Posted on 02 July 2012 by brett
St. Vitus Cathedral – Gothic Gargoyles & Musicians
During our time in the Middle East, we agreed to venture northwest to Prague and catch part of Pearl Jam’s Europe 2012 Tour. We hadn’t seen the band since Portland 2010! We are Ten Club (10c) members, but missed the initial on-sale. A nice PJ fanatic named Matt from Poznan, Poland offered us one ticket. We waited several weeks more for our other ticket to appear via Peleg from Tel Aviv, Israel. Now, we just had to plan our travels across Eastern Czech Republic through Mikulov and Olomouc into Prague.
A nice expat (living in CZ) named Jeremy organized a PJ group beer walking tour of Prague Old City. The gathering took place a few days prior to the show at Kotleta Bar & Restaurant. Many fans were just arriving from two shows in Amsterdam. The excitement was building as tour stories surrounded us. We learned that they played an old Temple of the Dog favorite called “Crown of Thorns”. Eddie was still drinking his bottles of red on stage and spraying the audience. A longtime Pearl Jam fan was allowed to create an entire Amsterdam show setlist. The bands’ families were on tour and the children very close by the stage. Matt Cameron’s son (12 years old) had recently played drums during “The Fixer”. Continue Reading
Posted on 28 June 2012 by brett
Sweeping Views of Olomouc from atop St. Moritz Church Tower
Olomouc (Olomouts) is quite a lovely small college town (100,000 people) in Northern Moravia, Eastern Czech Republic. We visited from Mikulov Wine Country on our way to see Pearl Jam in Prague Continue Reading
Posted on 17 June 2012 by brett
Storybook land of Riga, Latvia
Latvia, so close to Lithuania, yet so different. We spent our five days in Latvia between the capital city of Riga and the quiet countryside around Sigulda. Once our bus from the Curonian Spit crossed the border into Latvia, the Soviet influence prevailed, as we drove through several small Latvian towns. Riga felt like a world away from the atmosphere of Vilnius. While the capital’s old city streets were charming, their attempt to highlight the stunning Baroque architecture felt forced to please tourists. International chains such as TGI Fridays, hamburger and rib joints were prevalent…… replacing the precious local family run restaurants, cafes and beer joints we all love. To summarize, the old city felt very compact and lacked the culture and local life that we found in Vilnius. However, walking the streets did make you feel like you were in a storybook land. Continue Reading
Posted on 12 June 2012 by christie
Vilnius, Colorful city of Baroque Architecture
The past month in Jordan and Israel was amazing, however we were delighted to be on our way to the Baltic Region. As we lifted off from Tel Aviv airport, our excitement for exploring a completely different culture of the world quickly set in. Moreover, we both have family heritage from Lithuania dating back to the 1800′s, before both our ancestors migrated to the United States. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was our first stop in the Baltic Region. Vilnius’ Old City still dominates daily life with locals out enjoying the warm weather among the beautiful Baroque style architecture and old churches. The town is quiet, peaceful and full of parks, cobblestone alleys and “Kavines”. We walked for hours with few cars or tourists around. It was like the city was our own.
Sigita & Vidas, our kind Lithuanian hosts
Amazing Lithuanian hosts
After a good experience in Singapore, we decided to use AirBNB.com for our stay. We found a three-story apartment very close to the Neris River and city centre. AirBNB is great because you get the benefit of a more intimate experience living with locals. Our hosts, “Sigita & Vidas” both work in the Arts and their home is beautifully decorated with interesting art pieces and cozy furniture. Their kindness began with their offer to pick us up from the airport at midnight on a Saturday night. Upon entering their flat, we were greeted by their adorable and friendly dog “Snoopy”. Sigita and Vidas made us feel like family. We shared stories about researching our ancestry and learned about Lithuanian culture. Sigita shared her authentic borst soup, cheeses, honey and strawberries. Our experience with our hosts was incredible and made our trip to Lithuania, searching for our ancestry, even more special. Continue Reading