Exploring Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe has definitely surprised me in every aspect. Aside from its culturally enriched cities and countries, we were able to have friendly local experience from touring around mind-blowing sceneries. Our first stop was the multicultural city of Berlin with its laidback lifestyle. We roamed around the city armed with nothing but adventurous heart. We were ready for another surprise in this trip. The number one in our list, of course, was the Berlin Wall. It was not until 1989 that they took down the barrier and it became sightseeing to tourists.  Then off we went to Brandenburg Gate that marked the start of the road from Berlin to town. We ended our first day with a trip to Sanssouci Palace where we saw the Sanssouci Glitter Pavillion.


Berlin Wall 1

The famous Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall 2

The barrier that separated Germany for years

Berlin Wall 3

Photo souvenir at a historic site

Berlin Wall 4

Hop on hop off bus to tour around Berlin

Berlin Wall 7

Manhole with the iconic landmarks


Brandenburg Gate

San Soucci Palace 1

At San Soucci Palace

San Soucci Palace 2

A photo at the pillars of the palace

San Soucci Palace 3

A walk around the palace


On our second day, we experienced diverse culture in the city of Warsaw in Poland. This country may have suffered in the past, but every corner we went to was telling otherwise. The beautiful skyscrapers and structures of the city ushered us in. We went inside the Palace of Culture and Science and I felt so jealous. How I wish Manila had the same. Inside we saw cinemas, theater, library, and the like. The 42 floors of culture explosion have totally got me going while inside the building. Our next stop was the romantic Łazienki Park manicured with greens and wild patches. Slowing down our day in this picturesque park was a splendid idea. Aside from seeing the Chopin monument, we were able to sit down and just appreciate the beauty nature has offered. To close our day in Warsaw, we swung by the Old Market Place and left our footprints at their mesmerizing and colorful plaza.


Warsaw 6

Warsaw from above

Warsaw 7

Palace of Culture and Science

Warsaw 3

Eclectic chandelier inside the building

Warsaw 2

Drop lights that I wish I could bring home with me

Warsaw 4

Personalized chairs

Warsaw 8

The palace in the evening

Warsaw 9

The graffiti-filled tunnel

Warsaw 1

One of the best background for a photo is a graffiti wall


We ran along the tour and arrived at Czestochowa at night. We grabbed some drinks at Carpe Diem Klub and spent the night talking and talking for hours. The following day, we got up early to pay a visit to Jasna Gora Monastery. The icon of the Virgin Mary who was believed to perform a miracle, Black Madonna of Czestochowa, was incredibly beautiful. After hearing the mass, we toured around Auschwitz Concentration Camp where people believed thousands of prisoners died and were murdered. A long queue was outside waiting for their turn for the tour and once inside, The stories told us made us cringe and felt eerie.


Carpe Dien 2

Chilled at the Carpe Diem Club before we hit the sack

Carpe Diem 6

One glass with my friends

Carpe Diem 3

Warka beers

Jasna Gora Monastery 4

Entrance at Jasna Gora Monastery

Jasna Gora Monastery 3

The monastery from afar

Jasna Gora Monastery 5

People who will hear the mass

Jasna Gora Monastery 6

Looking up the ceiling and appreciating the painting about the Bible

Jasna Gora Monastery 7

Before the mass begins

Jasna Gora Monastery 8

First time to see a black altar

As we travel along the Old Town of Krakow, Poland, we sift through the royal capital for some downtown activities. We walked around the city center with much glee and excitement as we took a carriage ride and toured within the plaza. Mini castles and remnants from the war were the sightseeing we witnessed in this city. Restaurants were all over the streets and buskers were there to entertain us.


Old Town 5

Castle Square in Warsaw

Old Town 6

With friends in front of the Castle Square

Old Town 11

Juandering around Warsaw

Old Town 2

Unique building in Warsaw

Old Town 3

Ancient guard of the castle

Old Town 9

The plaza at night

Old Town 8

A grander version of kalesa (horse ride)

Old Town 10

Perfectly groomed horses in Poland


The next day, we took the time to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Wielickza (Vyeh-leech-ka) Salt Mine where every pit and chamber was made of salt. From the walls to the labyrinth tunnel with 327m deep, everything was carved by hand. I enjoyed this trip so much and what a fascinating place to be at. I tasted the salt wall first hand and it was without a doubt amazing and surreal. My favorite of all were the chandeliers that were made of salt. We moved to Wawel Castle to wander around the five-part museum. This was also where you can find Da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Lady with an Ermine. We visited the Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Historical Museum of the City where they showcased the time of Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship and Nazi Party. To end the day, the sanctuary of Sister Faustina was our stop. We saw through remnants and souvenirs how she lived and how loyal she was in serving the Lord.

Salt Mine 4

Sculpture of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus using salt

Salt Mine 3

A souvenir photo at this salt mine

Salt Mine 2

Testing if the wall is really made of salt

Salt Mine 1

I think even the chandeliers are made of salt

Salt Mine 5

Groufie at the Salt Mine

Salt Mine 6

A statue of Pope John Paul II that is made of salt

Salt Mine 7

Going down the salt mine

Wawel Castle 1

The grand Wawel Castle

Wawel Castle 2

Entrance to the castle

Wawel Castle 4

The windows of the rooms from the outside

Wawel Castle 5

Walking around the garden

Wawel Castle 7

Taking one photo with the castle

Wawel Castle 6

Behind the castle

Oscar Schindler Factory 1

A replica of the train during the Nazi time

Oscar Schindler Factory 2

Snippets during the Nazi Revolution

Oscar Schindler Factory 3

Another replica of an armor they used during the revolution

Oscar Schindler Factory 4

Flag of the Nazis


Austria was filled with contrasts that left us adapting to its changing landscapes and settings. Packed with historical stories and quiet corners, Vienna has offered a variety of sightseeing that was truly remarkable. Our day started at the imperial summer residence- Schonbrunn Palace and toured around to see the most important architecture and monuments in the country. Next was the Belvedere Gardens where we walked through the bed of grass in front of the historic building. To end the day, we fill our tummies with a rack and half of ribs from Ribs of Vienna. With such variety of flavors and choices, this restaurant was instantly filled with patrons. No wonder we were advised to reserve beforehand.


Schonbrunn Palace from afar


The entrance hall of the palace


Intricate details of the ceiling


Tunnel in the garden of the palace


Coffee break after touring around the palace


The greenery is such a feast in the eye


Found out there was a Hamlet show during our visit


Iron gate at the gardens


Dinner and photo with the chef at Ribs Vienna



For our last day in Austria, we did not miss Figlmuller Restaurant. This talk of the town was known for its menu of great tasting wines and schnitzels. When in Vienna, trying Viennese cuisine was a must. We had a last few glimpse at the Mozarthaus and The Opera House where we witnessed the installation of the red carpet for the world premiere of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Now off we go to Czech Republic for the last leg of our trip.


Finally found this famous restaurant in Vienna


Famous schnitzel is found here!


Red carpet night for Mission Impossible


Mozart House


Streets of Vienna

Being Europe’s most popular travel destination, Czech Republic has transported tourists like me back to 500 years ago. Our first stop was at Mala Strana and had a chance to set my eyes on a vast land of grass and trees. We traverse along the plateau of Cesky Krumlov and spotted the glory of the castles and old town square. I personally enjoyed strolling around this “Little Prague” because of each structure’s culturally enriched façade, classy boutique hotels, and dramatic setting. We were just in time for a stroll at Prague’s cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards. It was already nighttime when we arrived at the Old Town Square and people-watched.


Perfect color-blocking and cloud formation


Beverage while on board the train to Prague


Vast land of green


One more before we head on to Prague


Walking around Cesky Krumlov


In one of the bridges in Cesky Krumlov


When you see a door, take a group shot!


Wacky photo with friends


Street vendor


Going in the plateau of Cesky Krumlov


Main Tower Square


We were down to our last two days when we visited St. Vitus Cathedral. Found inside the Prague Castle, this house of God depicts every devotee’s passion for the religion- from how it was preserved to its structure maintenance.


Inside the halls of the cathedral


St. Vitus Cathedral


Stained glass of the Stations of the Cross


The altar at the cathedral



Chanced upon a fountain beside the cathedral


To close our trip, we started our day with a grand breakfast at Marina Grosseto Ristorante. For their food menu, Grigliata mista di pesce (grilled fish with veggies and gratin potatoes) was my recommendation.After that, off we went to one of the city’s beautiful sights- Charles Bridge. We took the boat and cruised down the river while we enjoyed the 14th century old bridge. We headed to Prague Park to be amazed by the scenic overlooking view of the city’s historic structures. Prague, I fell in love with you the moment I stepped foot in your beautiful city. I will definitely be back!


Our sumptuous breakfast before moving to another country


Heavy breakfast, indeed!


The view of Charles Bridge from the restaurant


Inside the restaurant


A must try!


Salad for a healthy option


A view of the bridge from the other side


The famous Charles Bridge

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