Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Praha and Wien

Our good friends, Jen and Dan, had set a date for their European vacation almost a year in advance (Jen is a fellow planner), so as soon as Jeffrey and I found out we would be living in Norway, we promised to visit them at one of their stops!  When we heard of all the great places they were going, we couldn't choose just one and finally decided to meet them in Prague and Vienna.  Jeffrey and I love exploring new cities but being able to experience it with great friends is even better!

Even though Prague and Vienna are only a 4 hour train ride from each other, the two cities couldn't be more different.  Even if I hadn't know of their histories, it wouldn't have been hard to guess that Prague and Vienna prospered at different times.  After a quick Wiki-search, the architectural terms I could use would be Gothic/Renaissance versus Baroque, but I don't think of those terms while I'm staring up at the Astrological Clock or the Hofburg Palace.  My first reaction is more of a feeling.  Prague's architecture is moodier, darker, more dramatic while Vienna's is fancier, cleaner, prettier (in my opinion, of course).  What do you think?

Another big difference was the atmosphere.  I felt like Prague's Old Town focused more on tourist gimmicks like crystal, garnet, and marionettes.  I'm not sure if this is related, but the atmosphere was looser, louder, and more fun.  Vienna had better retail, more cafes versus bars, and fewer peddlers.  The atmosphere in Vienna was calmer, classier, more predictable. 

Prague's crowded streets were filled with character while Vienna's beautiful parks and green spaces made the city feel more open, fresher.

Last but not least... the food!  If we had to choose a favorite place based on food, Prague would take home the gold (yes, I miss the Olympics..).  This surprised me, actually, because I didn't really know much about Prague's cuisine.  Here's what we found out - it focuses on meat (pork knuckle, beef goulash, sausage) and cheap beer - perfect!  I would have probably tired of it if we were there longer, but a few days was perfect.  And Jeff was in heaven.

Such a wonderful trip with the best friends anyone could ask for.  So glad we got to experience these two unique cities with you!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post!

    It's so fun to see your travels in action!