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

Austria, Eastern Europe, Europe, Travel

Café Central

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you café central, another famous coffeehouse in Vienna. There are three well-known coffeehouses in Vienna, the first one is café sachet (to see my previous post, click here), Demel, and Café central. While the previous two are recognized its chocolate cake, the last one is more known for its history. Imagine that the coffee you’re having now and the table you’re sitting were the exactly the same as if it were 100 years ago. As a center of influential people, café central was a meeting place for philosophers, writers, and intellectuals at that time. It’s been almost 150 years since it’s opened its door for the first time, this place is still loved by people from all around the world.

The building looks a bit different from its neighboring ones because this one was built followed Italian architect style.

Atmosphere

The inside of the cafe is very bright and you can feel the history from its interior design. On the wall, there are portraits of Emperor and Empress of Austria. High ceiling and big windows makes the coffeehouse more warm and cozy. Thanks to the long windows, you could enjoy the natural light at any table inside the coffee house. I loved it.

Menu and Service

Here, you can find from vienna schnitzel to dessert like other coffeehouses in Vienna(to see the post on figlmuller-one of the best schnitzel places in Vienna- click here). We ordered one einspänner, one espresso one apple crumble, and one pancake with stewed plum.

On the menu, it is said that the pancake with stewed plum can take about 20 mins but it served less than 10 mins to my table (I’ve been to two times, and both of them I got it relatively quickly). I think they put the maximum time to wait, since it’s served later than the others. You can tell it was freshly cooked because it was warm. And it goes really well with the plum sauce.

As you can see in the picture, the apple crumble is full of apple. Just one bite, you would feel its rich flavor and different textures of ingredients which make the pie more delicious. The whipping cream on the top of the coffee was very soft and it just melted away in the mouth. Though, Italian espresso is number one in my heart.

Also pieces of cakes are available, you just tell the server the number of the cake, and he will bring it to you. The showcase is located just right next to the entrance, so after assigned a seat you can go can pick the cake you’d like. Other menus like apple crumble or pancakes are on the menu. A cup of coffee costs €5~10, and the desserts also cost €5~10. The portion of the dessert is pretty big, two people can share one dessert if you ate something before or are going to eat something after. All desserts are so yummy, but a bit pricey.

Happy travel with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂 

Practical Info.

Address : Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien, Austria

Hours : 7 : 30a.m. – 10 p.m. (Mon.-Sat.) 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Sun.)

website

Austria, Eastern Europe, Europe, Travel

Café Sacher

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you café sacher, probably the most famous coffee shop in Vienna, Austria. Yesterday I posted a review of Figlmuller, a schnitzel place in Vienna (to see my previous post, click here). In this post, I continue reviews of restaurants in Vienna. Located in the center of the city, this place would be a paradise for dessert lovers. Once you step in, you would smell sweet, which will make you happy right away.

Atmosphere

Café sacher is a very classical place. Red velvet sofas make here like a upscale salon. The cafe is full of people, but it’s not noisy, so I could relaxed and chilled out.

Menu and Service

You can find all types of coffees here (except iced coffee, overall it’s hard to find an iced coffee in European countries). Their signature sacher torta is a must item. When I saw the cake, I thought it was very small. However, after tasting it, I changed my mind. Since it’s very sweet (personally, too sweet), it may difficult to have one whole piece by oneself. We were a group of four people and we ordered two sacher tortas, one tea, two coffees, and one aperol.

The cake was served with whipping cream on its side and the cream went really well with the torta. As I mentioned above, the cake was really sweet with rich chocolate flavor. If you are tired and have a long day, a bite of this cake will wake you up and give you energy right away!

You can find the original sacher in different cities such as salzburg, graz, and innsbruck. I haven’t been to other places, but I am pretty sure the quality of the cake will be the same. For drinks it costs about € 5~9 and the original sacher torta is €7.5. Alcoholic beverages are a bit more expensive, thus you can set up your budget about €13~20 per person. It’s expensive, but you shouldn’t miss it when you visit Vienna.

Happy travel with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂 

Practical Info.

Address : Philharmoniker Str. 4, 1010 Wien, Austria

Hours :  8 a.m. – 12 a.m.

website

Austria, Eastern Europe, Europe, Travel

Figlmüller

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you Figlmüller, a restaurant well-known for its schnitzel. Schnitzel is a must eat dish when you visit Vienna, Austria. One day I saw a TV program, and there was a celebrity introducing schnitzel. It looked so yummy and I decided to visit Vienna to try schnitzel. Technically speaking, my first trip to vienna was to try out schnitzel, and it was successful. Thus, I went to Vienna again this Summer. Since schnitzel is one of the representative dishes of Austria, you would find countless restaurants selling this food. But my choice is Figlmuller, and I go to this place whenever I visit Vienna.

Atmosphere

The restaurant is big (multi-floor, and multi-branch), and there are three branches nearby. Thus, if you make an online reservation, you should know which one you booked. Even though the restaurant is big, the atmosphere is very cozy thanks to its warm illumination. It’s always busy with locals and tourists, the restaurant is full of energy. You may book a table before your visit otherwise you can wait for long time.

Or you can go slightly before or later than lunch or dinner time. If I go to the restaurant without a reservation, I always do it to save time. In this way, you can also get your dish served very quickly and have a meal in a pleasant atmosphere. By the time people get into the restaurant, you would be ready to leave.

Menu and Service

They offer various schnitzels and some other dishes. Their specialty is pan-fried food (veal, pork, chicken, etc..). Probably Figlmüller schnitzel following the same recipe since 1905 is the most loved one.

First of all, I’d like to mention about the portion of the food. Well, as you can see in the picture, it’s HUGE. A schnitzel costs €15.5, it’s not that cheap but it’s enough for one and half person in my opinion. If you’re a group of two people, it would be a good idea to order one schnitzel and other dish to try. We ordered a schnitzel, butter rice, and spinach cheese balls. A dipping jam is also available, and it adds up more flavor to the meat. It’s highly recommended. It was big enough so we took out a potato salad for later.

The quality of the food is high. All ingredients were fresh and it was very yummy. They’re friendly but the service was a bit slow. As I mentioned above, since we arrived a bit earlier than typical dinner time (arrived around 5:30 p.m.), we got the food relatively fast, but when we added more drinks it took a while to get them.

The meat is very thin as you can see in the picture above. You can feel the crispy surface and the tenderness of the meat at the same time. It’s more delicious with the jam. It would be better if they provided the jam for free, but even if you pay for it, it’s worth to spend your few euros because it’s full of fruit.

I’m always satisfied with the food whenever I visit here. Probably I would go back if I travel back to Vienna. The budget for a person would be around €23~30 depending on the drinks.

Happy travel with Marimonda! See you again 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : Bäckerstraße 6, 1010 Wien, Austria

Hours :  11:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

website

Eastern Europe, Europe, Slovakia, Travel

Bratislava

Hello, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to share my day trip to Bratislava. It’s the capital city of Slovakia. Five countries are bordering with Slovakia(Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine) and thanks to this geographical characteristic, the country has influenced a lot from neighboring countries and Bratislava as a capital of Slovakia become a culturally rich city.

It’s located in the middle of Vienna and Budapest, thus many tourists put this city on their route including me. It takes about three hours by bus from Budapest to Bratislava and it costs about €10 ~ € 30 depending the time you purchase the ticket. I searched before and it seemed to me a bit small city, thus I thought I would have enough time if I arrive there in the morning. Unfortunately, there was a car accident on the way. As a result, the bus took almost 6 hours. OMG… But what could I do? It’s just part of the travelling. Anything can happen. 😦 Sadly, I couldn’t visit the Bratislava castle. I just saw it from far distance. Someday, I’d like to come back to visit he castle and do a Danube river cruise.

We stayed at Hotel Tatra next to the Presidential Palace. It was a bit far away from the flixbus station (about 20 mins by foot). After being stuck for long time in the bus, another walking made me exhausted. On the other hand, it was just right next to the old town and it was easy to go to the touristic spots. The room wasn’t fancy, but it was clean and well-organized. I got a free drink coupon that I can use it at the hotel bar. The receptionists were relatively young compared to other hotels I’ve ever been to, and friendly. The price was less than €100 even though it was a high season including breakfast.

Things to do in Bratislava

Bratislava is a traveler friendly city. Most of the touristic places are in walking distance, thus you don’t need to pay for the transportation. The old town begins from Michael’s Gate. Michael’s Gate was built in medieval time and has been preserved well. After passing the gate, you would see the busiest area full of restaurants and stores in Bratislava. The old town is small enough to wonder around freely without worrying of being lost. You could see many people having a meal or a coffee break all day long. Also you could bump into many group of tourists.

Statues are also must see things in Bratislava. There are iconic statues such as Man at Work, Napoleon’s Army Soldier, or Paparazzi. Most of them are in the old town area and it’s pleasure to meet these statues unexpectedly.

Bratislava Castle is one of the most important architectures in Bratislava. The castle is on the hill, thus you can see the city view with the Danube river over there. The entrance fee is free, but you may pay some to enter exhibitions.

Roxor burger in Bratislava

If you’re a burger lover, Roxor won’t let you down. With its signature sauce and fries, roxor is one of the most loved burger place in Bratislava. I didn’t plan to have burger, thus I went there without reservation. All the seats were reserved already from 7 p.m. and luckily I arrived there around 6 p.m. The server asked me if I was okay to finish the meal within 30 mins. I was in rush, but I have to admit that it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever tried in Europe.

On the following day, I had to leave for Vienna. I took flixbus again. Instead of walking, this time I took a cab and it was a very good choice. The bus stop is in the middle of nowhere (in front of a stadium I think), and it was different from the stop I arrived. Make sure to have enough time to arrive! I arrived about 5 mins ago but the bus arrived about 10 mins later than it scheduled. I thought I missed the bus.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Bratislava Castle

Address :  Hrad, 811 06 Bratislava, Slovakia

Hours : 1st Apr. – 31st Oct. 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Last entry 5 p.m.)

1st Nov.-31st Mar. 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Last entry 4 p.m.)

Closed on Monday.

website no English website.

Roxor

Address : Šancová 19, 811 05 Bratislava, Slovakia

Hours : 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Tue.-Fri.) 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Sat.) 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Sun.)

Closed on Monday.

website

Eastern Europe, Hungary, Travel

Budapest Restaurants

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you two cafes and one restaurant worth to visit in Budapest.

New York Palace Café

The first place I’d like to share my review is New York Palace Café. This is very famous on SNS thanks to its palace-like decoration. Thanks to the decoration and the live classical music, you would feel as if you were a king or a queen participating a party. Literally, it’s like a having a coffee or tea in a Palace.

As you can see below, the cafe looks stunning! You might be able to the best selfie in your life! While the atmosphere was lovely, the service and the quality of the food didn’t reach my expectation. Since the price was quite high, I was expecting a decent service and food. The service was somewhat slow and the servers were not that friendly. I ordered americano (1800 HUF) and Somlói Sponge Cake (2950HUF). The coffee and cakes were yummy but nothing special. It was a shame that I couldn’t chill out due to the pressure of the waiting line.

The drink and a cake cost me a bit less than 12 euros, and you may think it can be a normal price at a high-end coffee shop in Budapest.

Café Gerbeaud

Located just in front of the Vörösmarty tér station, Café Gerbeaud is a good place to feel the active mood of the downtown of Budapest. This place doesn’t have any super fancy decoration, but it’s been love for more than 150 years. Like other European cafes, outdoor seats are much more popular than indoor seats. You may see people chatting and looking at the others walking by while having a cup of coffee. This place is less busier than New York Palace Cafe, thus you can relax a bit more.

The price is not cheap, but they offer a dessert plate which includes four different types of mini desserts. I ordered Hungarian Classics on One Plate (3490 HUF) and iced americano (1350 HUF). New York cafe has better atmosphere and decoration, but I think here’s iced coffee is better.

Kéhli Vendéglö

I decided to write a review on cafe or restaurant that I would like to recommend in Budapest to introduce this restaurant. It was the best one, I tried during my stay in Budapest. Kéhli Vendéglö, this Hungarian food restaurant is worth to visit.

We ordered a Goulash(entree), Stuffed Cabbage, and Steak. All of them were delicious. My favorite was Goulash. The meat was very soft and all spices are well harmonized together. The stuffed cabbage was a bit salty for me, but it also had spicy taste. The two plates fulfilled my eager to spicy food. Lastly, the steak was a perfect match to two with its meaty taste. Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish all because the portion of the food was too big for us.

The price was also reasonable. The main dish cost about 3000 HUF on average, considering the iced coffee at the two coffee shops above cost 1800 HUF, it’s not that expensive in my opinion. Since it’s a bit far away from the downtown, I recommend you to book a table before your visit.

Hope this review help you to choose a right restaurant in Budapest. See you again 🙂

Practical Info.

New York Palace Café Address : Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary

Hours :  08:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

website

Café Gerbeaud Address : Budapest, Vörösmarty tér 7-8, 1051 Hungary

Hours :  09:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

website

Kéhli Vendéglö Address : Budapest, Mókus u. 22, 1036 Hungary

Hours :  12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. (Mon. -Fri.)

12:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. (weekends)

website

Europe, France, Travel, Western Europe

Rouen

Hello, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to share my day trip to Rouen from Paris. Located in Normandy region, Rouen was one of the most important cities in the medieval time. This city is now known for a place where Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) was executed and a hometown for the impressionists with its incredible cathedral and the scenery of the Seine. The peaceful and calm atmosphere of Rouen will welcome you.

How to get there

This is a great city for a day trip from Paris. I took a train to go there, and the train departs at Saint-Lazare station in Paris. The price of the ticket varies depending on the time you want to depart (from €11 ), but the morning one I took cost €11.50 (8:19-9:50). I think it’s the cheapest but the best schedule to visit Rouen for a day. It takes about 1 hour and half by train.

You can also go there by taking a bus such as Flixbus or Ouibus which offer cheaper price ( from €4.99) and it takes about 2 hours (on average). I like travelling bus, but considering the fact that I was travelling for a day, I would pay few more euros to save time. Most bus stops are outside of the city, thus you should consider the time to get into the center of the city.

Things to do in Rouen

The first place I visited in Rouen was the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen. In this museum, you would find paintings, sculptures, drawing and art collections. It’s only 10 mins away from the train station by foot. In front of the station, you would see a main street. Following that street toward Subway (sandwich shop), you would see a park. The museum is next to the park. It is free of charge for permanent collections. The museum opens at 10 a.m., thus arriving at the station at 9:50 was an excellent choice.

In the museum, you may find collections from the 15th century to the 21th century. This museum has a special salon called <Rouen> where exhibits art collections of the city.

Leaving behind the museum,I headed to the Cathedral, which is the main object in the Claude Monet’s painting series <Rouen Cathedral>. He drew 30 paintings of this building at different time and different season.

Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the most important architectures in Rouen. This giant Gothic style cathedral fascinates its visitors. Many people sit down and enjoy this gorgeous structure including me. Don’t forget to get in. Inside of the building is also impressive.

Rouen is also known as the city of Joan of Arc. Napoleon Bonaparte declared her as a French national symbol considering her significant role in the Hundred Years’ War. She was executed by fire here in Rouen, thus there are some monuments to commemorate her. You can see some paintings about this little but strong girl in the musée des beaux-arts. On the way to the center of the town, you could see Donjon of Rouen where Joan of Arc was imprisoned. Now, this place hosts the escape game using VR glasses.

The Church of Joan of Arc is also an important church in Rouen. This modern building commemorates the national heroin Joan of Arc. To me, it seemed a bit odd since it doesn’t get along with neighboring buildings. In front of the church, you can see a big cross. This is the place where she was executed. The church is small but has a very abstract and unique structure. Inside of the church is very bright thanks to wide windows which allow to pass the light.

The Great Clock is also a must see thing in Rouen. It’s in the downtown from the Renaissance era. You can get into the building and see the clock from inside and enjoy the cityview. Since there was a long queue and I had only one day there, I didn’t enter the monument. There’s also a lunch break, so you should plan your visit well. The ticket costs €7 (adult).

Overall, the city is full of history and you could imagine how important the city was in the past by looking at historical buildings. It’s a perfect day trip destination from Paris in Summer.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Musée des Beaux-Arts

Address : Esplanade Marcel Duchamp 76000 Rouen

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesday.

website

Notre-Dame Cathedral de Rouen

Address : Place de la Cathédrale, 76000 Rouen

Hours : 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Tue.-Sat.) / 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Sun.)/ 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Mon.)

website

Donjon de Rouen

Address : Rue Bouvreuil, 76000 Rouen

website

Church of Joan of Arc

Address : Place du Vieux Marché, 76000 Rouen

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 6 : 00 p.m. (Mon.-Thu. , Sat.)

2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Fri. and Sun.)

website

The Great Clock

Address :Rue du Gros Horloge, 76000 Rouen

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 7 : 00 p.m. (Tue.-Sun.) Closed on Mondays

website

Luxembourg, Travel, Western Europe

Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to review Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal, where I stayed in Luxembourg in August.

Located in hilly area outside of the old town, the hotel has an astonishing view of the city. It’s one of the luxurious hotels here, belong to Accor chain.

Room Type

I booked a standard room during Accor Super Sale promotion period with 30% off and breakfast included. The price can be different depending on the time or the platform that you use to make a reservation. It was an extraordinary experience. The room was spacious, and has a big window toward the city. I could enjoy the view day and night.

What I liked the most was the complimentary minibar. Including two evians on the nightstands, there are four evians, two badoit(sparkling water), two coca-cola, one minute maid and one seven up, thus ten drinks are free. Hermès amenities are provided.

Room Service

You can order your room service from a French restaurant called <Mu> in hotel. Some menus are available for 24 hours. I ordered Pad Thai for dinner. Since the dining price in Luxembourg is high, the price of the room service seems competitive. I was curious how they cook Pad Thai, so I ordered it (also it was one of the cheapest menus, cost about €20 ). Pad Thai has quite an interesting sweet and sour flavor. It was a bit far away from the taste what I expected from Pad Thai, but it was good. Thanks to the free minibar, I didn’t have to order drinks which saved me extra euros.

Breakfast Buffet

The breakfast buffet was also excellent. It seems a bit pricey (€ 31 per person). As I mentioned above, however, my reservation included free breakfast buffet. There were various options from appetizer to dessert. For drinks, you can order at your table and the staffs bring them to your table. Detox juices are also available for free. The view from the restaurant is also breathtaking.

Service

The quality of the service was incredibly high. Even though they work in different sector such as a reception, concierge, etc, all staffs were ready to help. At the lobby, a mini snack bar is prepared.

Other Facilities

Like other hotels, a gym, meeting rooms, or a bar are available.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

address : 40 Boulevard d’Avranches, 1160 Luxembourg

24 hours reception

website

Europe, France, Travel, Western Europe

Mont Saint-Michel

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you one of the most touristic areas in France, the Mont Saint-Michel! Located in Normandy, this place is loved by people from all around the world unique geographical characteristic. I’ve been there three times already, but I can’t stop wowing whenever I see it.

Brief History

Mont Saint-Michel used to be a fortification due to its location. It is said that the archangel Michael instructed Aubert of Avranches who was the bishop of that region in 708 to build a church there. You may probably notice many sculptures inside Mont Saint-Michel describing this legend.

Later, the cathedral and abbey were added to the original church and the island has modified according to the architect style as time flows. It took 800 years to have today’s feature. During the French Revolution, it was served as a prison. Mont Saint-Michel and its bay were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979.

I’ve been to Mont Saint Michel three times so far, and I always find new things to appreciate inside. I went there by myself(self-guided tour), with a group tour, and with an official tour provided by the monument. Each visit was unforgettable since all of them were so different.

When I went there by myself, I was surprised to see the town. Seeing all that medieval structures, I felt as if I were a character in Game of Thrones. Since I didn’t get any tour, I couldn’t have any opportunities to understand better on this.

For the second visit, I took a day trip from Paris. It was easy since I didn’t have to calculate time for the transport nor line up to enter. Plus, the tour was included visiting other places Honfleur, a harbour city in France. It cost about €100 (only for the transport and the guide), including the entrance fee and the lunch, I spent around €130 excluding souvenirs. Plus, the guide explained the stories about Mont Saint-Michel, thus it helped me to get to know more about this place.

The last time I visited there, which was 1 week ago, I went there by train and participated une visite conference, an official guided tour provided by Mont Saint-Michel. I am not sure about English tour (there are visite conferences in different languages ) since I took a French one. I guess that it would be the same or similar. It cost me 13 and if you can I really recommend this. Since the tour guides are approved by the French government, I could access to hidden parts where is not open to public. The tour takes about 1 hour ~1 hour and half depending on the circulation inside of the Abbey.

How to get there?

Since Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most popular places in France, there are many ways that you can visit there.

Joining a day group tour would be the easiest way to get there. The tour usually takes a whole day ( about 14 hours on average) and it costs around €120~180. The price varies depending on the conditions such as admission or lunch.

If you go there by yourself, you can drive and it takes about 4 hours from Paris (one way).

You can also go there by bus such as flixbus it takes about 5 hours or a bit more (one way) and it costs around €50 for a round trip.

Travelling by train and then taking a bus can be an option. The combo ticket costs from €54 (the cheapest but the best time slot if you go there for a day trip) from Paris. The train leaves at Montparnasse 3 Vaugirard early in the morning everyday( 7 : 38 a.m.). Then you transfer to a bus offered by SNCF at Villedieu les Poêles. When you take off the bus, you can ride a shuttle (free) to get to Mont Saint-Michel, walk (about 40 mins), or by a horse-carriage ride.

What to eat?

Since it’s a touristic place, most restaurants in Mont Saint-Michel are busy and expensive. There, I found a creperie <La Sirène Lochet> and it was one of the best crepes I’ve ever tried in France with reasonable price. The restaurant is on the second floor (1er étage in French style), you should use stairs in a souvenir shop on the first floor. The service is a bit slow but the staffs are friendly and most of all, the crepes are delicious. You can customize your dish with the ingredients you want. Each crepe costs about €7~9, thus including the drink €12~15 would be enough per person. We ordered four crepes, one bottle of cider, and four coffees, and we paid less than €50 in total.

Salt lamb is the local specialty. You can try them out at <Le Pré Salé> or <La Rôtisserie>. Those are well-known restaurant for salt lamb (€30~). You can also try <La Mère Poulard>, it cost 40~ for one main dish which seems quite high to me. You can also find cookies from <La Mère Poulard>, but since you can get them from almost everywhere in France, I don’t think it’s necessary to buy them there.

Hope you enjoyed the visit to Mont Saint-Michel with Marimonda. See you soon 🙂

Practical Info. (websites)

Mont Saint-Michel

Le Pré Salé

La Rôtisserie

La Mère Poulard