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Countries Visited:

Flag of Austria

Flag of Czech Republic

Flag of Poland

Flag of Ukraine


Dates of visit:
April 15, 2002 -
May 23, 2002

We rate this trip a:

Trip Highlights:
 Meet cousins
 Tour Vienna
 Tour Prague
 Tour Lviv
 Tour Krakow
 Auschwitz-Birkenau
 Wilekiczka Salt Mine
 See Tatra Mountains
 Ancestral villages
 Visit village of birth
 Walk Old Lviv
 

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Introduction
Our 2002 European Odyssey was so inspiring and emotionally successful that we decided to do it again ... this time as a family (Dolores and myself). Combining work and play we intended to re-visit our Romanian cousin Laurentiu in Vienna, meet our cousin Sonja in Prague, Dolores' cousin Maria in Krakow and set foot in our ancestral villages in Poland and Ukraine.

Four months in the planning, this 4 1/2 week travel was intended to be a cultural experience as neither of us has visited these East European countries before (except for my visit to Ukraine in 2001). Experiencing the various cultures of these countries would broaden our sense of who we are and where are our roots. We embarked with no preconceived ideas or expectations. We returned with many treasured memories.

If you enjoy experiencing Europe that few people visit join us as we relive our many adventures.

Newletter
Any visitor that desires to read the full 25-page summary of this trip may visit the "Newsletter" page. The 2002 trip notes are extensive and include numerous images to support the writeup.
Vienna - An Imperial City
The Gloriette at SchnonbrunnVienna is a compact city. It boars an astonishing array of monuments, palaces, parks and museums.

From Stephansdom Quarter with its winding streets and spacious squares to the Hofburg Quarter which began as a modest fortress and grew over the centuries to a vast palace, the Hofsburg, Vienna is not only a Medieval city but one that embraced a renaissance. From Schottenring and Alsengrund to the Townhall and Museum Quarter which contains the institutional buildings of the Hapsburg Empre we tour a magical city that at times seems untouched by the centuries.

From the stateliness of the Opera House and the opulence of the Opernring shops to the raucous modernity of Mariahilfer Strasse and the extravagant district of Belvedere, Vienna the city entices and embraces all outsiders.

The history of Vienna was tumultous. Controlled by the Hapsburgs in the 13th century and later by the Turks in the 16th century, Vienna experienced troubled times. Only in 1683, after the Turks were finally defeated, was Vienna allowed to flourish. Immense palaces were built around the court within the city and by the 18th century Vienna was a major imperial and cultural centre.

No finer example of the imperial splendor exists than Schonbrunn Palace. The former summer residence of the imperial family takes its name from a beautiful spring that was found on this site. An earlier hunting lodge was destroyed by the Turks, so Leopold I had a grand Baroque residence designed and built here in 1695.

However, it was not until Maria Theresa employed Nikolaus Pacassi that the project was completed in the mid-18th century. The strict symmetry of the architecture is complemented by the gardens with fountains and statues framed by trees and alleyways. The crowning glory of the hill behind the palace is the Glorriete, a neo-classical arcade built in 1775. The Neptune Fountain, an exuberant fountain and basin, at the foot of the hill, was sculpted in 1780. Adjacent to the Gardens is the oldest zoo in Europe, built in 1752 at the order of Franz Stephan.

Trip Gallery - Vienna
City Center
Stephansdom Square Hofsburg palace National Library
History Museum National Library at night State Opera
Karlsplatz Karlskirche Parliament
Dining out Votivkirche Parliament
Millenium City By the Danube canal Belvedere palace
Sphinx at Belvedere Palace Dining out Viennese dessert
Schnonbrunn Palace
Palace gardens Gloriette + Neptune Fountain Neptune Fountain
Gloriette + Neptune Fountain Schonbrunn Palace Schonbrunn Palace
At the Gloriette At the zoo Palm House at the zoo
Touring the Palace Touring the Palace Touring the Palace
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