Europe, France, Travel, Western Europe

Strasbourg and Colmar

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to share my visit to Strasbourg, a city known for its Christmas market. Even though I visited here little bit before the Christmas season, the city seemed to be busy preparing Christmas, one of the biggest festivals in town of the year.

From Karlsruhe (German city) where I visited to meet my friend, it took me less than one hour to get to Strasbourg by train. I stayed in Strasbourg for one night since I also wanted to visit Colmar, which is a neighboring city of Strasbourg. Which means that I had one day in Strasbourg and one afternoon in Colmar. There are many things to see in the town, but only to see the highlights of the cities, two days seemed to be perfect. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t my side, it rained so it was colder than I thought and I couldn’t have enough time to stroll around the town. Still, the town was amazing and the scenery with rain was unforgettable.

Strasbourg

It was easy to find a big Christmas tree in the center of the town. During the christmas season, christmas market will be held here. I wish I could visit again in Christmas season to see the big tree.

Things to see

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg is a must see landmark in town. This gothic style architecture is outstanding. Today, this is the sixth-tallest church in the world It is said that it took more than 400 years to complete. It’s been 580 years since its construction (1439). The cathedral was incredible and inspiring even though I wasn’t a christian. Don’t miss out astronomical clock inside the church.

Place Kléber

This is the central square of the city. The square named after General Jean-Baptiste Kléber who was born in Strasbourg. As a center of the commercial area, this is where you should go to shop. This area is also classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Here you can also find the Christmas Tree.

Palais Rohan

Located next to the Cathedral, Palais Rohan welcomes its visitors with its Baroque style architecture. It was a former residence of French noble family. Inside the palace, there are three museums; musée des beaux-arts, musée des arts décoratifs and musée archéologique. Most museums cost € 6.5, so if you think you would visit more than two museums daily pass would be more economic. (1 day-pass : € 12, 3 days-pass : € 18).

Petite-France

This is one of the most beautiful areas in Strasbourg. Thanks to its amazing view, this area is beloved by locals and tourists. It looks like a town in a fairy tale. Series of half-timbered homes are placed alongside the canal, the cobblestone streets, fine dinings will complete your trip. Everywhere is picturesque in this area, and you wouldn’t stop taking pictures.

Transportation

Strasbourg is easy to look around with its various transportation. Run by CTS, ticket valids inside Strasbourg and Kehl (a German city). Different types of tickets are available depending on your need. I bought 24H-TRIO for €6.90 which offers unlimited rides upto three people in the metropolitan area. I rode tram many times because it was a good way to look around the town. For more information about the ticket price, click here.

In Strasbourg, I stayed in Hôtel ibis Styles Strasbourg Centre Petite-France. The accommodation was near from the train station ( about 10 mins by foot), so we dropped by there before looking around the town. As you probably seen my previous hotel review Ibis Paris CDG, the facilities and breakfast were similar.

Colmar

Similar to Strasbourg, Colmar is also a touristic city in northeastern France . This town is also known for Bartholdi, a sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. Unique and colorful houses in Colmar also inspired Miyazaki, a Japanese animation director, who studied architecture and surroundings here. In his animation called Howl’s Moving Castle, he showed Colmar. You could recognize it if you see that.

Since I had only one afternoon here, I took a mini train to look around the town. The price of the ticket is € 7 and it it departs every 30 mins. It’s a good way to see the highlights of the town. But since the town is quite small, it’s not that worth to ride it.

Things to see

La Petite Venise

La Petite Venise is similar to Petite France in Strasbourg. Streets full of cobblestones and houses were gorgeous. Even though I was looking at it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t take my eyes off from this fantastic view.

Musée Bartholdi

This museum is dedicated to the sculptor Bartholdi, who was born in Colmar. The museum was built in his birthplace, and present the artist’s works. It opens at 10:00 – 12:00 and 14:00-18:00 and it costs € 7. Since he’s one of the important person from the town, in the center of the town you may find his statue.

In Colmar, there are two churches with unique feature :Dominican Church and St.Martin Church. They are close to each other, so don’t miss out to see them.

Things to eat

The two Alsatian cities are in France but their food is a bit away from French cuisine. Most of them include potatoes and the portion of the food was huge. I got the impression they were rather German food. I had potato gratin with duck, Pork leg with potatoes with crémant. The food was a bit greasy for me so it went really well with sparkling crémant. I also tried other Alsatian cuisine like tarte flambee (bacon and onion tarte) or sausages, but most food were too heavy for me. Probably to deal with cold weather in Alsace, heavy food should be a must not an option.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Strasbourg

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg

Address : Place de la Cathédrale, 67000 Strasbourg, France

Place Kléber

Address : 67000 Strasbourg, France

Palais Rohan

Address : 2 Place du Château, 67000 Strasbourg, France

Colmar

Musée Bartholdi

Address : 30 Rue des Marchands, 68000 Colmar, France

St.Martin Church

Address : 18 Place de la Cathédrale, 68000 Colmar, France

Dominican Church

Address : Place des Dominicains, 68000 Colmar, France

Europe, Germany, Travel, Western Europe

The Black Forest and German Food

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to share my visit to The Black Forest (schwarzwälder), a forested mountain range in Germany. Also I’d like to introduce German food what I had. I only took a mini track nearby my friend’s house, still I was overwhelmed by the nature.

Walking up around 9 a.m. and we had German-style breakfast. We prepared the meal together based on what Rebecca normally has in the morning, from bread to tea, everything was perfect.

We originally planned to go to the Black Forest and take a day hike, but due to the weather circumstance we changed the plan. We decided to take a mini-track nearby her house.

When we left the house it started drizzling. It didn’t take that long the drizzle changed into snow. The weather in the forest is unexpectable and can change in a short moment, thus it would be better to be always prepared even if you’re going for a walk.

The snow turned into mild snow storm suddenly, so we had to come back after two hours. The visible distance wasn’t that long due to the weather, but the thick fog made the forest more mysterious and surreal. Even though it was a short walk, I could see many things that I haven’t seen before such as the giant ant house (left picture).

German Food

I didn’t worry what to eat in Germany because my friend knows well about the local food. All the restaurants I’ve tried, every dish had a big portion. I asked my german friend, and she told me it’s normal portion in Germany. Compared to French food, I would say it was almost double portion.

Käsespätzle

Based on German pasta (short and curly), stir fried with onions and cheese. The rich flavor of the cheese and onion was very impressive and hard to stop. The perfect mixture of each ingredient worked up my appetite and warmed me from the cold weather. I tried this again in another restaurant. At the second restaurant, the way they cook the same food was different. They cooked noodles and onions separately and put the caramelized onions on the top of the pasta. I preferred the first one since I liked the harmony of each ingredient.

Wiener Schnitzel

I love Vienna Schnitzel, and I visited Vienna again this year to visit figlmuller (To read my previous article on Figmuller, click here). When I saw this from the menu in a restaurant in Heidelberg, I couldn’t resist but order it. The meat was smaller than its original one in Vienna, but it accompanied with french fries which made the dish complete.

Schauerbraten mit Rotkraut und Knödel

This is a beef marinated in vinegar with red cabbage. I could taste very strong beef flavor. It seemed like well balanced dish with mashed potato, salad and meat. The portion was unbelievably big.

Schupfnudeln

This is one of the daily foods in Germany. You can buy this thick pasta at any supermarket in Germany. The preparation is very simple and easy. Just cook it in the pan using Olive Oil and put some apple purée or jam to give more flavor. We had this for dinner with a French wine we brought from Paris and all of us had an amazing catching up time together with good meal.

Overall, German food seems very filling and heavy. While having the dish, I wanted to grab a beer to refresh me up. The local food didn’t seem to be fancy nor luxury, but it was very yummy and filling.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Europe, Germany, Travel, Western Europe

Heidelberg

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to share my visit to Heidelberg, a city in southwestern Germany. Amazing view from the castle, Neckar River, philosophers’ way, street with full of energy, it’s definitely worth to visit especially in fall. You can enjoy autumn colors these days.

I took a train at Paris East Station to Karlsruhe (German city) where one of my friends lives. One of the reasons I decided to visit Heidelberg is to visit her. It took about two and half hour. You can book a ticket via SNCF (which is French national railway system) or DB (german railway system). I recommend you double check the sites before you purchase the ticket because when I bought the ticket for the same train, DB had cheaper tickets. I guess since the train leaves from Paris, more people buy the ticket in SNCF rather than DB. Thus, the cheapest tickets in SNCF were sold faster than DB site. For the same ticket, I could save 15 euros. When I arrived at the station, my friend came to the station to pick me up and we went to Heidelberg by car and it took about one hour.

Heidelberg is very small, so a day will be enough to look around. Most tourists visit here for morning or afternoon and then leave to a bigger city to stay, but it is one of the most beautiful and classic german cities I’ve ever visited.

Heidelberg is known for its university and the castle. Here, we can find the oldest German University <Heidelberg University> , which is one of the reputable unis in Europe. Many scholars studied and researched here such as Friedrich Hegel, Max Weber, and Erich Fromm. Still many researchers in the world come to this city to do their research.

Heidelberg Castle is located on the hill, so you can enjoy the view of the city. The hill is not stiff, but most roads are full of pebbles. Thus, it is recommendable to wear comfortable shoes to go to the castle. The castle is one of the grandest palaces of the Renaissance. I was overwhelmed to see this giant brown powerful masterpiece. It’s absolutely stunning and different from that of France or Italy. The façade is very unique even compared to other parts of the Germany and impressive. You can see the amazing view of the town from the courtyard (above), and philosophers’ way across the river. The ticket costs € 8, and € 4 for students.It’s a must-see place! The ticket also includes the entrance of the German Museum of Pharmacy inside the castle.

Coming down from the castle, I explored the city. Wandering around the downtown, I saw the Church of the Holy Spirit. It’s a massive church with unique architect style.

The city is vivid thanks to international tourists. But if you walk a bit away from the center, you can also enjoy a very quiet peaceful town.

I had a coffee break at Cafe Schafheutle. The black forest cake was really good and the atmosphere of the cafe is very cozy. Due to the many customers, the service was a bit slow though. The price was also reasonable a filter coffee cost less than € 3, and other coffees were usually less than € 5. The price of the cakes depends on the menu, but most of them were less than € 5. So, €7~10 would be enough budget for one person.

The pinky sky at the Sunset was unbelievable. The surreal sky and its reflection on the river made me feel if I were in heaven. It was very sweet like the black forest cake I had in the afternoon.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Heidelberg Castle

Address : Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

website

Cafe Schafheutle

Address : Hauptstraße 94, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

website

Paris, Places

Lido Show

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you Lido Show, a cabaret show of Paris. There are many things you can do in Paris, and enjoying the cabaret show with can-can dance is one of them. Located in Champs-Élysées, the show is on the stage every single day.

Brief History

The Lido show kicked off on June 20, 1946. The show has continued more than half century. The performance has developed and modified as time goes by. Since 2015, under the name of Paris Merveilles(Paris Wonders), the show gives us a mini tour of Paris. You can see all the landmarks of Paris during the show.

I reserved online in advance, one glass of Champagne + Show for €85 at 9 p.m. There are other options such as 1/2 bottle of champagne + show or dinner + show for more price. You can choose the option according to your schedule. Since most of its audiences are tourists, dress code is not strict (or no dress code). I saw some people wear nicely, but most audiences including me wearing casual clothes.

Walking the Champs-Élysées, you could easily find the entrance of the Lido show place. I arrived 10 mins before the show, but there was already a line to get in. I presented my reservation and then the staff took us to our seat. Then another staff comes and took the order. You can choose either alcohol or non-alcohol drink such as juice or soda.

You may think the lamps interfere your view. When the show begin, however, the lamps will be hidden (under the table or the roof), thus don’t worry.

People with meal were sitting front row of the hall. Thus, if you want closer seat from the stage, you may book ticket with dinner. Honestly, I don’t know how better the seat is, because I sat in the middle. But my seat was fair enough to see all the stage.

It was my first time to see the cabaret show, so the time flew. I really enjoyed the mise en scene. Between the dances, a singer sang chansons and it was very romantic.

Overall, it was an incredible experience. The show was full of amazing songs, dances, and costumes. The storyline was banal, but the actress made it very charming. Personally, I think it’s better to go to the show at the end of your visit to Paris. The show covers all the famous landmarks of Paris, so that you can remember better of the places where you visited. With dance and music Paris looks more fabulous and it will be remembered as a city of lights in your heart.

Happy travel with Marimonda. Please follow me and see you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 116 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France

website

Europe, France, Travel, Western Europe

Bordeaux

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to share my visit to Bordeaux, a capital of Wine in the world.

France is very well known for its gastronomy, especially its wine. Most of French wines are produced in Bordeaux (sure, there are other popular winery regions such as bourgogne or alsace. I am not a big fan of alcohol, but I wanted to try out some authentic wine while I’m here in France. So I took a ouigo (it’s superfast and very cheap!! There are so many things I complain of and I compliment on in France, but French railway system is one of the best things that I can experience here) and visited Bordeaux. Since it was a spontaneous decision, I didn’t have enough time to find a good deal for accomodation nor plan the trip, but luckily everything went very smoothly.

The First Impression

The first impression I got when I arrived in Bordeaux, it exactly matched to the image I had on France. The harmony of antique and modern architectures surrounded by nature, a bit slow-paced city (compared to Paris) amazed me and made me wow constantly. It seemed like Bordelais were still enjoying their vacation before the Rentrée, the city looked so empty with locals but full of tourists who are enjoying their last summer holidays including me.

Things to do

The first thing I did, after checking-in to hotel, was visiting the tourist center to book winery tours. It was my first time to Bordeaux and since I didn’t plan any, thus I needed information to choose the right trip. The tourist center is located in the center of the city, next to Opera House. There you can get a winery tour brochure which have you help to choose from half-day to full day winery tour in different areas according to your schedule. You can also find tours via online.

In Bordeaux, there are five well-known winery regions : Médoc, Blaye, St-émilion, Entre-deux-mers, and Graves. Pomerol and Pessac areas also produce high-quality wines. It seemed almost impossible to visit all of these areas at once.

I didn’t want to wake up early, thus I chose half-day tours for Medoc area and Saint-Émilion for two days. For Medoc, I reserved a big group tour ( about 28 people) for Medoc and small group tour( 6 people) for Saint-Émilion and the price was double. The tour cost about than €42 for the big group, and €88 for the small group. I went wineries in Margaux(Médoc region), Pessac, Pomerol, and St-émilion.

The meeting point is in front of the tourist center, 15 mins before the departure time. Usually afternoon tours depart at 1:30 p.m. and come back to the city around 6:30 p.m. I visited three different chateaux in each tour, thus six chateaux for two days in total. During the tour, I learned the procedure of bordeaux wine and could taste different wines.

To check the fertility of the land, traditionally, people planted flowers (rose). If the flower blossom beautifully with vivid colors, the land is full of energy and ready to produce yummy grapes. Thanks to the development of technology, these days they don’t rely on roses only, but still it’s a symbol of a winery. Each winery will let you know their specialty and how to produce their wine. It was also interesting to see and compare the traditional way and modern way to produce wine in different chateaux. At the end of the tour, wine tasting is ready to attract you and open to your wallet. Each chateaux offer two glasses of wine in general, if you’d like more you can ask more.

After experiencing the two different tours, if I go back to Bordeaux, I would take big group tour again since I don’t see the big difference between the big and the small group tour. I’d rather get a bottle of decent wine for the difference of the price. Though, it might worth to go with private tour (which was out of my budget so it wasn’t my option this time), because I can spend time with my friends or family privately. But among group tours, I will definitely choose the big group next time because I felt less pressure to purchase wine and the tour itself seemed quite similar. Plus, some exclusive wineries are usually not open to the public or group tour, thus you may contact them personally or look for a specialist who can book your spot.

Saint-Émilion is an Unesco World Heritage Site village. It’s a small but picturesque city. I loved the view from the top of the town and it was also full of tourists rather than locals.

I bought two bottles of wine(one from each region) to drink at the end of the year and to celebrate special occasions. So, it is recommendable to buy a bottle of wine you tasted if you liked, because you buy it directly from the producer and it’s cheaper than market price.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit Cité du Vin. There you can see the ehbitibions and book winery tours, all the activities you can do with wine. The entrance ticket costs from €20. It’s little bit far away from the center of the town.

I also took the mini-train to explore the city.The ticket costs €8 and the train departs near the tourist center. The route covers all the important areas of the town, thus it’s easy to look around the village.

Gastronomy

Due to its geographical characteristic, Bordeaux is known for seafood, too. You can find many delicious seafood places and I tried one of them, Le Petit Commerce. Most of all, the ingredients were super fresh and the servers were nice. It was a bit out of the peak time, thus I could enjoy my meal without any pressure to leave. Oysters seemed one of their signatures, but we ordered shrimps and fried fish. Even though unpeeling the shrimps was an hassle, but the food was delicious. I ordered two glasses of wine, two main dishes, and a rice pudding (see the picture below) for two people and it was about €70.

I also went to an Italian restaurant. I found this restaurant in a small alley by accident. And it was a great success. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the name, but it was a bit away from tourist destination. Next to the restaurant, there was a BIO store, and the alley was full of restaurants.

Bordeaux is also a home of Canelé. This one bite pleasure would make you happy with its unique texture – inside is very soft with custard, vanilla and rum flavor bread and the outside is caramelized crust. La Toque Cuivrée and Canelés Baillardran are famous for canelé.

Another dessert I tried in Bordeaux was Rice Pudding. It wasn’t that impressive to be honest.

Happy travel with Marimonda. Follow me and see you again 🙂

Practical Info.

Bordeaux Tourism

Address : 12 Cours du 30 Juillet, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Hours :

Website

Cité du Vin

Address : Esplanade de Pontac, 134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux, France

Hours : 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Mon. -Fri.) / 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Weekend)

Website

Paris, Places

Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG

Hi, it’s me Marimonda.

Today I’d like to share my experience at Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG (3-star).

Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG is located in front of the Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal I, Paris. Thanks to its amazing location, it’s a perfect place to stay before and after your trip with reasonable price. You can find hotels in Terminal 2 (which is a hub airport of Air France and other major airlines), but they’re usually more expensive and considering the fact that there are not many things to do at the airport (you need to come to the downtown anyway if you’d like to do something), it wasn’t a good option for me.

Since I live near the RER B line(airport line), I usually don’t get a room before or after my trip. This time, however, was an exception because I had luggages and my flight was early in the morning. Moreover, recently there were many changes in schedules in RER due to strikes and other reasons. I didn’t want to risk but neither spend a lot of money in an accomodation. Thus, I decided to stay at the hotel near airport so that I could relax before my trip.

Room

I booked the standard room (17). The concept of the hotel is a spaceship as far as I remember (or just space?). I had the moon inside the room as you can see in the picture above. Complimentary water and a mini snack are provided. It has a cheval mirror in front of the door and on the opposite there’s a bathroom. Next to the bathroom, there’s a hanger so you can put your clothes and store luggages. The facilities are very simple, and the room is spacious enough. The amenities are provided in a tube (multi-purpose ones).As you probably know, Hotel Ibis Styles has a distance from fancy, but very practical. If you’re looking for more privileged hotels(4-star) near airport, there are other options such as Pullman, Sheraton, or Marriott.

Breakfast

Breakfast is included in the room rate (€98) and the meal was okay. Personally, cold food (cheese & ham) seemed to have quite good options, bread and fresh fruits are offered. I found Ibis styles offers relatively good breakfast compared to other hotels for the similar price.

Hotel Ibis Styles is a member of Accor Hotels, thus if you reserve a room via its official website you can accumulate the points. Accor is a French multinational hospitality company and it offers wide options of accomodation in Europe. Now, their Accor Super Sale(30% off + free breakfast) is going on if you reserve by 18th Oct. 2019 and stay from 15th Dec.2019 to 1st Mar. 2020. Don’t miss out opportunity to enjoy your vacation with better deal.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda. See you soon!

Practical Info.

Address : 1 Rue de la Haye, 93290 Tremblay-en-France

website

Food, Paris

KL pâtisserie

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you KL pâtisserie, one of the best pastry stores in Paris. France is known for its dessert, so many people come to Paris to study pastry. One of my friends also studied pastry in Paris and worked here for about year. Before she go back to her homeland, she wanted to visit all famous pastry shops in Paris, and I was lucky to accompany with her.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the salon was quiet. Since I am used to a coffee shop like Starbucks where everyone chats and full of energy and noise, this place seemed quite calm and tranquil. I saw other people having a coffee break , and everything was so organized. It looks like a high-end patisserie, but also a very comfy place to chill out.

It’s grey-based store with golden color highlights. The store looks bigger than it is thanks to its open kitchen. You might able to see the chef and his team baking there. When you get into the store the server will come and introduce you a table. It was my first time (and the last time so far) to visit here, thus I didn’t know what was famous and which dessert I should try. So I went to the vitrine to look at some desserts and I decided what to order.

Menu and Service

The server was very kind. If you’re not sure what to have, s.he will suggest something based on your taste. This place is known for its fig tart(Fichi viola) , so we ordered one. We also ordered a mirabelle tart (tarte mirabelle) because it’s the seasonal fruit. For coffees, we ordered allongé, a french style americano with less water.

The coffee was nothing special. You could find the better one in other coffee shops, but this is not a place specialized in coffee. Thus, it was okay. The tower of sugar caught my eyes. It was fun and unique way to offer sugar for your coffee. It was fun but less practical because if you want bigger or smaller sugar (or even white or brown one) than the one on the top, it was hassle to get it.

The tarts were successful. You can feel the generosity of the chef by looking at the amount of the fruit. Thanks to the massive amount of the fruit, the tarts were not that sweet and I loved them. Personally, I preferred the mirabelle tart because it had a bit more crunchy texture than fig tart.

Both tarts were not super pricey ( € 6) considering the quality of the food. I think it’s because the pastry store is located in the 17th arrondissement, which is little bit away from the touristic area (about 20 mins by foot from the Arc de Triomphe). With one allongé, I paid less than €10 which is reasonable price in a decent cafe here.

Overall, it’s worth visiting here if you’d like to experience a great dessert. Especially, the chef Kevin Lacote seems like one of the best pastry chefs in Paris. After seeing his experiences, now I know why my friend wanted to come here. The chef has an impressive career that all patissier would dream of. My point is, if you’re studying or interested in pastry world, it’s a must-visit place in Paris.

Happy travel with Marimonda. Please follow me and see you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 78 avenue de Villiers 75017 Paris

Hours :  9 a.m. – 7 : 30 p.m. (Tue.-Fri.) / 9:30 a.m. – 7 : 30 p.m. (Sat.) / 9 : 30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (Sun.)

website

Czech Republic, Eastern Europe, Europe, Travel

Cesky Krumlov 2

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Continued to the previous post on Cesky Krumlov, today I’d like to introduce some places I dined out.

First meal I had in Cesky was at Papa’s Living Restaurant, which is specialized in Italian food. I chose this place just because I was hungry and it was just in front of my airbnb. The restaurant has a stunning view, and it was amazing seeing the sunset.

We ordered one tomato soup (59CZK),Shrimps (349CZK), Risotto (239CZK), Lasagna (249CZK), Tagliatelle with salmon (239CZK), and Tiramisu(109CZK). Including drinks it was about 60 USD. Considering the fact that it was a good meal and the restaurant was placed in the center of the town it wasn’t super expensive, and it seemed like it was one of the decent restaurants in town.

The service was fast and servers were nice. The servers were energetic and responded very fast and smiley. All the dishes we ordered were ok, but if you’re eating outside it gets colder than you think. However, it’s worth to eat on the terrace because the view from the restaurant is awesome.

On the following morning, I went to Zapa cafe. I also went there because it was just in front of my airbnb.

To be honest, I was surprised to see the price. I expected to be cheaper, but coffee shops in Cesky are not cheap at all. A cup of coffee in zapa cafe cost about $2~3. It’s not unbelievably expensive, but it’s absolutely a price for tourists. Most of the people coming into the store were tourists. I was hungry so I had it well, but I can tell it’s a bit overpriced place. Plus, the service was quite slow and the servers were not that friendly. I don’t recommend here, but sadly there’s not many alternatives in Cesky.

I also had a lunch at Svejk restaurant, a traditional czech style food restaurant.

As you can see in the picture, most dishes are accompanied with potatoes to fill you up. The portion is pretty big. Unfortunately, I don’t remember all the names of the food, and now I can’t recall them except the rib, which I ordered. hehe. The price on average was 280 CZK per dish. If you’re looking for a traditional czech food, you should visit here. They have various beef dishes you could imagine. All dishes were rich in flavor, if you like French boeuf bourguigon you would love their beef dishes.

Of course don’t forget to try some street snack. You can see the chimney roll very easily. Inside the roll, you can choose toppings to fill it up. I chose nutella, but you can add nuts, ice cream or whipped cream to make your own roll. The surface of the roll is covered with sugar, thus it’s a bit sweet but perfect to charge yourself in the afternoon. The price varies depending on your topping.

Last but not least, I DO recommend this barbecue restaurant! It was the best meal I’ve ever had in Cesky, and one of the best barbecues in my life. If you’ve read my previous articles, I am not picky with food but also a very hard person to be pleased with food. But it just WOWed me.

Bluegrass club seems like a local restaurant a bit away from the heart of the city. This family restaurant specialized in grill-cooked meat. We had burgers and ribs and both were successful. The restaurant is a bit far away from the center, it took about 15 mins by foot from the center. The price was also very cheaper compared to the previous two restaurant (as far as I remember it was about $10 per dish). The only thing that I didn’t like was only cash is accepted in this restaurant. Since it was the last meal I had in Cesky, I was in short of cash and thinking of paying it with card. We had to order only three dishes because we didn’t have enough cash. What a shame. Fries and bread were not that special, but I still miss the meat! The owner is very nice and friendly, but since he did everything from taking the order to paycheck, the service was a bit slow.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Papa’s Living Restaurant

Address : Latran 13, Cesky Krumlov 381 01, Czech Republic

Hours : 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Mon.-Sat.) Closed on Sunday

website

Cafe Zapa

Address : Latrán 16, Latrán, 381 01 Český Krumlov

Hours : 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Švejk Restaurant

Address : Latran 13, Cesky Krumlov

Hours : 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Sun.-Thu.) – 11p.m. (Fri.-Sat.)

website

Bluegrass Club

Address : Skalní 171, Cesky Krumlov

Hours : 3 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Czech Republic, Eastern Europe, Europe, Travel

Cesky Krumlov

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to share my visit to Cesky Krumlov. This southern town of the Czech Republic is becoming popular among travellers with its picturesque scenery. I’ve heard of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, which is a very pretty town but also really crowded due to the tourists from all around the world. I wish I could go there someday. This time I could only visit Cesky Krumlov since it’s relatively closer to Vienna. In a nutshell, I would have regretted, if I hadn’t visited this lovely village.

There are many organized trips or transportations from vienna to Cesky. I took a flixbus (go to flixbus website) from Erdberg station (Vienna). It cost about € 10 and it took me a bit less than four hours. If you’re planning to take a bus from flixbus, make sure to manage your time well because there is only one bus from Vienna to Cesky at 4:05 p.m. The bus stops one time in the middle, you can eat something at rest stop. One thing you should remember is that the restaurant at the rest stop only accept cash. You can pay with euro, but with very poor exchange rate.

The bus stop is about 5 mins away from the town. I booked an airbnb in the center of the town, and it was good and bad. It was good because I could access to anywhere in the town very easily except the bus stop. It took about 10-15 mins from bus stop to my accomodation. The pebbles on the street gave a color to this town, but with a carrier it was a hassle to get there.

When I got to the town, it was about 8 p.m. Though it was still bright but most of stores were closed. In case of riding the flixbus, I recommend you to bring some food if you’re not going to eat out dinner on your arrival day. The supermarket seemed to be closed quite early. I don’t remember exactly the opening hours, but by the time when I arrived at the town it was already closed.

I stayed in an airbnb, and I couldn’t even meet the owner because it was too late. Considering the fact that many people use the bus to get into the town, I think it’s very common there to get your key from nearby store. We got the key from a bar on the first floor of the building. The house was on the second floor of the bar and big enough for a big family. We were four adults and the room had three beds(including one double bed) and a big living room with kitchen. We didn’t use the kitchen, but it can be useful if you’re travelling with kids.

The town is like a hidden gem.It’s like a village that you can see in a fairly tale. Two-three floored houses covered with greenery hills and streets covered with pebbles. You can enjoy water activities at Vltava River such as rafting. From the viewpoint in the castle, you can enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the village.

Just keep in mind that the castle is only open to the public in the specific time of the year. It’s recommended to the check the schedule of the palace beforehand. Don’t forget to see the bears at the entrance of the castle. The entrance for the castle was 300 CZK for full admission with guided tour, which is about 13 USD. English tour is conducted only few times per day, thus please check in advance if you’d like to participate the guided tour.

Walking around the village, I felt in love with Cesky. It’s not super exciting place, but it’s perfect to spend your holidays or weekend to relax. Streets are full of small shops and colorful houses didn’t make mIf you’re looking for somewhere other than Prague in Czech Republic, I recommend you Cesky Krumlov to visit for your holidays.

The town is quite small, thus it will be enough for a day if you’re visiting to go to touristic spots. But if you’re using flixbus as I did, there’s only one direct bus from Cesky to Vienna per day in the morning (8:55 a.m.), thus you may need a place to stay for two nights.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Cesky Castle

Address : Zámek 59, 381 01 Český Krumlov, Czechia

Hours : 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.(Tue.-Sun.) Closed from 1st Nov.- 1st Apr.

website

Food, Paris

Casse Croûte Grec

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you a kebab resto. It is very common to see a kebab place in Paris. Almost every block has one kebab restaurant in downtown. If you see a red and yellow(sometimes white) sign at night, it’s probably a kebab restaurant. Kebab is originally from Middle East, however in Paris (or maybe in France) it’s very easy to find kebab place every corner due to many immigrants.

Thanks to its cheap price and big portion, Casse Croûte Grec is beloved food by students who can’t have proper meal during the day because of the class schedule or other reasons. It also serves crêpes, but their specialty is kebab. Plus, there’s famous crêpes resto in Rue Mouffetard (5th arrondissement), and I’d like to post of that place soon.

This dark green kebab house attracts the eyes from far distance. It’s located in 5th near Sorbonne university. During the semester usually it’s crowded with students. It seems like a mouth to ear restaurant among students, and that’s how I found this place, too. I always see many students having kebab on the picnic table next to Pantheon and finally I was one of them.

The restaurant chosen one of the best kebab places in Paris by kebab-frites.com (I think it’s a kebab community, haven’t heard of it before). The store is very small and the seats are not that comfortable, probably that’s why many people take out their lunch or snack here. I’ve been here couple of times and there’s always one cook who takes order and prepares the food. Thus, the service seems to be slower than other places, but since it’s a fast food your kebab will be ready within five minutes unless there’s a queue.

When you order a plate(assiette kebab), they serve the bread separately, thus you can wrap your meat and veggies if you’d like. That’s easier to eat in the restaurant but to take out obviously kebab is better since you wouldn’t need any utensil to eat it. I recommend algerian sauce (the orangish sauce on the plate) to add your kebab. It has little bit of spicy flavor thus the sauce goes really well with kebab, which can be a bit greasy as time goes by. Also it’s an amazing combination with french fries.

Maybe I am not that into kebab that much, so I didn’t find any specialty of this place to be honest. Or, I’ve tried only 3~4 kebab restaurants in Paris, thus it’s too small number of places to compare. What I liked the most here was french fries because they’re prepared right after the order. The price of the menu is less than 10 euros including a drink.

Happy Travel with Marimonda 🙂 See you soon!

Practical Info.

Address : 4 rue de l’Ecole Polytechnique  75005 Paris

Hours : 11 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. (Mon. – Sat.) Closed on Sunday