Our European Odyssey

This blog covered our month-long trip to Eastern Europe -- specifically the countries of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cookies and Sausage for Dinner

Apparently, very little is open on Sundays here. We've learned this the hard way.

We've stayed pretty stocked up on food but had planned to make a trip to the grocery store yesterday to buy food for a picnic lunch and a home-cooked dinner. Unfortunately, after passing a couple of closed grocery stores and asking around, we discovered that grocery stores (and almost everything else) are closed on Sunday. Even some restaurants in the tourist areas were closed.

We've run into this problem in every place we've been on a Sunday. It was especially bothersome when we planned to make a Sunday a shopping day in Budapest.

Anyway, we ended up eating lunch at a bar (where we tried the uninspiring weiner schnitzel -- little more than pork tenderloin) and made due with the groceries we already had for dinner -- snacks and a bit of sausage.

Despite our food woes, we had a nice day in Salzburg, where the weather was gorgeous -- almost hot. We started out by walking through the beautiful gardens at Mirabell Palace. They didn't compare to Vienna's rose gardens, but not much does. We spent some time just wandering around the city's Old Town, viewing historic churches and buildings, including former homes of Mozart.

We then climbed Monchsberg to reach Hohensalzburg, another castle on a -- very steep -- hill. We've seen our share of castles on this trip, so when we saw the $10 admission cost for this one, we opted to forgo touring the interior in favor of strolling along the hilltop. We think we made the right decision.

The views of the city below and the surrounding Alps were spectacular. We were in awe of the mountains. Coming from a prairie state, we couldn't get over how enourmous they really are. Pictures don't do them justice, but here are a few for good measure.

After descending the hill, we were just in time to catch the opening of the day's first World Cup match, the Netherlands versus Serbia and Montenegro. In one of the city squares, they had set up a giant TV screen and bleachers for viewing the game. Needless to say, the area was packed. Only standing room was available.

There was a large group cheering for Serbia and another cheering for the Netherlands. The excitement was palpable. Each side regularly cheered on its team and booed the opponent.

Though it was an exciting atmosphere, it was also a smoky, hot and crowded one, so after about 30 minutes, we decided to retreat to the cool confines of the apartment we stayed in, where we soon enjoyed our gourmet eat-what-you-have dinner.

This morning we're taking a train to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia and our last sightseeing stop before our return on Thursday.


At 9:16 AM, June 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I"m glad you've finally had some warm weather to enjoy. We're having unseasonably cool weather. We received over an inch of much needed rain.

I called the Bowling Green Humane Society to set up an appointment to see our possible new family member. Bullet and Scruffy or some other dog may be coming home with us this week. I'm not really prepared as I haven't bought anything a dog will need. Wish us luck.

We've really enjoyed your blog, but will be very glad when you get home. Maybe you can continue it once your in Edwardsville.

Grandpa & Colleen

At 10:25 AM, June 12, 2006, Anonymous Ginger said...

Love the pictures of the mountains - you two look so cute. I know you are having a blast, and I am so glad to be able to keep up with you on this! Have a wonderful day!


At 11:38 AM, June 12, 2006, Anonymous Doug and Rose said...

Tick, tick, tick..... Can you hear it Jake?
Can you feel it in your gut as it gets closer and closer? That's right Jake. The REAL WORLD is closing in on you. Get ready to abandon your youthful ways, your footloose and fancy-free world travels. The world of WORK, of which Andrea is already battle tested, awaits.

So enjoy it while you can. The clock is ticking.

Doug and Rose


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