Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, and Krakow

Here's your german meat and potatoes!
The first day of our second week of spring break was spent in Munich, Germany. Initially I didn't have high hopes for Germany, but it turned out being one of my favorite areas in Eastern Europe. We had dinner at a place called Augustiner Braustuben, which is an authentic beerhall where lots of the locals go to fill up on dumplings, pork, and beer. The main goal of our night: eating a pretzel and drinking beer in the place where it originated. Fact: Munich has the best beer in the world.

One of the church's we visited was Fraunkirche church. It was built in 1468, and originally the inside was decorated very ornately. However, after WWII the church was destroyed, and when Fraunkirche was reconstructed the interior was built in a much more simple manner.

Over the river in Salzburg, Austria
One of the many locks on the Austrian lock bridge.
 One of the first happy sights we saw in Salzburg was the Mirabell Gardens which were used in the filming of "The Sound of Music." We also visited Mozart's residence. Ending our night at St. Paul's Stub'n which is a traditional Austrian locals restaurant, near the bottom of Salzburg's fortress. I ordered Kasnock'n" which is an Austrian gnocchi. (Think chewy fried potatoes mixed with a generous helping of gooey cheese on top.)
This speaks for itself

Giant-sized floral clock in the beautiful park in Vienna :)

View of Vienna, Austria from the top of Stephansdom Wien (St. Stephen's Church)

Tis the top of St. Stephen's Church in Vienna.
Immaculate Heart of Mary by L. Kupelwieser. This painting is inside St. Peter's Church in Vienna. St. Peter's is a beautiful Baroque church which was built in 1733 and entrusted to the care of Opus Dei Priests in 1970.
Oh Vienna. At first, when I walked off the train and into the streets of Vienna, I was wondering why I was there. I wasn't planning on going to a classical symphony or visiting a historical museum or palace. Well.. this leaves you with a lot of time to wander the streets on a Rick Steve's guided tour, try new kinds of food, and.... that's about all we did during our day trip to Vienna.

Although the morning started off with a bit of confusion about why we had decided to go to Vienna; Rick Steve's got our day started off to a good start. (Post lunch and tree-climbing) I tried my first Mirabell Mozart chocolate, which were sold aaaaaall over Austria. It was good, but not exquisite.. which was what I was hoping for after seeing every other person in the streets of Vienna carrying a  Mirabell chocolate bag and seeing Mirabell chocolates on just about every street corner.

The Rick Steve's tour covered a lot of ground! We saw
  • An Opera house: Of which we did not go see an opera in.
  • Cafe Sacher: Home of the world's "classiest chocolate cake" the Sacher torte (but really it just tastes like dry chocolate cake.
  • Albertinaplatz which is where there is a monument against war and facism.
  • Kaisergruft church: This is where Habsburg royalty are buried.
  • Stephansplatz Cathedral
  • Graben "ditch": This was originally a moat for the Roman military camp
  • St. Peter's Church: Emperor Leopold ordered this church to be built as a thank you to God for surviving the 1679 plague.
  • Kohlmarkt: Vienna's most elegant and unaffordable shopping street.
  • Michaelerplatz: This is where you can see the facade of the Hofburg Palace.
  • Hofburg Palaces
KRAKOW, Poland!!!!!

Once again.. self-explanatory :). Inside this Polish bakery was one of the best chocolate cupcakes I've ever had the priviledge of eating.  

Giant head near the Town Hall Tower in Vienna
Our Lady of Czestochowa

This is the exact view that Blessed John Paul II would see when he prayed in his favorite church in Krakow. (He always sat in the second to last pew on the left hand side.)

This is the window outside of St. Faustina's cell, near the Divine Mercy Shrine.
In Krakow we did one of our favorite things to do while traveling in a new area... yet another Rick Steve's self-guided tour!!!! A few of the sights we saw in Krakow
  • St. Mary's Church: This holds a beautiful 3-part Gothic altarpiece, done by German, Veit Stoss. It was completed in 1489, and was the first altar stolen by the Nazis in WWII.
  • Main Market Square
  • Church of St. Adalbert: This is a tiny, copper-domed church which is the oldest church in Krakow. It was built back in the 10th century.
  • Cloth hall: One of the city's main markets wihch sells a lot of Polish souveneirs including amber, fur, and wooden boxes.
  • Town Hall Tower: At the base of the tower is a a giant sculpture of a head that is placed on it's side. You can crawl inside and stick your face out of the eyes.
  • Bazylika Sw. Franciszka (St. Francis' Basilica): Another beautiful gothic church, and Pope John Paul II's home church while he was Archbishop of Krakow.In the chapel on the side of the church there is a replica of the Shroud of Turin which was touched to the original shroud. It was absolutely amazing to see. It was almost unbelievable to see such a real image of Jesus' body impressed upon the Shroud.
  • Plac Sw. Marii Magdaleny (Mary Magdalene Square): This was Krakow's main square back when Krakow was just a village.
  • Hotel Copernicus: Which hosted both Copernicus and George W. Bush
  • Yellow house where Karol Wojtyla lived for 10 years after WWII, and long before he became Pope.
  • Wawel Cathedral: Poland's national church. It holds the tombs of nearly all of Poland's most important rulers and greatest historial figures.
Traveling to five different countries during the course of spring break was an incredible blessing and an amazing time. However, arriving back in Rome is a beautiful thing. We were finally home!


  1. Really nice pics, specially from Krakow and Vienna. I'm reading up on Munich city breaks and looking to travel other relatively nearby cities. Seems like you guys had a real multi city travel experience. Thought I'd comment.

  2. My dear, I think you are fabulous, but Germany is NOT in Eastern Europe. :) I hope you didn't tell any local Germans that :)
    Jen Archibald


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