Eastern Europe

May 2004


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Itinerary

Stockholm, Sweden, May 4-5
  • 1 Kr = $7.5
  • Boat hostels are the only affordable accomodation near the old town
  • Sweden still uses strange old money, so you have to change when you arrive and when you leave (very annoying: try to change as little as possible)
  • Another reason not to buy things in Stockholm is that it is one of the most expensive cities in the world (a subway ride costs easily $4)
  • Buildings do not use keys/locks but codes (you enter the code, the door opens).
  • Bus airport to downtown: 88 Kr ($12)
  • Dormitory Roda Baten (boat): 230 Kr = $30
  • Boat Stockhpolm-Turku (Viking line): 235 Kr ($30), 8pm-7am
  • Stadshuset/ City Hall +
  • Malardrottiningen from the south (southern bank of Riddarholm)
  • House of Nobility (1641) +
  • Bus terminal
  • Opera ++ (1898)
  • Riddarholm from the north
  • German church
  • Gustav Aldofs Torg (Opera square)
  • House of Parliament
  • Royal Palace viewed from Skeppsholmen (1754)
  • Cathedral viewed from Skeppsholmen
  • Gamla Stan
  • Palace viewed from Skeppsholmen
  • Strandvagen from Skeppsholmen
  • Nobel square
  • Stockholm from Stadgard (STITCH)
  • Kornhamnstorg
Turku, Finland, May 6
  • Castle (1288)
  • Cathedral (1300-1900)
Helsinki, Finland, May 6
  • Train Turku-Helsinki 20 euro
  • Ferry Helsinki-Tallinn 26 euro (1h40') six/ten times a day
  • Train station (Saarinen, 1914)
  • Kiasma, museum of contemporary art (Steven Holl, 1998)
  • National Museum (Saarinen, 1910)
  • Opera House (1990s)
  • Finlandia Hall (1975)
  • Temppeliauko Church (Timo & Tuomo Suomalainen)
  • Parliament House (JS Siren, 1931)
  • Cathedral (CL Engel, 1802)
  • Houses of Estates (1890)
  • Senate Square
  • Uspenski Cathedral (Alexander Gornostajev, 1868) ++
  • Cathedral and House of Nobility from Uspenski
  • Market Sq
  • Old Market Hall
  • National Theater
  • Train station
Tallinn, Estonia, May 7
  • 1 euro = 13 EEK
  • Bus Tallinn-RIga 6h (13-19, 15-21, 18-23)
  • Bus Tallinn-Vilnius 10h
  • Viru gate (15th century)
  • Kiek in de Kok tower (15th)
  • Nevski cathedral (18th)
  • Dome church (14th)
  • Views
  • St Nicholas (13th)
  • Town Hall (15th)
  • Church of the Holy Ghost (13th)
  • St Olaf (1267-16th, one of Europe's tallest buildings in the 16th century)
  • Old town from the new town
Riga, Latvia, May 8
  • 1 latz = 0.6 euro
  • Hotel 40 euros (incl breakfast buffet)
  • Restaurant "Patio Pizza"
  • Hotels are expensive and frequently full in the old town
  • Ainascez (border with Estonia): church
  • Old houses near the catholic basilica
  • Catholic basilica Sveta Jekaba (1225)
  • Jekaba Kazermas
  • Pulvertornis tower
  • Dom square
  • Rigas Birza
  • Sapju Dievnmates basilica (white-blue church)
  • Pareitzticigo Katedrale (1884)
  • Opera
  • St Peter square
  • St Peter
  • Meingalvju Nams (1334)
  • Museum of Occupation
  • Museum of History of Riga
  • Lutheran Basilica (13th c)
  • Maza Gilde (1353-1863)
  • Liela Gilde (white palace)
  • Rigas Birza detail
Vilnius, Lithuania, May 8
  • 1 euro = 3.43 litai
  • Train Vilnius-Praha: 380 litai = 110 euros (incl two nights)
  • By far, the least developed of the three Baltic republics
  • St Anne (late gothic, 16th c)
  • Cathedral (Laurynas Stuoka, 18th c, neoclassical)
  • St Casimir (17th c)
  • Gates of Dawn (1514)
Warszaw, Poland, May 9
  • 1 euro = 4.5 zotl
  • Palace of Culture
  • LOT building
  • Monument by Kucina (1984)
  • National Library (baroque)
  • Palac Krasinskich (Gameren, 1683)
  • Market Square
  • Archicathedral Basilica St John Baptist (1139-15th)
  • Opera
  • Castle - Zamek Krolewski (1619)
  • Zamkowy square
  • Row of houses near Market Sq
  • Market Square
  • Palace Lazienkowski (Water Palace)
  • Intercontinentale building
Praha/Prague, Czech Republic, May 10
  • 1 euro = 30 KC (if you are lucky)
  • Hostel Viesta right at the train station (24 euros)
  • Train Praha-Munich: 62 euros (6:15-13:03, 7hours)
  • The National Gallery (in the Sternberg Palace just before the entrance to the castle) is closed on mondays
  • Train station
  • National museum (J Schulz, 19th)
  • Towards the Old Town
  • Ovocny square
  • Clock tower of Staromestska square
  • Staromestska Square
  • Our Lady Before Tyn (1365)
  • Views from the top of the clock tower
  • Rudolfinum (Zitka & Schulz, 1884)
  • Near Charles Bridge, eastern bank
  • The eastern from the bridge
  • The castle from the bridge
  • Charles Bridge/ Karluv Most (1357)
  • Schwarzenberg Palace
  • Castle
  • St George
  • St Vitus (14th - 1929)
  • Golden Lane
  • Views from the castle
  • St Nicholas (1704-1756)
  • Malostrans Square
  • Karluv Most
  • Eastern bank
  • Opera (Josefa Zitka, 1883)
  • Castle and bridge (STITCH!)
  • Our Lady Before Tyn and Gothic House
  • Granovsky Palace (1558)
  • Prasna Brana (gate)
  • Sacred Heart (1928)
Munich, Germany, May 11
  • Karl's Gate (14th c)
  • St Michael, first baroque church north of the Alps (1597)
  • Cathedral Frauenkirche/ Our Lady (1488)
  • View from tower: Marienplatz
  • View from tower: St Michael & Alte Akademie (1597)
  • View from tower: Theatine church (1675)
  • View from tower: National theater & Residenz
  • Neues Rathaus (1909)
  • Altes Rathaus (1474)
  • Alter Hof
  • Residenz - Preysing Palace
  • Post Office
  • Residenz
  • Feldherrnhalle (1844)
  • Residenz
  • St Michael (roof and altar)
  • St Anna (1737)
  • Residenz - Courtyard of Cuvillies Theater
Venezia, May 12
  • Upon arriving at the train station, buy a 24-hour ticket good for all boats (10.50 euros in 2004). Like train tickets, buying it is not enough: it is not good unless you stick it into a machine called "validatrice". Or just show it to the first boat you enter. It gets stamped with the hour you started using it, and it is good till the following day at the same time.
  • Next door is a company that finds lodging in the city. Expect to pay 40 euros for a single room with no bath (2004 prices).
  • Many churches are considered museums and thus require a ticket. If you add up all these church tickets, you may end up spending 10 times more what you would spend to see the entire Louvre while actually seeing only about 30 paitings (and most of them mediocre). Besides, almost all churches are closed when you want to visit them (hours vary). Also, photography is generally not allowed inside churches. Unless you are an art buff, you are wasting your money. You are better off buying a good book on the art of Venice, or just buy postcards of the interior of each church (20 cents).
  • Boat number one takes you along the Canal Grande all the way to Piazza San Marco. You see 80% of the architecture that matters along that canal.
  • In Piazza San Marco, the tower is expensive (7 euros) and the view is not really all that exciting. You are better off taking boat number 82 to San Giorgio (one stop): it offers breathtaking views of the Piazza and the Palace. For free.
  • The line to get into San Marco basilica is always long. Due to terrorism scares, they tend to enforce the rule that no handbags are allowed inside the church (camera bags are allowed and also small purses).
  • Canal Grande
  • Fondaco Turchi, one of the oldest buildings
  • Ca d'Oro (XVth, gothic)
  • Ponte di Rialto
  • Palazzo Dona'
  • End of the Canal Grande
  • S.Maria della Salute (baroque)
  • S. Giorgio Maggiore
  • Palazzo dei Dogi (1424, gothic)
  • Piazza San Marco
  • Procuratie
  • Torre
  • Basilica di San Marco
  • Ponte dei Sospiri
  • S. Marco da San Giorgio Maggiore
  • Palazzo del Doge
  • San Zaccaria (1543)
  • Strade
  • SS Giovanni e Paolo (XIVth)
  • Santa Maria Nova dei Miracoli (1489)
  • Campiello S.Maria Nova
  • Campiello SS Apostoli
  • View of the Fabbriche on the Canal Grande
  • Ca d'Oro
  • Campo SS Apostoli
  • Rialto
  • Fondaco dei Tedeschi
  • Palazzo Camerlenghi
  • Rialto
  • Frari
  • Scuola di S. Rocco
  • S. Maria della Salute
  • Palazzo Balbi
  • Palazzo Giustinian
  • Ca Foscari
  • Palazzo Grimani + Palazzo Corner-Contarini (1445)
  • Rialto + east bank
  • Palazzo Bembo
  • Ca Pesaro (Baldassarre Longhena)
  • Palazzo Tron (159x) + Palazzo Battagia-Belloni (1647)
  • Fondaco dei Turchi
  • Pala D'Oro (postcard)
Padova, May 13
  • It costs 11 euros to visit the Scrovegni Chapel (5 euros if you can afford to make an appointment).
  • Pasticceria Lilium (near the Basilica) highly recommended
  • Palazzo della Ragione
  • S.Antonio (tomb, relics chapel, postcard of interior) with Statue of Gattamelata by Donatello
  • Eremitani
  • Cappella degli Scrovegni
Vicenza, May 13
  • Basilica (Palladio)
  • Teatro Olimpico (Palladio)
  • Palazzo Chiericati
  • Palazzo Thiene
  • Palazzo Iseppo
Verona, May 13
  • Piazza Bra
  • Arena
  • Piazza delle Erbe
  • Torre dei Lamberti
  • Piazza dei Signori - Palazzi Scaligeri (Loggia del Consiglio, Old Town Hall)
  • Piazza dei Signori - Palazzo della Ragione (Scala)
  • Piazza dei Signori - Torre del Capitano
  • Arche Scaligere
  • S. Zeno (1123-1398)
  • Castelvecchio
Milano, May 13
  • Giuseppe Mengoni: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (1860)
  • Duomo (1385-1965)
  • S. Lorenzo (370, rebuilt after 1573)
  • S. Ambrogio (1080)
  • Pirelli Building (1956)
Torino, May 16
  • San Filippo Neri (1730)
  • Piazza San Carlo
  • Guarino Guarini (1624): Palazzo Carignano (1679)
  • Piazza Castello
  • Guarino Guarini (1624): S.Lorenzo (1668)
  • Filippo Juvarra (1678): Palazzo Madama (1718)
Ravenna, May 18
  • S.Apollinare in Classe (549)
  • S. Apollinare Nuovo (500)
  • Battistero Neoniano (5th c)
  • S. Vitale (547)
  • Galla Placida's Mausoleum (V)
  • Mausoleo di Teodorico
Roma, May 20
  • Osteria "Da Luciano" (v. Giovanni Amendola 73, near Termini)
  • S. Sabina's interior (425)
  • S. Sabina's door (oldest wooden door of Christianity)
  • Castel S. Angelo/ Mausoleum of Hadrian (193 AD)
  • Piazza del Popolo
  • S. Costanza, Roma (IV)
  • S. Agnese, Roma (638, destroyed)
  • Villa Farnesina (Baldassarre Peruzzi, 1522)
  • Tempietto S.Pietro in Montorio (Bramante, 1502)
  • Antonio Sangallo il Giovane et al: Palazzo Farnese (Roma, 1514-89)
  • S. Maria della Pace (Pietro da Cortona, 1656)
  • Pantheon
  • Marcus Aurelius' column (176)
  • Vittoriano (1911)
  • Palazzo Venezia (1491)
  • Campidoglio (Michelangelo, 1539)
  • Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in Campidoglio (180 AD)
  • View of the Foro
  • Foro Traiano
  • S. Maria Maggiore (4th c - 1743)

Notes

Trip difficulty: easy
Length: 24 days
Season: Year-round

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TM, ®, Copyright © 1999 Ulysses-Travel all rights reserved.