Part 1- How to get around in Shanghai Free and Easy

Most populous city in the world – Shanghai

I have been to China more than 10 times but Shanghai was my first trip! Hearing the word most populous made me scare.  I am more of a country person.

It only took us 4.5 hours to reach Shanghai.  The flight served a mini ice-cream for dessert.

I reached Shanghai at around 3 pm and the immigration was full with visitors coming from different part of the world.  It took slightly less than 1 hour to clear the custom.

Shanghai is a big city with 24 million of population, when the taxi was approaching the city area, it was pack with cars, big city syndrome.

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Eastern Europe Day 11 – Kehlsteinhaus, Eagle Nest Germany

Holiday Home for Hilter

We only have half a day to play with, so we decided to explore Eagle Nest in Obersalzberg near the town of Berchtesgaden in Germany.  It took roughly about 40 mins to 1 hour to reach Eagle Nest.

Eagle Nest was built as a vacation home for Adolf Hitler for his 50th birthday present but Hitler only visited the place 14 times.

There are special red buses to go up Eagle Nest. Normal buses or cars are not allowed to drive in. The 6 km mountain road were built in only 13 months to complete and it was extremely steep.  It was very fogy early in the morning.

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Eastern Europe Day 10 – Salzburg, Austria

Sound of Music – Salzburg, Austria

Farewell to Schonbrunn Palace

Vienna to Salzburg still within Austria took us about 3 hours drive.  When we were in the Vienna freeway to Salzburg, we could still see the Summer Palace -Schonbrunn from afar.  Goodbye Schonbrunn Palace!

Alpine Surroundings

Salzburg is renowned for its scenic Alpine surroundings.  We stopped for lunch at a scenic restaurant one  hour before Salzburg.

The weather was super good that day, sunny and warm and it was just perfect to have lunch in such a nice surrounding.  Look at the mountain and the lake, I was speechless!

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Eastern Europe Day 9 – Vienna, Austria

Fairty tale city of Vienna, Austria

Budapest to Vienna took us about 2-3 hours drive.

Schonbrunn Palace – Unesco Site

Schonbrunn Palace is one of Austria’s most important cultural assets,  millions of visitors came to visit this place each year.

The palace is a former imperial summer residence with 1441 rooms with  Baroque style, but only 45 of the rooms are opened to public.   A 70 years old local male guide helping us touring around the Palace Museum.  Photography is not allowed so there is no picture to show inside the museum.  What I could remember most was it was quite tiring from walking in and out of each room, admiring the beautiful furniture and the personal items used by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Empress Elisabeth also known as Sisi.

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Eastern Europe Day 8 – Budapest, Hungary

Amazing Budapest, Hungary

Beside the breathtaking cruise ride in the evening, what else in Budapest?

Budapest was an interesting city. Even though I felt like we saw a lot today, I still think we just scratched the surface of what Budapest has to offer.

Hero Square 

This is one of the major Square in Budapest.  It was surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Palace of Art.

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts is a museum with an exquisite collection of European art, housed in a monumental classical building.  It was closed for renovation when we visited and it will only resume operating in Mar 2018.  You can see there is fence blocking visitors from entering the premises.

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Eastern Europe Day 7 – Budapest, Hungary

Amazing Budapest, Hungary

From Krakow to Budapest took us about 6 hours by bus.  It was such an enjoyable ride just to sit back and relax, watching the beautiful houses built along the highway to Budapest.

The houses built on the hill look so cozy and each houses has their uniqueness.

Orava Castle in Slovakia

We passed by a beautiful castle in Slovakia and it was just breathtaking. Orava Castle is the most beautiful and largest castle in Slovakia.  It was on the way from Krakow to Budapest.  What make it so unique it is situated on a very high rock and it look so ancient.  Do not miss out this Orava Castle!

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Eastern Europe – Day 6 – Krakow Poland – Part 2 : Jewish Quarter & Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Poland : Krakow Part 2 : Jewish Quarter and Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Part 2 of my day was more of a despairing one.

Kasimierz in Krakow = Jewish Quarter

Jewish Quarter is center of Jewish life in Krakow for over 500 years.  This place attracts many curious tourists including me to find out the city’s Jewish community once lived in before world war II.

Nowadays, there are many nice restaurants and fancy cafe in Al Fresco dining setting in the neighborhood. We had our lunch at Jewish Quarter that afternoon.  It was ashamed I did not have many nice pictures of this lively neighborhood.

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Eastern Europe – Day 6 – Krakow Poland – Part 1: Wawel Castle & Main Market Square

Day 6 – Krakow Poland

Krakow is an ancient city in Poland, it used to be the capital of Poland but the capital was changed to Warsaw now.  This is one of the best city in Europe and not many people know about it as yet.  Compared to Prague and Berlin, the 2 previous cities I had just traveled for the past few days. Things in Krakow is a lot more cheaper, in fact, I regretted doing too little shopping while in Krakow.

In this wonderful city of Krakow, you can easily access to many of the main attractions just by foot in the city in a day without using car or buses.

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Eastern Europe – Day 5 – Krakow Salt Mine, Poland

Day 5 – Krakow Salt Mine, Poland

Today we headed to Poland.  I have a Mongolian friend living in Poland but she is living in Warsaw, the capital.  She is one of my best buddy in University in Japan.  It was ashamed not able to meet up with her since I was in Poland.   Krakow is in the southern part of Poland and it’s near the Czech Republic border.

From Prague to Krakow is about 6 hours.  Today we were travelling almost whole day in the coach.  It was a sunny day with blue sky but quite windy. The coach stopped for some gas and we had a break in the freeway rest area.

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Eastern Europe – Day 4 – Prague, Czech Republic

Day 4 – Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Hotel

Prague is the largest city and also the capital in Czech Republic.  It is also the historical capital of Bohemia.  Prague is getting popular among Chinese these days after few famous Chinese movie shoot here.  Prague is considered one of the popular destination in Europe , it is the fifth most visited country in European city, after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome.

Found these cute souvenirs in the lobby shop of our hotel in Prague.

Early morning, we took a quick walk outside our hotel in Prague.  Below picture was taken outside the hotel, opposite of the hotel are flat houses for local residents.  We were staying outskirt of the city.  There was a tram passing by in front of our hotel, trams are widely used in Prague.

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