Germany & Austria 2023

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Steve and I departed LA on April 19th on a non-stop flight to Munich.  Our principal motivation for the trip was to attend Frühlingsfest, the spring version of Oktoberfest.  It is held at the same location and has the same general format as Oktoberfest but is somewhat smaller.  We particularly wanted to be there for the opening ceremony which was held in the afternoon on April 21.  Valerie and I were in Munich for Frühlingsfest in 2019 and attended the opening ceremony during which the weather was rainy and chilly.  This time, we were very fortunate to have beautiful blue skies and mild temperatures.  And we were able to get into line to receive a free souvenir 1 liter stein.

Fruhlingfest Opening Ceremony Continue reading


Christmas Markets 2022–Budapest

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On December 10, 2022, we continued our trip by taking the train from Prague to Budapest.  Sadly, while in Prague, Steve got sick with the flu and once we arrived in Budapest, I got the flu as well.  It was pretty brutal, but we continued with our activities, although with diminished enthusiasm on my part.  It didn’t help that we experienced the coldest weather of our trip while in Budapest.

Chain Bridge, Danube River, Budapest Continue reading

Christmas Markets 2022–Prague

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Continuing our trip, on 12/6/2022, we took a train from Berlin to Prague.  Uncharacteristically, based on our experience with train travel in Europe, this trip which was supposed to take approximately 4 hours ended up taking almost 9 hours due to multiple delays along the way.  Once we arrived, we obtained an Uber ride to the Charles Central Hotel.

Our first day began with a walking tour of the central city which started at the Powder Tower.  This is one of the original gates of the city and dates from approximately 1475.  At one time it was used to store gun power, thus the name.  Here are some of the other highlights of our time in Prague. Continue reading

Christmas Markets 2022–Berlin

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On December 3rd, 2022, we departed for an 11 day trip to sample some of Europe’s Christmas markets.  We were accompanied on this trip by our friend Steve.  Our itinerary was to fly into Berlin, then on to Prague and Budapest.  We returned to LA from Budapest on the 14th.

Gendarmenmarkt Berlin

Our first stop in Berlin was brief since Valerie and I had visited here previously in 2019.  But we wanted to see some of the many beautiful Christmas markets to be found here.  We began with a visit to some of the familiar sights in Berlin, Brandenberg Gate, Victory Column, etc.

Later we managed to get to three of the large Christmas markets located at Potsdamer Platz, Gendarmenmarkt and Alexanderplatz.  All of the usual German delights were available including sausages of all kinds, pork knuckle, pommes and, of course, beer and Gluehwein (German mulled wine).

We’ll cover our other stops in subsequent posts.