by Espie Johnston
We just got back from our trip in Europe two weeks ago but still feel exhausted from the trip. The trip was a long journey and very tiring, yet it was exhilarating and exciting. It took us over thirty hours before we arrived to our first destination, Prague. Our time in Prague was utterly amazing, we had an experience like no other. Seeing all of the colourful baroque buildings, Gothic churches, medieval castles, villages and the famous medieval astronomical clock, which you’ll find in the old part of town which is still working to this day. The Charles Bridge is stunning lined with 30 Baroque statues of religious figures. We visited Cesky Krumlov, a beautiful medieval village outside the city. We went on a river cruise/dinner along the Vltava River and the entertainment was spectacular, there was a jazz band playing while we were cruising and enjoying the view of the spectacular Charles Bridge. Prague is a beautiful city and rich in history but the presence of communism from the past is hauntingly visible to the eye.
Budapest is undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The beauty of the Buildings and river in the evening are wonderful perspective. River cruising in the Danube River at night is spectacular especially when the city lights lit up. The Beautiful Chain Bridge and the parliament building is nicely illuminated at night.
Salzburg is one of Europe’s loveliest cities and it was Mozart’s birthplace. The Alps scenery and the little villages on the foot hills are amazing. However, I was amazed to see several houses which have got several rocks on the roof, this is to prevent the roof being damaged by snow in the winter time. We had a fabulous lunch at the Hellbrunn Palace, the food was delicious and the scenery was awe inspiring, later that night we enjoyed a lovely dinner followed by a very intimate classical concert in the Holhensalzburg Fortress in the heart of Salzburg. The panoramic view of the mountains and the baroque town was wonderful. Sitting in the front row watching the orchestra play Mozart’s music gave me a tingling sensation, it was flawless, absolutely glorious. The Holhensalzburg fortress was built in 11th century and still in original décor. Two days is barely enough to see the Mozart sites.
Espie and Paul Johnston in Prague
Rome is simply amazing. The Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, Coliseum and Pompeii are fascinating to see and takes you back in time. Seeing the ancient sculptures, walking through Rafael’s famous room, the tapestries and the collection of amazing priceless paintings on display was mind blowing. The inspiring Sistine Chapel is the crowning glory of any visit to the Vatican. Gazing upon Michael Angelo’s art works in the Sistine chapel took my breath away and left me gasping with pure joy, it was incredible. The magnificent Vatican City is unbelievably huge it covers 110 acres. People were frolicking everyday queuing outside for hour’s in rain or sunshine to see the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.
(l-r) Rosa, Espie, Anais and Charlotte.
(l-r) Alice, Espie, Benilda. Nickolai, Bernhard and
Paris the city of lights.
As daylight fades over the capital, lights flicker on to illuminate this sparkling city. The River Seine carries dancing reflections from Paris’s ornate street lamps which shine from the river banks and bridges. The remarkable monuments that merely glow during the day simply explode with light at night. At the western end of Champ-Elysees, the luminous le Arc de Triumphed standing nearly 50 meters tall radiates all the splendour and magnificence it should. The Palace of Versailles is one of the most hauntingly beautiful palaces, rich in history, full of amazing priceless paintings on display on the walls of kings, queens, aristocrats and noblemen in which they all have taken place in the history of the Palace de Versailles. The Louvre museum is just as fascinating to see with the oldest and the biggest collection of artefacts from all over the world such as Egypt, Greece and China.
Paul and Espie Johnston in Rome
Along the road on the way to Keukenhof, the scenery of rows and rows of exotic mixed flowers that goes on for miles was amazing. Keukenhof in Holland is one of the most wonderful flower garden in the world and it was magical to see the vibrant colours of Tulips and different exotic flowers. River cruising in the canal in Amsterdam was beautiful, the scenery included; Baroque architectural buildings in which some are dating back to the 16th century, small bridges dating back to the 16th century and the beautiful houseboats in the canal. Visiting my relatives in Germany that I have not seen for many years brought me tears of joy some of them I have not seen for 38 years, it was a wonderful reunion indeed. Driving around Germany without the speed limit in the autobahn makes my heart beats goes faster the adrenaline running on my spine was exhilarating a sensational feeling and an unforgettable experience.