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Summer Europe Adventure

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Traveling through Europe for 3 months and blogging about it: www.jasonvandermerwe.com/blog
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Velkopřevorské náměstí, 100 00 Praha 1, Czechia
I didn't even know about the Lennon Wall until it was the one thing my friend insisted we do in Prague. I'm so glad we want. A ray of sunshine in an otherwise gray(ish) city, you can feel the positivity and hope raditating off its walls. It meant...
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110 00 Prague 1, Czechia
Locals organized a memorial after Václav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic, died on December 18, 2011. The experience was surreal: I had read his play Largo Desolato for an English course a year earlier.
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Na Kampě 508/15, 118 00 Praha-Malá Strana, Czechia
On most days in Prague, it feels like every tourist in town has gathered on the Charles Bridge. And for good reason — this 14th-century cobblestone span crosses the Vltava River, connecting the Old Town with the Lesser Town (Mala...
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Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
It's an unforgettable experience: Getting up at the crack of dawn in mid-winter, walking through the large municipal park on the Pest side of town, checking in to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath (mostly with Hungarian pensioners because tourists...
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Budapest, Szentháromság tér, 1014 Hungary
Fisherman's Bastion was built in the late 1800s on Buda's Castle Hill not to provide protection, but rather as a lookout point—and this fairy-tale castle site, with its seven spired towers representing the seven tribe of Magyar (Hungarians)...
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Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary
If you happen to be meandering through Budapest, and have the urge to do a little sightseeing, St. Stephen's Basilica is definitely a sight to see. The structure is named in honor of Stephen, the first king of Hungary. Apparently, his right hand...
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Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118 Hungary
Throughout Budapest are a whopping 123 therapeutic hot springs, but these, in the stately, slightly dusty Hotel Gellért (built in 1918) might be the most famous. The communal bath in the center of the hotel spa is for everyone, but the most...
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Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary
An edgy crowd gathers at Szimpla Kert, a wacky ruin pub in the old Jewish Quarter. On entering, you’ll be overwhelmed by the maze of rooms, where you might find recycled computer monitors, towering piles of books, hookah pipes, or live...
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Muránská, 841 10 Devín, Slovakia
One of the most interesting aspects of Slovakia are the number of castles found all over the country. From dark ages to the almost modern time, it's a wonderful trip for anyone interested in seeing castles. Devín was the first, and it's stood the...
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Michalská 390/22, 811 03 Bratislava, Slovakia
This gate opening once stood as part of a wall surrounding the city of Bratislava (it was a much smaller city of course). Today it's just a lovely piece of historic architecture as you walk through Old Bratislava. My fiance told me that you should...
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811 06 Bratislava-Old Town, Slovakia
I've posted an image before of this bridge, but it was on a dismal, cloudy day. On this particular day the sun came out and gave a beautiful vision of Bratislava as we visited the castle. Next trip I will go to the top of the main tower and grab a...
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Bratislava, Slovakia
As you stroll the new Danube promenade, you'll see this modern bridge. Often overlooked for the more famous Bridge SNP, this structure was opened in 2005 and named after an old oil refinery that used to be situated between the Old Bridge and the...
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Old Town, Slovakia
Naglreiter is a fast-food franchise known in Europe. They generally serve baked goods and these wonderful baguette sandwiches. It's a quality jump compared to Subway. This is my kind of "fast food". I wish the US would get this kind of stuff.
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1130 Vienna, Austria
Schönbrunn was the summer residence of the Habsburgs and one of Europe's most stunning Baroque palaces. The family acquired the land in the 16th century and later built a palace, but it was completely rebuilt under Maria Theresa between 1744 and...
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Heldenplatz 21/4, 1010 Wien, Austria
Rounding out your visit to Hofburg Palace is the last of the great expansions to the palace by the Habsurgs. The building was done in true neoclassical style, obviously to make the royal family appear as mighty as Greek gods. A statue of Archduke...
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Josefsplatz 1, 1015 Wien, Austria
Entering the Austrian National Library is a momentous moment in one’s life. This place looks like something out of Harry Potter. I wasn’t allowed to use my tripod inside for this triple exposure four-shot panorama but it obviously...
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Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Austria
While "Belvedere" might provoke an image of just a single palace, it's actually a large complex with two Baroque palaces (Upper and Lower), Orangery, Stables and beautiful park space in the 3rd District. It was built as a summer residence for...
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Albertinaplatz 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
The renowned cafes Mozart and Sacher - famous for their cakes. Both these cafes are part of the luxury Sacher Hotel.
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Cranbourn St, London WC2H 0AP, UK
If the theater prices are a little steep for your budget, or you're just wanting to catch a last-minute show, the half-price ticket booth on Leicester Square is a must. As a local, I've used it often to get discounted tickets to shows. Although...
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Kärntner Ring 17, 1010 Wien, Austria
When it’s December, cold and raw in Vienna, and you’ve been wandering the streets (perhaps a bit lost in search of say, Hotel Sacher), and you pass by Café Schwarzenberg for the second time—it’s a sign that you should go in and take the chill off....
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Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien, Austria
The identity of a Viennese intellectual was ultimately defined by the coffeehouse they would frequent. Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler and Hugo von Hoffmannsthal would all brood over their work and agitatedly exchange ideas with fellow thinkers...
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Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Unexpected surprises abound in Amsterdam. On the city's east side, you'll find one denoted by a tall windmill: Brouwerij 't IJ (the IJ Brewery), a small brewery and pub situated in the former Funen bathhouse, next to the De Gooyer windmill. Opened...
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Náměstí Míru 341/15, Vinohrady, 120 00 Praha-Praha 2, Czechia
Alphonse Mucha, one of the most famous artists of the Art Deco period hailed from Prague, and his influence remains visible all over the city. The Smetana Hall is an exquisite architectural example of the decadence of Deco. Even if you don't get...
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V Kotcích 516/15, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
Beautiful, kooky old houses like this dotted throughout the city centre really helped Prague live up to my expectations of a fairytale city. Prague was a fascinating contrast of old and new, so it both lived up to my expectations and surprised me
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110 00 Prague-Prague 1, Czechia
Apparently, this is the largest club in Central Europe. Five floors, different music in different rooms ... We really enjoyed the Oldies room (which I believe this is); definitely worth a night if only to say you've experienced it ;)
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119 08 Prague 1, Czechia
After strolling through the Prague Castle complex and seeing the Cathedral and square, the traveler is further rewarded with a beautiful view of the city from a high point. Parts of Lesser Town can be seen among the sea of red-orange rooftops and...