Krakow, Poland- November 2017

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I’ve been wanting to visit Poland for years. I had several co-workers that would from various parts and would always say how nice it is. I had tried to go a few years ago, but no surprise I had an accident and could not walk.  It also helped that there was a direct flight on Austrian from Vienna to Krakow, and I could use miles.

*Travel Tidbit*- I fell off the stairs of the airplane when we were deplaning. I luckily was wearing ugly sturdy shoes, so no damage was done.

First impression of Krakow. NOPE. I arrived at 2pm and it might as well as been 7pm. It was dark,dreary and cold. I was crabby because I took out too much cash from the ATM. And it was pouring rain. So I just took a time out. I stayed in the hotel and did some work. Horrible I know give how little time I had in Krakow to begin with.

I booked a tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was an interesting choice on my part. It was Thanksgiving Day in the US, a day that we give thanks. I opted to tour a memorial of where over a million people lost their lives.  I have no words to describe it. So I will not.  It should be noted that if you happen to visit, remember it’s a memorial. Where people died. It’s NOT a place to use your selfie stick and pose for photos.

After my tour I went to the Oskar Schindler factory. But it was just too much history for me take in for one day. I wish I had done the factory tour on a different day.  I headed back to my hotel and since the sun was out decided to check out the town. How AMAZING.  Oops.

A friend had given me some suggestions for dinner. I went to Szara, because hunger and laziness kicked in, and it was the easiest one to locate from his suggestions.  It was SO good! High recommend it, if you happen to be in the main square in Krakow.

I also checked out the Wieliczka Salt Mines.

I timed my visit in just in time for the opening of the Christmas Markets. I actually met a fellow solo American traveler, who I was able to tour around the market with.  It turns out we were on the same flight heading to Munich.  Such a crazy world.

In the end I did not spend nearly enough time in Krakow. I would like to go back but maybe not in the winter, I have to imagine its beautiful in Spring.

Too soon I was back in my happy place heading off to my next adventure.

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Until next time… safe travels.

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Vienna, Austria-November 2017

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It’s Christmas Market time! My favorite time of year! Before moving to Australia, I would  take advantage of the airline fare sales. I would choose my destination based on wherever it was cheapest to fly to.  Well the airlines adjusted their business model and realized it would be better decrease capacity then offer fare sales. So this year I actually had to think about where I would like to go. Which actually harder then I thought it would be. SO many markets to choose from. In the end, the decision was made for me.  I was able to use my miles to book a direct flight in Austrian Airlines to Vienna and from there to Kraow, Poland.

Fun Fact, Austrian Airlines has a chef in Business Class!IMG_2732

Another reason I chose Vienna, I was able to use my points to book in the Park Hyatt. It’s in an old bank building. In fact the pool is in the old vault. Funny enough I never did make it to the pool. Oh well next time!

I was settling into my room, when the phone rang. ” Good Morning, I just saw you check in and you looked so familiar, it’s me Kevin from the Grand Hyatt Berlin.” I met Kevin in lounge in November, 2014 and he actually checked me in during my birthday stay in July, 2016.  Got to love this “travel” world I live in.

I arrived early enough to catch breakfast in The Bank. It’s the old reception area for the bank. It worth checking out, even if you are not staying at the hotel. The coffee alone is worth the visit.

Then it was time to start exploring the town. Lucky for me it had stopped raining. A bit unlucky for me, the first thing I see when stepping out of the hotel?  A Christmas Market!
I went to check out St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Where musical great, Joseph Haydn once sang and Mozart was married.

It started to rain, so I headed over to the Jewish Museum. The history of the Jewish people in Vienna was quite fascinating.  I had not known what they had to go thru to be able to live openly in in their faith.

And then I did what anyone rational would have done on a cold rainy day in Vienna. I found a cafe for a Hot Toddy and some Strudel.

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And then I couldn’t put it off any longer, it was time to hit the markets. It seem like every time I turned a corner I found another one. Unfortunately, I was unable to partake in my normal gluhwein indulgence. I was worried about walking on the uneven surface.

I had grand plans of going to the Opera while I was in town, but in the end I did not get organized in time to secure tickets. So instead I opted for a tour of the Opera House. I also walked around quite a bit and took in the sights.

And of course I eat some really good food, and some bad… the Langos was bad. Like really bad.

As you can tell from the pure volume of photos, I really enjoyed my time in Vienna. Something that made my visit even more magical? The staff at the Park Hyatt. They were just so nice and engaging. Which is ideal for me being a solo traveler. On my last night I ordered room service. It was a rainy and I had a long day of walking around the city. I just could not be bothered to find food. When my food was delivered I said something about missing out on the Christmas market food due to the rain. The room service guy asked if I had any gluhwein and I explained how I had to limit myself because I was afraid of falling. (So sad).  Imagine my surprise about 15 minutes later, there was knock on my door. The room service delivery guy was back with glass of gluhwein from the market across the way.  UNBELIEVABLE.

I was sad to leave but it was time to head to Krakow. Until next time, Safe Travels!

Hong Kong, SAR- October 2017

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Hmmm I can’t remember why I booked Hong Kong for 7 nights. At this point, it does not matter. I booked a trip to Hong Kong for week. You could probably just stop reading at this point and just look at the photos. I was pretty boring on this trip.

Coming from Brisbane I was prepared for warmer weather. BUT I was not prepared for the humidity.  I did manage to walk over the Avenue of the Stars, part of it was under construction but it was still fun to see.

I also checked out the Hong Kong Museum of History.  Which was quite fascinating and in depth about the history of Hong Kong.

I also spent a lot of time staring out the window and watching people swim over at the Holiday Inn.  And the sunsets too!

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I probably would have enjoyed it more, if I had been with friends and healthier. My bones were not up for running around in humidity yet. I am happy to report, though, that the concept of slow travel has caught up with me. Gone are the days of trying to see the entire city in 2 days. I’ve learned to enjoy the moment. I’ll see what I see. I know I am missing stuff, but that is okay. I rather stop and have a coffee or meal, then feel like I need to rush off to the next sight.

Until next time, safe travels.