Day Nine (Sept 26)
I fly out this evening for an overnight stay in
* If you are planning to travel my rule of thumb is at least seven days plus one to unwind, unpack when you return home – if you are visiting one city.
* If you are doing multiple stops in a short time frame – 3 countries in 2 weeks, plan at least four days in each city. Use one day for a guided tour to familiarize yourself with the basics. If walking isn’t your thing, then try bikes tours. The young ladies from
* Don’t overpack. My rule is two-three jeans (capris, pants), one skirt (in case you need to dress up), plenty of tops for everyday (lightweight that can layer). Wear your walking/everyday shoes on the plane and pack a separate pair. All of this, plus your toiletry bag should fit in your carry-on if packed properly. Other stuff that isn’t essential, pack in a larger suitcase that will be checked. You will need this to house all the souvenirs you pick up.
* Accommodations. I was fortunate that my friend Jenny recommended a place in the historic center within five minutes walking from all the major sights. Use Lonely Planet or Rick Steves. Pensiones are quite popular and more affordable than hotels generally. They are like bread and breakfast inns.
* Shopping in
* Czech Garnets (granats). There is one company that mines the granats, Granat Turnov. They supply all the jewelers. Most of the stores are supplied by the same jewelry designers. Unless you go to an upscale boutique, designs are very similar. Garnets are reasonably priced when set in silver because silver is abundant. However, if the garnet is large or contains more gold, you pay for that. Although I loved the blood red garnet, it blended with my skin so I needed more gold to make the garnet pop – costs more.
* Silver jewelry. Silver is abundant and very inexpensive. I bought several silver earrings and bangles for $10 or less – quality superb. It gets expensive when you get heavy pieces or those containing Swarovski crystal (make sure it’s crystal and not synthetic).
* Amber. Amber is abundant and inexpensive unless it’s a huge piece, set in gold or alot of silver. Amber comes in green, brown and the traditional yellow. Otherwise, it can be found at reasonable rates.
* Coral. I was surprised to see it. It is beautiful and usually set in silver. This is where you can tell the designer is the same. Almost all the stores have the same pieces in coral. Unless they use the more costly pink coral. The coral comes from
* Food. You will enjoy a variety of cuisine – check the guide for the better quality in food service and consistency. Reservations are generally necessary because people take 2-3 hours to enjoy a meal – no rushing for the crowd.
Thank you for allowing me to bend your ear. I hope I have entertained you.