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

Burg Frankenstein

On our drive from Heidelberg to Frankfurt, we stopped off to visit Frankenstein Castle (Burg Frankenstein).  No kidding.  It is thought that this castle may have been an inspiration for Mary Shelley when she wrote her 1818 Gothic novel, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein Castle

Frankenstein Castle (actually the ruins of the castle) is located in the Odenwald mountain range, overlooking the southern outskirts of Darmstadt, Germany.  Before 1250, Lord Conrad II Reiz of Brueberg built Frankenstein Castle.  He was the founder of the free imperial Barony of Frankenstein.  The castle fell into ruins in the 18th century.

Frankenstein Castle

In 1673, Johann Conrad Dippel was born in the castle, where he was later engaged as a professional alchemist.  There are rumors that during his stay at Frankenstein Castle, Dippel not only practiced alchemy but also anatomy and may have performed experiments on dead bodies that he exhumed.  It is suggested these rumors about Dippel influenced Mary Shelley’s fantasy when she wrote her Frankenstein novel.  It is known that in 1814, Shelley took a journey on the river Rhine and spent some time in the area near the castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle

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Schloss Neuschwanstein is a 19th century palace built on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near the town of Fussen in southwest Germany.  The castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat.  Construction began in 1869 on the site of the ruins of two castles from the middle ages: Vorderhohenschwangau Castle and Hinterhohenschwangau Castle.  The castle was far from complete when the King died in 1886 at the age of 40.

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