has recovered and many of buildings have been restored. City Square Cesky Krumlov

City Square Cesky Krumlov

The cobbled streets are hard on some peoples feet but the experience was worthwhile. Climbing on the old Palace walls allows a wonderful view of the tiled roofs and the colourful buildings dating back over 500 years. Palace of Cesky Krumlov

Palace of Cesky Krumlov


Medieval Lady

Medieval Lady

Yesterday it was Regensburg and its medieval centre. CIMG2924

CIMG2924

Very hot but beautiful again and we are tiring after nearly 4 weeks on the road. There is a certain degree of exhaustion after seeing one medieval gem after another although the river cruise should not be missed if the opportunity arises. Yesterday as we cruised down the Danube we experienced a symmetrical sunset which was mirrored beautifully in the river as we sailed along. After our dinner with convivial company we were entertained by a typical Bavarian band - Oom Pah Pahing for an hour. We made the mistake of sitting on a table next to the dance floor and Celina was the first to be asked to dance with the Band Leader. No Lederhosen or knee slapping but by the time Celina was spun around for minutes she was quite unstable as she returned to the table. Celina on Scenic Ruby

Celina on Scenic Ruby

Tomorrow 1st July we reach Vienna after first stopping at the Abby of Melk where we are to have an Organ recital in this most Baroque of Church buildings.

Posted by acudoc 11:40 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged luxury_travel Comments (1)

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