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A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Eastern Europe: Bite by Bite October 20, 2011

Filed under: Contiki,Dining Out,Europe,Food,Travel — Kelocity @ 6:24 am
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Oh Europe, why do you make such amazing food. As if your chocolate wasn’t delectable enough, you have to have things like strudel, schnitzel and french fries (why, WHY are the fries so darn good in Europe?!) I admit, I’m not much of a foodie. I don’t venture out to try strange foods, taste the art of famous chefs or pick restaurants based on reviews. Maybe someday my palate will be more refined, but that’s not to say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy my culinary experiences while on our recent trip.

Here is my recap of all things food from our 17 days over seas, grouped by category.

THE RESTAURANTS
We dined at so many different restaurants. 15 full days x 3 meals a day = 45 places to eat. Here’s a few of our favorites! I think the winner goes to Zapieck in Krakow for their award winning pierogies.
Exteriors

SOUPS
Some highlights included Borsht in Warsaw, Paprika Soup in Budapest and French Onion Soup in Vienna.
SOup

 
SALADS
I ordered mainly vegetarian meals every night (with the exception of a few chicken dishes) so I really enjoyed the European salads. The goat cheese is creamy like in Greece, and totally melts in your mouth. And all of the veggies were fresh from the earth. And the tomatoes! Oh, they were fantastic.
Salad

CHICKEN
Skewered on kabobs, deep fried, swimming in sauce and paired with rice or fries. Nothing special, but all delicious.
Chicke

BRATS
I admit, I am not a huge fan of brats, but my husband LOVES them. I think there were some that went photographed, because there were a lot of brats on this trip. His favorite were the boiled ones from the Hofbrauhaus.
Brats

BREAKFAST
Breakfast was included each day of our tour. Some hotels had better choices than others. My favorite (by far) was the IBIS in prague because they had fresh watermelon both days they were there.
Breakfast

MAIN COURSES
Irving ate just about everything, but I opted for mostly vegetarian. Contiki definitely does a great job accomodating and I felt satisfied after each meal. Here’s just a sample of the good (carb loaded) food that we ate.
Main Course

SHNITZEL
There are no words. We thought the chicken was better than the pork and our favorite was served at the Summer Palace in Vienna. Austria sure does love this dish. There is even a fast food chain called Wienerwald dedicated to serving schnitzel.
Schnitzel

PIEROGIES
I’ve already declared my love for Pierogies in my post about Poland, but here they are again so we can honor their amazing-ness.
Pierogi

PIZZA
It’s Europe. Pizza costs about $4 for a whole pie. There was lots of pizza for on-the-go lunches and quick snacks. And you don’t have to share. You’re expected to eat the whole thing. Love.
Pizza

FRIES
Yes. European Fries get their own collage. They are SO GOOD. And they go with juuuust about everything.
Fries

DRINKS
We aren’t huge drinkers to begin with, but we did indulge when appropriate (ie. German Beer Halls).
Drinks

PRETZELS
It goes with beer. Enough said. (I always try to buy mine without salt though.)
Pretzels

DESSERT AND SNACKS
I’m pretty sure I had dessert every night we were there. The hands down favorite was the Hotel Sacher chocolates from Vienna. Coming in a close second would be my nutella crepe from Slovakia. My least favorite? The Rum Raisin custard from Krakow.
Dessert and Snacks

 

Eastern Europe by the Numbers October 9, 2011

Filed under: Contiki,Europe — Kelocity @ 4:19 pm
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On our most recent trip to Europe… there were:

3,203 Pictures Taken

139.86 Miles Walked (Highest Milage day: 16.44… average per day: 8.74)

17 Days Traveling

11 Major Cities Visited

9 Plates of Pierogies Ordered

6 Countries Visited

5 Cities I got to visit for the second time around (Munich,  Salzburg, Vienna, Prague and Budapest)

4 Times traveled with Contiki

Eastern FOOD

(Full Food Post coming soon!)

 

Eastern Europe–What I Wore

Filed under: Contiki,Europe,Travel — Kelocity @ 6:06 am
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When I left, my suitcase looked like this:
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So how does that translate into travel outfits? Here it is day by day.

DAY 1 – LAX to BERLIN (Travel Day)
We had a total of 18 hours in airports and airplanes, so comfort was key!

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DAY 2 – BERLIN
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DAY 3 – BERLIN to DRESDEN to PRAGUE
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DAY 4 – PRAGUE
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DAY 5 – PRAGUE to VIENNA
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DAY 5 – VIENNA Classical Music Concert
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DAY 6 – VIENNA to BUDAPEST
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DAY 7 – BUDAPEST
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DAY 8 – BUDAPEST to SLOVAKIA to KRAKOW
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DAY 9 – KRAKOW
Yep. I rewore a shirt. I had a few to rewear during this trip and here is the 1st. Don’t judge. Chalk it up to good packing. IMG_9014  IMG_9019

DAY 10 – Krakow to Warsaw
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DAY 11 – Warsaw
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DAY 11 – Warsaw by Night
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Day 12 – Warsaw to Berlin
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Day 13 – Munich
Yep. Same shirt as day 3.
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Day 14 – Fussen and Salzburg
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DAY 15 – SALZBURG SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR
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DAY 15 – SALT MINES TOUR
Their clothes, not mine. LOL
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Which outfit was your favorite? Would you be caught dead in sneakers in Europe?  For me there isn’t an option. We walk way too much for strappy sandals. ha!

 

Salzburg: The Salt Mines October 8, 2011

Filed under: Austria,Europe,Travel — Kelocity @ 1:00 pm
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After we left the Sound of Music tour, we had one more thing on our to-do list: The Salzburg Salt Mines. I was kind of on the fence about doing this since we thought the Krakow ones were a little silly. But we heard good things about it so decided to give it a try.
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It ended up being worth the trip and really fun. We were so glad we went. But first things first:
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You have to dress the part. HAHA
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Yep. Now we’re ready to go! We said good bye to the daylight and descended into the mine.
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This one wasn’t as vertically deep as the other one, but it was massive inside and you had to ride a train car to get around.
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And that thing zoomed pretty fast through the tunnels. So fun!
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One of the unique things about the mine is that it straddles both Germany and Austria!
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Inside is a giant Brine Lake that we actually took a boat across. There were lights and sound involved, but it was actually quite nice.
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But the best part was yet to come! We got to go down mining slides!! Just sit down… and go! (That’s what the white jump suits were for, besides being incredibly stylish!)
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Here’s a video of us going down the steepest slide!

I was kind of sad to give back my awesome miners clothes. LOL
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On the grounds of the mines is a little recreated Celtic village to celebrate the lives of the first miners. We walked around for a bit before getting back in the car.
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This was a self timer. Pretty good, huh?
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We had a great time in Austria, but it was time to head back to Munich to catch our plane home. Thank goodness for the GPS though. It was SO helpful on those crazy European roads.
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I had an amazing time in Europe. I think this was my favorite trip to date. So much history, scenery and adventures. The perfect combination. We’ll be back, Europe.
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Thanks for reading all my recaps! Hope you enjoyed them! Thanks for letting me share my photos and stories with you!

 

Salzburg: The Hills are Alive October 7, 2011

(Just one more Trip Recap post left after this one! Bringing it back to Salzburg!)

We awoke on September 10th in beautiful Salzburg. Our bed was so comfortable I didn’t want to leave the hotel, but we had an exciting day planned. I would never sleep away a day in Europe. Too many fun things to explore!
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We had Clif Bars for breakfast and jumped right into our Sound of Music Tour! When I did this tour in 2003 it was in a small 8 person van. This time, we were on one of TWO huge coach busses filled with tourists. I was a little annoyed, but it was still an excellent tour.
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The tour brings you to all of the famous shooting locations for the film. Recognize this? It’s where the back patio and lake scenes were shot. Remember when the kids tipped over the canoe?!
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We didn’t get too close, but this is where they shot the front of the house (see that yellow building in the background?) It’s also where Maria sang I Have Confidence when she first arrived at the Von Trapp house.
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And right around the corner from that is where we were yesterday (at the Crazy Fountain Palace). We were so glad we took pictures the day before because this is what it looked like today:
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We got a brief glimpse of the abbey up on the hill:
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And then we headed off into the countryside to see a bit of the lakes region and a few more filming locations. The scenery was absolutely beautiful.
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Is this where Maria sang The Hills are Alive? I don’t think it actually was, but any of these hills looked like they’d be excellent contenders. I love Austria, seriously everywhere you look there was something gorgeous to look at.
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[Flashback 2003] Last time I was here it was cold and snowy!
sound of music tour

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Next time I come back here I’m going to explore the outdoor activities a little more. See the skydiver?!
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After a bit of driving, we arrived into the town of Mondsee where the wedding chapel scenes were filmed. Where Maria married the Captain.
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We had an hour for lunch so we found a cute restaurant across the street>
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And ordered some quick pizzas. Delicious!
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After the tour, we drove back to Salzburg and watched some of the scenes from the movie on the bus. Once we got back we explored Mirabell Gardens where most of the Do Re Mi sequence was filmed. Remember this scene?
steps [source]

Here it is! Irving looks like Friedrich doesn’t he? “I’m Friedrich. I’m fourteen and I’m impossible”. LOL
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And remember this?
arbor

Here we are!
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[Flashback 2003:
Me and a girl i met in salzburg

And Now!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just a week after we got back from our trip, we went to the Sound of Music sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl.
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We try to go every year because it’s just so much fun. This year was extra special since we just got back from Salzburg!
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Erica brought popcorn (love that girl!) and we brought Mozart Balls to share. I love me my Mozart balls! Anyone know if you can buy these in the states?
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Before the show, all of the actors who played the Von Trapp kids came out on stage!
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My favorite part was when the (super hot) Captain sings Edelweiss and everyone holds up their cell phones. So funny. I love bowl nights. 
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A great end to the bowl season too.
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One last Europe recap post coming tomorrow!

 

 
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