Scott MacNeill

Back in US

We arrived back in the U.S. on Saturday night and stayed over night in NJ. Sunday morning we left NJ for RI.

We had an amazing time on this trip! Czech Republic is a beautiful country full of culture and history. Sadly, two weeks was not nearly enough time to dive into all that Czech Republic has to offer. When we left Czech Republic on New Years day and traveled into Germany we were sad to be leaving Czech. It will be a time to remember for both Jess and I.

Our favorite city in Czech Republic was Olomouc. Olomouc has so much style with its old buildings and more than enough Gothic churches. The people were unique and friendly and the city just felt cozy, considering it was only 19 degrees Fahrenheit there.

Our favorite place in Czech Republic overall was Loket. Loket was this cute village with a castle situated in the forest and mountains. Total Zelda experience! I was compelled to find the Master Sword.

Our least favorite place in Czech Republic was Brno. Brno is a great place if you are into shopping. Its downtown area was a bit to posh for Jess and I and they had an over abundance of H&M.

Some of the highlights of our trip included:

A traditional Christmas in Munich. We had so much fun and felt very welcome with our friends.

Snow on Christmas day.

Ridiculously cheap beer in Czech Republic!

Amazing pizza from a country that we did not know even ate pizza.

So much cobblestone. It was a love / hate relationship. It hurt so good!

New Years celebration in Prague.. nuff said!

Snow on New Years Day.

Traveling while pregnant. Redefining bathroom breaks!

The amount of ridiculously drunk people falling down escalators, stairs, out of doors, into streets and the occasional pub patron who just couldn't find the exit to go home.

I have included some pics that highlight our trip below. Enjoy!


Munich Rathaus (city hall)
Angel of Peace Statue in Munich, Germany
Munich Christmas Markets at Marienplatz
BMW Headquarters in Munich
Deggendorf, Germany
German Countryside
German Village in Mountains
German Forest in Mountains
Zwiesel, Germany
Bayerisch Eisenstein, Germany
Železná Ruda
Bohemian Forest
Bohemian Forest
Southern Bohemian Village
South Bohemia
Plzeň Town Square
Wierd shop names in Czech
A Cafe in Plzeň
Harry Potter in Czech
Gardens around Plzeň
Village of Loket
Village of Loket
Village of Loket
Village of Loket
Village of Loket
Village of Loket
Chimney's in Loket
Litoměřice Town Square
Big Tree in Litoměřice. Wierd..
Town of Litoměřice, Czech Republic
Litoměřice Town Square
Terezín Crematorium used during WWII.
Terezín Jewish Cemetery behind Crematorium
Terezin Concentration Camp
Villages in Western Bohemia
Krásenský hill Lookout Tower
Village of Horní Slavkov, Czech Republic
Hrad Trosky
Northern Bohemia
Sound Barriers in Hradec Králové
Moravian Sunset
Moravian Sunset
Olomouc Town Square
Streets of Olomouc
The Pizza Bat in Olomouc. Best Pizza!
More Interesting Shop names
Downtown Brno
Clothes are Cheap in Czech. This outfit is $50 bucks!
Statue in one of Brno's many Town Squares
Spilberk Castle Gardens
Roads to many Great Destinations
Brno is under madd constructions. So annoying!
Back in Bohemia
Central Bohemia
All Roads Lead To Prague
Staré Město (Old Town)
Prague State Opera
Prague Castle
Church of St Salvátor
Saint Wenceslas Square
Prague TV Tower lit up at night
Malá Strana
St. Nicolas Church in Malá Strana
Arbesovo náměstí in Malá Strana
City of Prague from Castle
Inside Prague Castle
Architecture Inside Prague Castle was very detailed
Vltava River, Prague
River ways in Malá Strana
Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge over Vltava River
Charles Bridge over Vltava River
Villages along Labe River
Downtown Děčín
Czech Republic, Germany border station
Town of Postelwitz, Germany
One of many wind fields in Germany
Jessica and Unity at Potsdamer Platz
Holocaust Memorial
BebelPlatz, Nazi book burning memorial
Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in Altes Museum
Church in Amsterdam Red Light District
Dutch Architecture in Amsterdam



Scott MacNeill

Amsterdam, Holland

This morning we left Berlin, Germany and landed in Amsterdam, Holland. We are heading home this afternoon and will be back in U.S. tonight.

Czech Republic was a blast! We celebrated new years in Prague then left early on New Years day. We traveled north and crossed over the northern track we were following earlier in the week. We dropped off the main roads and followed the Labe river into Děčín and then into Germany. The Labe river channels through a beautiful region in Czech Republic known as Labské pískovce. This region is made up of mountains and huge sandstone rocks / cliffs. The last time I was in Czech Republic I was on a train and the tracks followed the Labe out of Germany and into Czech Republic. There was a town that I was able to see across the river that was stunning and I wanted to find it so we could explore. Well we found it right on the border. The town is called Hřensko. Hřensko is located between to huge cliffs that form a ravine in the mountain. We hiked through Hřensko and into the national park beyond. I was very excited to find this small town.

We crossed into Germany and followed back roads up to Dresden where we got back on the Autobahn and drove to Berlin. New Years day brought snow to the region we were in and it made for a beautiful New Years drive through eastern Germany. We arrived in Berlin late in the afternoon. We dropped off the car, purchased metro cards and took the train to the place we were staying. We stayed in a new Hotel / Hostel that is across the street from the remaining section of the Berlin Wall called The East Side Gallery. Friday Jess and I strolled around Berlin. It was still snowing in the morning and the city was covered in a nice blanket of snow. Late in the morning the clouds cleared and the sun came out. We visited the Altes Museum and saw the Egyptian exhibit. We walked around the Holocaust Monument, Potsdammer Platz and the Reichstag. Later we found and Indian place for dinner on the east side of Berlin and drank *not-so-cheap beer.

This morning we left Berlin at 6:00am and landed in Amsterdam at 7:00am. We took the train into the downtown district and had Belgium waffles for breakfast. These were the best damn Belgium waffles Jess and I have ever had! After we ate breakfast we strolled around the Red Light district and were still surprised considering we were expecting the crazy. We remained in Amsterdam till 11:00am and left for the airport and our trip home.

We will arrive back in the U.S. tonight and back in R.I. tomorrow. When we get home I will go through my pics and videos and put together some highlights of our trip with a final blog entry.


Prague TV Tower.
Downtown Děčín
Czech Village on Banks of the Labe River
Snowy Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin
Snowy Brandenburg Gate
Jess at Berlin Wall
Amsterdam, Holland
Amsterdam Red Light District
Amsterdam, Holland



Scott MacNeill

Happy New Year from Prague, Czech Republic

Happy New Year 2009!!

It is 1:20am in Prague and we just finished celebrating the start of the new year. We started in the Old Town Square and then to Malá Strana. We welcomed the new year from Mánesův most which is the bridge directly north of Charles Bridge.

Prague celebrates the start of the new year with fireworks. The city puts on a fireworks display but they only add to the demonstration put on by the locals. Fireworks are legal in Czech Republic and are available in every corner thrifty mart. At midnight everybody in town and outside town starts to set off their fireworks. It was very fun to witness this from the center of river. After the new years celebration is over (roughly 20-30 minutes) everybody starts rushing for the metro which remains open till 1:30am on New Years day. At one point the train we were on was so crowded I though we would never find the door.

Tomorrow morning we are leaving Prague and traveling north through Děčín then back to Germany where we will visit Dresden and then arrive tomorrow evening in Berlin. I will post more pics and info about our time in Prague then.


Charles Bridge at 15 minutes till midnight
New Years in Prague
New Years in Prague 2


New Years celebration in Prague



Scott MacNeill

Prague, Czech Republic

Yesterday we left Olomouc after watching the astronomical clock chime in 11:00. We traveled to the city of Brno. Brno is the second largest city in Czech Republic. One of the many interesting things to see in Brno is catacombs beneath the Capuchin Monastery. These catacombs contain the mummified corpses of monks, abbots, and other notable locals from the late 1700's. A natural ventilation system has preserved the bodies in mummified form. Unfortunately these catacombs are closed the 2 weeks we are here. Sure enough to open in late January. Brno is a relatively easy city to navigate with a car except if a main road closes for construction. This was the case during our visit. The closing of said road was synonymous with closing every avenue in New York City. Regardless we eventually found our destination and were able to enjoy the city and culture. We found our first vegetarian restaurant in Brno which helped us to temporarily step our of our quest for the best Czech vegetarian pizza. This morning we visited Spilberk Castle for an early morning stroll. Spilberk Castle was built in the early 1200's and was occupied by the Nazis during the reign of the Third Reich. We had a great time in Brno and left late this morning for Prague.

A side note about our time in Brno. We generally find a nice cafe or pub late in the night to get some coffee and of course cheap beer. Well we found a quaint bar in downtown Brno and as we were stepping in the door an older French man was leaving and he was totally loaded. He stops, speaks a little french / gibberish to Jess and I then proceeds to fall out the door, down the steps, into the street, and hits his head on the side of the cab that is there to drive his drunk-ass home. Never a dull moment..

We arrived in Prague this afternoon, checked in to our Hostel and set out on the town. Prague is by far the largest city in Czech Republic and is VERY different then the rest of the country! I ask questions is Czech and people look at me the way they would if I said the same thing in the US. We actually receive a bill here in a folder instead of pay-on-the-spot checks when going out. Prague is also FULL of travelers for the New Years celebration. I would argue we have not seen a Czech citizen outside of uniform since arriving in Prague and the visitors are ready for a party! Jess and I are enjoying Prague but have grown accustomed to the smaller towns and Czech country atmosphere over the past week and Prague is a little bit to posh for us at the moment. Tomorrow we have an early morning agenda then we will figure out where is best to spend the New Years celebration. So far today we have visited Charles Bridge, The Old Town Square, astronomical clock (not as good as Olomouc), and St Wenceslas Square. As we walked around St Wenceslas Square we noticed that a few Christmas markets were still set up and one of the was selling Tej. Tej is a spiced mead. I picked up a glass for $3 (expensive in Prague!) and enjoyed a nice Tej at a Christmas market. St Wenceslas Square appears to be where the big New Years celebration will occur. Though the whole city is alive! Tomorrow night I will try to update the blog with pictures of our New Years celebration before the New Year hour arrives for the east coast US.

Some more side notes regarding Czech. When Jess and I are out at a bar or cafe at night a man carrying flowers will come to our table (and other tables) and try to convince me to buy flowers for Jess. The flower guy will go from cafe to cafe trying to pawn off all the flowers he did not sell that day in his shop.

Happy New Year!!


St. Wenceslas Cathedral in Olomouc
Astronomical Clock at Horní náměstí in Olomouc
Steets and Cathedrals of Olomouc
Moravia is Very Foggy
Brno Freedom Square
Petrov Cathedral (St Peter and Paul) in Brno
Špilberk Castle, Brno
Charles Bridge, Vltava River, and Prague Castle
Astronomical Clock in Stare Mesto Prague
Prague Old Town Square
We Found a Spiced Mead, tasty!
Henry's Bell Tower in Prague



Scott MacNeill

Olomouc, Czech Republic

Today we left Litoměřice and stopped in at Terezín to view the old Nazi camp. After leaving Terezín we set out for Moravia. On the way we stopped in at Hrad Trosky (Trosky castle). Hrad Troksy is the setting for many medieval horror movies and art. I have included pictures but they do not show how tall the towers actually are. As we entered Moravia we noticed a thick haze that settles in the valleys, we think it may be from all the wood that people burn for heat. It gives you the feel of an old medieval time period.

We finally reached our destination tonight, the city of Olomouc. Olomouc is situated nicely in the heart of Moravia. It is the third largest city in Czech and has a very eastern feel. The people here stare a little longer and seem even more to themselves then in Bohemia which says a lot! The town square in Olomouc has an Astronomical clock and as usual a huge renaissance church. It was very cold and damp in Moravia tonight so we had some dinner (pizza and cheap beer), walked around for about 30 minutes and went back to our place. The place we found in Olomouc was a find! It is a penzion (bed and breakfast) and its like a one bedroom apartment with a spa for a bathroom. Everything in the apartment is antiques.

Some simple notes regarding Czech Republic. Everybody here smokes and smoking is allowed almost everywhere. That is crap, but I guess freedom isn't free now is it. On a positive note; I was expecting to have much difficulty communicating with the locals outside of Prague but to my surprise (*and embarrassment) most of the locals speak very good English. This makes is much easier for Jess and I. We have learned a few key Czech phrases and this is usually sufficient to change the method of our discussion over to English. I have also been doing some math cost wise while enjoying the cheap beer in Czech: 1 sprite / 7-up = 2 beers, 1 small cup of coffee = 1.5 beer (almost 1 liter), 1 pizza for 1 person = 3.5 beers.

Tomorrow we will explore Olomouc and try to get a video of the clock. Then we are heading out to Brno which is the second largest city in Czech. We will probably crash in Brno tomorrow night and then we are heading out to Prague for New Years celebration.


Updating the Blog at the Salva Guarda Cafe in Litoměřice
No Bonfires or Campfires in Salva Guarda Rooms?
Town of Litoměřice on the Labe River
Terezín Nazi Concentration Camp
Terezín Nazi Concentration Camp
Northern Bohemia
Castle Remains on Hilltop
Another Castle on Hilltop
Mountains in North Eastern Bohemia
Hrad Trosky
On Hrad Trosky
Streets of Olomouc
The Holy Trinity Column at Horní Náměstí in Olomouc
Astronomical Clock at Horní Náměstí in Olomouc



A map of our traveled path.