Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Breakfast in Bosnia, Lunch in Austria and Dinner in the Czech Republic
My trip to Prague began with one of those days that has turned me into a travel addict.
To get to Prague I had to fly through Vienna and to get a cheap flight on Austrian Airlines I had to accept a nine-hour layover there. What might have been unbearable turned into a great day thanks to my friend Patti, a freelance writer, artist and journalism trainer, who lives 25 miles away from Vienna in Hainburg. She met me at the airport and we drove to her beautiful adopted home.
It sits on the Danube between Austria and Bratislava, and Patti lives in a little house at the base of a hill capped with the 13th Century castle of Bohemian King Ottokar. The town was at that time surrounded by a thick wall with gates and towers -- still there -- designed to dissuade the Turks from attacking again. The wall did little against another foe -- the plague.
Patti drove us upward from the town center to Braunsberg which offered these sweeping panoramics of the Danube and the flowery countrysides of two nations. We went to the Cafe Eckerl -- Corner Cafe -- where Gertrude the owner whipped us up an asparagus and ham quiche and then had beer at a cafe on the river before she had to drive me back to the airport and the hour-long flight to Prague.