Prague/Venice/Paris – March 2015

Booking our trip on European Destinations, we arrived in Prague and made our way to our Botel…that’s right a boat that’s a hotel on the river Vitava that winds its way through the city.  Our Botel Albatros was a fun and different place to stay.  I think our neighbors and traveling companions thought we lost our mind booking a Botel.  The boat had several rooms with private bathrooms and a great restaurant/bar on top. The rooms weren’t spacious and the shower curtains would stick to your butt due to tight quarters, but still a great find in our opinion. While in Prague, we wondered Old town, seeing the colorful baroque buildings, the many churches and the Astronomical Clock.  We crossed the Charles Bridge and made our way up the streets to the Prague Castle to get a bird’s eye view of the city. We would stop along our walks to have an occasional local beer, because we were in the beer capital of Europe, usually only to be served Budweiser.  We found that quit amusing and would have a good laugh.  After three fun days of scouting out the sites we were off to Venice Italy. Landing in Venice, we took the Alilaguna waterbus from the airport to central Venice, where we stayed at the Duodo Palace.  We wondered and shopped all the little streets in Venice, always thinking we knew right where we were, truth was we were usually lost, but we always found our way back to the hotel. We did a gondola ride in Venice before taking the waterbus to Murano and Burano.  While in Murano we had the privilege of talking with one of the only gold etching artists’ in the world, it was a great afternoon, he invited us into his studio which we heard was a very rare thing to happen. Returning back to Venice for yet another delicious Italian meal and organizing our suitcases for our next stop Paris.  In the morning we took another water taxi to our awaiting airport shuttle.  There we were meet by a very animated driver that talked a lot with their hands, it made for a fun ride to the airport.  Taking a relatively short flight over to Paris, we spent the next few days exploring. We did the Hop On/Hop Off tour which included a Sienne River cruise.  We put any fears aside and purchased tickets from TourEiffel to take the elevator or lift as they call it to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  Once arriving at the top, I pressed myself against the inner wall and looked out over the city, wow were we high up there, but what a magnificent site. I would highly recommend going to the top. We shopped in Montmarte and watched the local artist hard at work painting or sketching the perfect portrait or landscape, and enjoying a wonderful meal at Chez Eugene.  Each evening we would get a couple bottles of wine and sit in the Champ de Mars park, sipping wine and watching the lights twinkle on the Eiffel tower at the top of each hour, it is so beautiful to watch. One evening a local gentleman was playing his guitar and singing next to us, providing a nice little concert.  The trip was fantastic and the company even better. My neighbor even mentions to this day that the Botel is still one of her most favorite places she has stayed (makes my heart warm). Once again, another perfect Bucket list trip.