My apologies for the very large gap between this and my last post as I’ve been on my travels. One of my companions was my cousin Androula…. yes one and the same as the title of my blog. We along with a few friends met up in Vienna where we wizzed around for three days and then caught a bus to take us on to Prague. A long drive I have to say even with an entertainment centre! I did manage to catch the film The Golden Compass which I had not seen before, ‘though.
The reason why Prague, was because Androula’s son and wife live there and of course for us to see the sights. It was a very multi-cultural experience and a bit too multi-cultural for my poor brain to manage at times. Androula and her friends were speaking Greek and English so that was okay. In Austria they speak German, I don’t speak German but know a few words and it sounds so familiar of course you feel you do know it. Just as I was getting the hang of please and thank you off we went to Prague. Now in Prague they understand German but speak Czech naturally, a language I know nothing about, when searching for a foreign word in another country I invariably end up with a Greek one and one day the waitress looked completely baffled when I turned round and ordered a coffee in Greek!
Luckily the word for beer is the same, as it seems to be in most countries, and very good it was too. If you are a follower of this blog you may have heard me wax lyrical about Keo beer, the Cypriot brew, a real favourite of mine but I have to say the Czech beer is very good and so cheap.
Vienna was incredibly clean and tidy wherever you went, especially the public toilets. No litter, no dirt and everything looked after and working properly. In Prague there was a similarity more to Cyprus than Vienna as there was a untidyness about it but again very clean. We had a heat wave at the beginning of our stay which gave it even more of a similarity to Cyprus but without the humidity. It was unusual for Prague for this time of year, as it was for the rest of Northern Europe which also enjoyed the same weather front apparently.
Europe is a marvel, as there is so much art culture packed into a relatively small area. One of my companions remarked on the fact that such a small city as Vienna is absolutely stuffed to the gunnels with the stuff. Every corner has something to look at, every street nearly has either a magnificent church, or gallery,or building with amazing architecture, some of the buildings are extremely imposing. We visited Prague at the end of a musical festival which lasts for the whole of May. Androula had booked us some seats for a Benjamin Britten opera called Gloriana which was showing at the National Theatre. Britten is not a favourite composer of mine but I wanted to experience the atmosphere and theatre, I knew I would enjoy the costumes, scenery and people watching if nothing else and I did. The theatre was splendid with the marble everywhere, gold decoration and painted ceilings telling mythical stories. I even enjoyed the visit to the ladies ( you can tell there is a theme here). The brass taps and sink alone were worth a visit.
Of course one of the main interests when on holiday is the food! We seemed to be forever stopping for coffee and lunch came around quickly it seemed. The food markets in both cities were bursting with the glorious bounties of nature both fruit and vegetables, which when eating out however, seemed sadly lacking. The food though was very tasty, well cooked and presented. Androula and I ate the most delicious mushroom risotto on our first evening in Prague and I will remember the taste for a long time to come.