Happy winter everyone! As I am done with my exams now and am not yet on vacation in the mountains, let’s try to catch up with the missing posts (Hong Kong, Spain, Paris, Cuba and Mexico – good luck to me!). I used to be much more responsible with maintaining the blog, but adult life is slowly getting me, too. Said somebody who just woke up after Sunday funday – so, hopefully, the change will take many years and never be completed.
At the end of October we had a long weekend and immediately decided to take advantage of it and leave Vienna for several days. Last time we were more people as we planned our roadtrip, but now even being just two it still turned out amazing!First of all, traveling in the direction of Germany is simply cheaper, than to Italy. You pay less or nothing at all for the roads, same goes for parking (only Prague is an exception, being there with a car is a challenge!). And, on the other hand, Berlin can be so tricky with being granted an access to some places, so being less people can actually serve as a benefit. Anyways, here we start!
We left Vienna around 6 in the morning to be sure we avoid any possible traffic at the city exit. 170km to our first stop – Třeboň, a nice small city in Czech Republic with bright gingerbread houses and an outstanding view on the lake. Before reaching the place we only had to stop once at the boarder to buy a vignette for Czech roads which was around 10 euros for a week, so we used the same one on our way back.
Třeboň turned out to be indeed cute. It’s that kind of a place where all the yards are open to walk through them watching rabbits and chickens; there are no people in the streets and you can’t have a coffee to go early in the morning, only sit down and enjoy the moment.
After breakfast at Třeboň we had almost 300km to Dresden. Which would have gone perfectly fine if the highway wasn’t just closed at some point. Just closed. With no warning signs before, nothing. No info was on the satellite either as out GPS couldn’t rebuilt a route after we had to drive around. This is the moment when you realize that paying more for Italian roads, but having electronic boards with any kind of info so that a complete idiot can drive through the whole country with no navigation at all, might be worth it. We lost hours and kilometers circling around abandoned villages trying to make it back to the highway, not knowing after what distance it was gonna be open again. Tricky, very tricky.
We made it to Dresden quite fast after got out of the trap, though. And still have got no speeding tickets. Just for you information 😉
What a beautiful city!!! I was astonished. It started pouring but it didn’t even matter once we saw the old town. We spent only about 3 hrs in Dresden, but I absolutely fell in love! Running out of fuel, as always, we circled around all parts of the city looking for gas station, so we saw pretty much the whole landscape from the car. But walking in the historic centre was very impressive, too. Even more shocked I was when mom told me that it had been completely destroyed and then rebuild after the WWII. Not being a huge fan of traveling around Germany, I definitely recommend Dresden as a destination to visit. Gonna come back myself for sure!
The last part of the driving, Dresden-Berlin, ca. 200km, went smooth. We were already getting tired after having lost so much time in the trap on Czech roads, but we made it to the hotel until midnight. Driving through the whole Berlin was actually the longest part. But the whole thing itself is quite doable with 2 drivers.
Long sleep to enjoy Berlin the next days! I am going to write a separate post about Berlin itself (earlier than in 2018, I promise!), so let this one be just the roadtrip part and Prague. I have been there so many times already and have written so much, so I’ll keep it short.
Talking about Berlin again, it was crazy! The only thing is – 3 days wasn’t enough. We definitely need more and more to explore this controversial place. I honestly didn’t even expect that I would like Berlin at all! So we didn’t intend to plan more days there, and that was a big mistake. Wherever you decide to visit it, take a week. Especially if you are into underground culture – you are going to dissolve in Berlin’s moody atmosphere.
On the way back we didn’t have to drive the whole destination to Vienna as we were stopping in Prague for the next 3 days, so we were quite relaxed about the trip and decided to drive at night to simply get more of Berlin before saying goodbye. After dinner we got in the car, put some cool music on and in a relaxed way took off. I was driving the whole way to Dresden which was not hard at all even with no daylight. Fast German highways, brav0! I still didn’t get why you don’t have to pay for the roads of such quality when even shitty Czech ones damn charge you. Same goes for parking – it was free almost everywhere in Berlin, even in the city centre. We don’t know the system and I might provide some incorrect info now, but we personally ended up paying only for the hotel parking lot, even though we used the car a lot to get around the city.
So, back to the scary experience of having to drive through the Czech Republic: after Dresden we switched and Jamila was to make it to Prague. The distance was even shorter than the one I had to overcome, but then we got in the same goddamn trap again! At some point, after having made 300 circles following the arrows, I just saw the sign saying we were on our way back to Dresden. The only thing that helped us to get out of there was that we knew already what was going on. Imagine yourself driving in the middle of the night with no streetlights whatsoever, no signs, no info boards and absolutely no people around. And then you are just lost and your navigator keeps bringing you to the same damn point after which the highway is closed but it doesn’t have a clue about that. I think we would have just stopped somewhere, slept in the car and waited until the sun is up to try to navigate ourselves somehow… I have no words about Czech roads and level of not-giving-a-shit: after 4 days there still was no sign in advance warning about roadworks. Somehow Jamila made it while I was freaking out in one of the abandoned villages with scary lights in one window. I am scared of darkness, and that was Halloween night. So, my friend deserves a medal. She just took a completely different route through another cities, but making a circle instead of trying to drive directly to Prague really made more sense. I even had dreams after that night that I was just endlessly driving around that devil loop.
It didn’t get much better in Prague because the parking situation is horrible there. You just can’t park anywhere if you are not a resident. There are tiny spots for non-residents which you have to know about because you don’t just run into them on occasion. But the trick is, you can only stay there for 6 hrs. So every 6 hrs you have to go back to buy a new parking ticket. And then there is another Czech style thing; parkomats keep accepting money only for 2-3 hrs and then they spit a ticket out at you without letting you insert more coins. Lovely, huh? So, the whole time in Prague we either were returning to the car every couple hours buying a new ticket or risked being fined (the fine is not that high there, so sometimes you just stop caring, and we actually didn’t receive a single one).
But I still love Prague, no matter what! This is somehow like the Italian charm of nothing ever working. We were very lucky with the weather catching the last warm sun rays before winter came.
We called our roadtrip a bartrip, actually. One of the reasons to go to Berlin was to experience its amazing bar culture. So we continued in Prague. Following friends’ recommendations, we went to Black Angel’s and Bugsy’s bar. It’s forbidden to take pics in the first one, which I already like because Vienna’s best places have such policies as well. But it’s very intimate, exclusive and just good taste. If you want more loud fun, though, then Bugsy’s is perfect! I tried the most unusual cocktail ever there: it looked like regular pistachio ice cream, but was so intense with alcohol, too! The finger food was good as well. So, 5+ goes to both.
Some other places in Prague apart from shops and regular sightseeing were Café-Café, Bake Shop (the best quiche I have ever tried! Even Viennese Le Bol or Hidden Kitchen hardly compete!) and John Lennon graffiti wall. It can’t compare to the Berlin kinds of graffiti art, of course. But the walk there is lovely and around it there is a lot of action, street musicians playing Lennon’s songs, and just the neighborhood where you find it itself is very cute.
We also went to O’Che’s for my friends performance. They are just so good, you know that if you follow my Instagram. So many talented people I know happen to live in Prague🙀. That’s the main reason I love to visit Prague – my school friends and their friend I have known for a while already since I usually crash on their couches. They have such a community there, that we never had in Vienna. And they all are always very pleasant to visit again and again, drink with for the whole night and then go eat the best ever street quesadilla not even noticing they forgot to put meat in mine, so happy we were that night.
Another must-do in Prague for me is Marks&Spencer food. It is just so good! We don’t have it back home, so we loaded the car full of food, said goodbye to my Prague friends that even came to see us in the morning when we were leaving; grabbed the best of a kind (after Joseph Brot’s one with poppy seeds) cheesecake at Café-Café and took off back to Vienna.
Driving from Prague is very easy and not stressful at all. We took the route through Brno and in 3 hrs were already stuck in traffic jam to enter Vienna. That was the
barroadtrip. Well done! Looking forward for the next one, planned already!
Coming back was great, too, as we arrived just on time to meet our love Elisabeth, who made our next 10 days just as much fun as any roadtrip ❤