Jacob’s Restaurant, Prague, Czech Republic

Tags

, , , ,

Jacob’s Restaurant now occupies the space that used to be Oliva Restaurant. Oliva wasn’t a bad place but suffered by being too expensive for a mid-week night, not quite good enough for a Saturday.

Jacob’s seem to have remedied the cost element with a reasonably-priced menu – well except for the wine which is completely out of step.

The interior has been re-decorated – the old Oliva wallpaper replaced with fake brick wallpaper.

A Hubertus 0.5l beer (yes, I hadn’t seen this beer before in Prague either) was only 39Kč. It’s a pretty good beer.

Fish and chips was 210 Kč and was good pub food.

The flank steak with a slightly odd jacket potato good value at 290 Kč.

The cheapest bottle of red Czech wine was 360 Kč. The cheapest glass of non-Czech wine was 130Kč – I think that was Montepulciano. I have no idea why they have priced the beer so well but completely over priced the wine. On a really positive note – tap water is free.

Just like everywhere else in Prague these days, they offer a selection of burgers.
20th October 2018 update: We tried a burger last night and were pretty disappointed. The bun wasn’t good. The meat dry. It’s a pity as I really expected the burgers to be good based on the other food they serve. So we won’t be having another burger here – will stick with Maso je Maso for that.

We’ll certainly return to Jacob’s and I think it has a good chance of survival – let’s just hope they make the wine affordable.

Jacob’s Restaurant
Plavecká 404/4,
Praha 2 128 00

+420 222 520 288

https://www.jacobsrestaurant.cz/

Open every day: 11:00 – 23:00

Lake Königssee, Berchtesgaden, Germany

Tags

, ,

Our visit to Eagle’s Nest was part of our German Road trip (that page has links to all the hotels, restaurants and places visited).

Situated within the Berchtesgaden Alps, the Königssee lake is 7.7 km (4.8 mi) long and 1.7 km (1 mi) across at its widest point. The lake is similar to a fjord, being surrounded by the steeply-rising flanks of mountains. The lake is noted for its clear water and is advertised as the cleanest lake in Germany. For this reason, only electric-powered passenger ships, rowing, and pedal boats have been permitted on the lake since 1909.

We visited the local town of Schönau am Königssee at the Northern end of the lake. We needed to leave and drive to Nuremberg, so we didn’t have time to take the boat trip. There was also a cable car that we had to skip. Maybe next time.

The whole place is picturesque, although there were still plenty of wasps around (August 2018) doing their best to ruin things. I’d certainly recommend a visit, even if, like us, you only have time to stroll around.

Lake Königssee, Berchtesgaden, Germany

https://www.berchtesgaden.de/en/nature/lake-koenigssee

 

Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) Berchtesgaden, Germany

Tags

, , ,

Our visit to Eagle’s Nest was part of our German Road trip (that page has links to all the hotels, restaurants and places visited).

The Kehlsteinhaus (known as the Eagle’s Nest) is a Third Reich-era building erected atop the summit of the Kehlstein (1,834 m (6,017 ft) a sub-peak of the Hoher Göll that rises above the town of Berchtesgaden. Eagle’s Nest was visited on 14 documented instances by Adolf Hitler – he didn’t live there, instead had a house down the mountain near the Hotel zum Türken. Today, Eagle’s Nest is open mid-May to mid-October as a restaurant, beer garden and tourist site.

It was difficult to find information about the buses that take visitors up the mountain. If you search for Eagle’s Nest, you’ll mostly likely find https://www.kehlsteinhaus.de/english/ but this is a tour company selling tickets for 24.50 € and a minimum of 20 people. What you need is the website for the RVO-Bus company http://www.rvo-bus.de/oberbayernbus/view/freizeittipps/ausflugsbusse/eagles-nest.shtml – a return ticket is 16.60 € and that includes an elevator to the top.

We used Salzbergstraße 41, 83471 Berchtesgaden for the sat nav and parked in the Documentation Centre car park. It was just a few minutes walk to the bus station. There wasn’t a queue (August 2018) and we purchased tickets for the next bus.

 

The bus takes the 6.8km winding road to a bus parking lot. The views from ether side of the bus are impressive; right-side has the first views, then left-side has higher views.

When you arrive at the upper bus parking lot, you need to choose a return time and get a ticket for the bus you want. I’d say you need at least an hour and at least two hours if you plan to eat – that not including any wait time for the elevator (there wasn’t a wait when we were there).

Then you walk through a 124m tunnel.

That takes you to a lobby and elevator entrance.

The overly-ornate, mirrored, elevator then takes you 124m to Eagle’s Nest. Yes that’s me trying to take a photo in a mirrored room.

The views from the top were spectacular. There was plenty of snow up there.

A path lead to the summit.

But as I only had a pair of trainers and a sweater (I’d worn shorts and a t-shirt in Berlin just a few days before), I skipped that walk and headed into the restaurant.

The restaurant is busy. Many tables are allocated to pre-booked groups. It took about 15 minutes before I spotted a group leaving and I immediately grabbed the table – a complete mess of half-eaten food and beer glasses. It took a while before the table was cleared. I wouldn’t say the wait staff were rude, more coldly-efficient, dealing with a sea of visitors, none of whom likely to return – it’s amazing the service and food quality isn’t terrible. As it was, we had a decent beer and snack that wasn’t expensive considering the location.

There are other areas to wander around, including some information boards with some history. Then we took the lift down and the tunnel back to the bus.

Even if you have some misgivings about the Nazi connection, I’d definitely recommend a visit to Eagle’s Nest.

We used Salzbergstraße 41, 83471 Berchtesgaden, Germany to find the bus station.

Return tickets to cost 16,60 € for adults and 9,60 € for children younger than 14 years. The elevator ride is included.

Buses run mid-May to mid-October. The first bus runs at 07:40 am and the last one leaves the Eagle’s Nest at 4:00 pm.

The Obersalzberg’s Nazi Bunkers (Berchtesgaden)

Tags

, , , , , ,

Our visit to the Obersalzberg’s Nazi Bunkers was part of our German Road trip (that page has links to all the hotels, restaurants and places visited).

There is a huge bunker system in the Berchtesgaden hillside. Sadly, most of the tunnels are now sealed off and inaccessible. There are two intact bunker systems open to the public on the Obersalzberg. One is under the Documentation Center and included in the museum entry – although that was closed when we visited. The other bunker is under the Hotel zum Türken.

There are no sign posts advertising the bunker – just a small office on the side of the Hotel zum Türken where you purchase a ticket and enter.

I can’t remember the entrance price, but it was only a few Euros per person. There is a sign warning against photography. I mostly ignored that as I can only think the reason is so they can sell post cards and books.

There isn’t a tour, you can just wander freely after climbing down stop steps into the bunker complex.

There is a really steep set of steps that lead down to more tunnels/rooms – the entrance to Hitler’s own bunker is sealed off and an alarm sounds if you walk too close to it.

It’s a really interesting place to visit. And while you’re parked at the hotel, you may as well walk down the street a little, then back up an un-made road to the site of Hitler’s house. Only one side wall left now.

Hotel Zum Türken
Hintereck 2
D-83471 Berchtesgaden
Germany

https://www.hotel-zum-tuerken.com/bunker.html

Opening hours
summer: Open until Sunday, 4th of November 2018 daily (except Tuesday) from 10 am until 3 pm
winter: from 26th December 2018 until 7th January 2019 daily from 10am  to  2pm
Closed from 8th of January 2019 until they announce a new schedule.

Group requests and reservation (15 people or more)
only by email: hoteltuerkenobersalzberg@t-online.de

Mount Everest Indian Restaurant, Berchtesgaden, Germany

Tags

, , , , ,

Our visit to the Mount Everest Indian Restaurant was part of our German Road trip (that page has links to all the hotels, restaurants and places visited).

We were staying at the Hotel AlpinaRos – Demming which didn’t have any food available in the evening. Despite the pouring rain, we left the hotel and walked up a hill to what could be called the High Street in Berchtesgaden.

There wasn’t much available, although we did almost go for a Greek Restaurant http://www.akropolis-berchtesgaden.de/ and now I wish we had!

The entrance to Mount Everest looked inviting with tables set in open-air corridor.

The interior was okay.

Beer was 3.50 € a bottle – the menu showed the bottles as being 0.5l but only the dark beer came as a 0.5l, the regular was something like 0.4l. I just ordered dark beer as my second beer. We also ordered a 0.7l bottle of water.

Papadums were 2.50 € each – we ordered three and they came with some pickles. Sadly the papadums weren’t good – really oily and we hardly ate any. We told the friendly, middle-aged German waitress about the papadums but they remained on our bill.

The chicken curry 14.90 € wasn’t bad – but really nothing special.

We paid the bill, which seemed a little high – I later realised why. The 0.7l bottle of water had been changed at an outrageous 6.90 €. I really hate it when restaurants inflate the prices of items that customers order without thinking. Even if the papadums had been okay, I’d never return here because of that sneaky rip off.

If you find yourself in Berchtesgaden, don’t climb this mountain ‘just because it’s there’!

Mount Everest
Kälbersteinstraße 4
83471 Berchtesgaden

Phone: 08652/65 77506

Monday: Closed
Tuesday Sunday: 11: 30-14: 30 • 17: 30-22: 30
In October and November 2017 open only in the evening.

http://www.mounteverest-restaurant.de/

Hotel AlpinaRos – Demming, Berchtesgaden, Germany

Tags

, , , ,

Our stay at the Hotel AlpinaRos – Demming was part of our German Road trip (that page has links to all the hotels, restaurants and places visited).

Hotels in Berchtesgaden are expensive compared to the other German cities that we visited. The best hotel is the Kempinski but you’ll need to pay at least 200 € without breakfast to stay there.

The AlpinaRos – Demming looked like the next best place for our one night stay. Two rooms (one double and one single) with breakfast cost us 250 €.

We arrived on a rainy afternoon in Berchtesgaden, having driven straight from our visit to the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart. We managed to find a parking space – there are only a few spaces and I’d recommend paying an extra 5 € for one of the hotel garage spaces.

The man at reception spoke English and, sort of, guided us to our rooms. I say, sort of, as he pointed to the stairs and said our room was on the top floor. It was only later, having carried our bags up, that I discovered that there was an elevator!

The room was okay.

The bathroom was small but modern.

There was a small terrace, with views of Berchtesgaden. Despite the cold weather and pouring rain, a wasp buzzed me while I took these pictures.

There was also a small garden.

The hotel didn’t seem to have any food nor drink, although there was an unattended bar. We were also told that reception closed at 8pm and we’d need to use a key for the rear door to return. So it was that later that evening, still with rain pouring down, we found our way back inside after a pretty poor dinner in the local Mount Everest Indian Restaurant.

Check out was a ridiculous 10am. The breakfast was pretty basic – some cold cuts, scrambled eggs and sausages.

I didn’t hate this hotel, but I only stayed one night. I realise that small hotels have limited staff, but this has 80 rooms. For that many guests, I’d expect at least a hotel bar, a reception open later than 8pm and a later check out time. I got the feeling that the place was run more for the benefit of the staff/owners rather than the guests.

Nonetheless, I expect the other hotels in Berchtesgaden are similar – just book whatever price suits you, as you’ll be out all day sightseeing anyway.

AlpinaRos Demming
Sunklergässchen 2
83471 Berchtesgaden
Germany

Phone: +49 (0) 8652 9610

E-Mail: info@alpinaros.de

https://www.alpina-hotels.de/demming/

Mercedes Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany

Tags

, , , ,

Our visit to the Mercedes Benz Museum was part of our German Road trip (that page has links to all the hotels, restaurants and places visited). We stayed at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn and you could walk from there to the museum.

From the museum website:
The Mercedes-Benz Museum is the only museum in the world that can document in a single continuous timeline over 130 years of auto industry history from its very beginnings to the present day. On nine levels and covering a floor space of 16,500 square metres, the museum presents 160 vehicles and over 1,500 exhibits.

That’s a pretty accurate description. On arrival, we took a futuristic elevator to the top floor.

The self-guided tour starts with the oldest first.

We then worked our way down a wide sloping spiral, surrounded by historical events and cars. I’ll post a series of pictures at the end of this review.

My favourite car – the 300SL with gull-wing doors.

My favourite movie vehicle from Jurassic Park – Lost World.

My least favourite exhibit – a Mercedes hand painted by some famous rapper presented as a ‘work of art’. If I were Mercedes, I would have banned the guy from purchasing a Mercedes for life for ruining a good car.

The ground floor has a showroom of all the latest Mercedes models.

We visited the ground floor restaurant. It was pretty sad compared to the excellent restaurant at the Porsche Museum. It wasn’t clear how to obtain food and we first queued at the nearby snack bar, only to be told there was waiter service.

The menu was unexciting and expensive. So if there was one thing I would change about the Mercedes Museum, it would be the restaurant.

We really enjoyed our visit and I’d recommend the Mercedes Benz Museum. If you’re planning to visit the Porsche Museum on the same day, then plan to eat there.

Mercedes Benz Museum
Mercedesstraße 100,
70372 Stuttgart, Germany

+49 711-17 30 000
e-mail: classic@daimler.com

Tickets.
Day ticket regular: 10 €, reduced: 5 €

If you have a Porsche Museum ticket, you receive 25% off admission and vice versa.

If you have a StuttCard (17 € for 24 hours) you can go free to both Porsche and Mercedes Museums plus a host of other museums and attractions.

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/classic/museum/

Tuesdays to Sundays 9 am to 6 pm (Box office closing time: 5 pm)
Closed on Mondays and selected public holidays.

 

Belles Fleurs, Vinohrady, Prague, Czech Republic – somewhere to avoid

Tags

, , ,

Belles Fleurs has several outlets in Prague and also an online store. My nearest branch is near IP Pavlova metro station and tram stops.

They have a lot of flowers outside. On the afternoon of Monday 17th September, I picked up three bunches of five yellow roses. The assistant, clipped the ends from the stems, hand tied the roses and wrapped them in paper – she also gave me a sachet of powder to add to the water. Price 397 Kč.

Within ten minutes they were in a vase of water plus the powder from the sachet. The flowers didn’t look too good on Tuesday. I took these pictures today as I wanted to show them to the Belle Fleurs.

The assistant looked at the pictures and receipt, then announced that “refunds or replacements were only possible within 24 hours under Czech law”. With some persuasion, the assistant called ‘head office’ and confirmed that nothing could be done.

What terrible customer service! And to hide behind Czech law, assuming this law exists, just makes it worse.

So please avoid, at least this branch of, Belles Fleurs. If you do buy flowers from them and they start to look a bit tired within 24 hours, take them straight back.

BTW Marks and Spencer have much better flowers – they last longer and are less expensive.

Belle Fleurs
Bělehradská 382/124, 120 00 Praha-Vinohrady

Palm Beach Bar and Restaurant, Stuttgart

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Our visit to the Palm Beach Bar was part of our German Road trip (that page has links to all the hotels, restaurants and places visited).

We were staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Stuttgart. The hotel is in the grounds of the Mercedes Benz Arena – home to Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart and there aren’t many restaurants within walking distance.

The Palm Beach Bar is behind the hotel and a one minute walk away – it looked like a cheesy version of TGI Fridays. As it was the Palm Beach Bar was pretty good.

There are big screens everywhere for showing sports. We were happy to watch a great game of football, the first game of the Bundesliga season where Bayern Munich beat Hoffenheim 3-1.

We had a Thai Curry and a Pizza

Both good pub grub dishes. Service was good and prices were okay.

If you find yourselves nearby the Mercedes Arena and you’re not looking for fine-dining, then you’ll be okay at the Palm Beach Bar.

Palm Beach Bar
Mercedes street 73B
70372 Stuttgart

https://www.palmbeach-stuttgart.de/

0711/16 22 11 99

Ludwigsburg Palace, Stuttgart, Germany

Tags

, , ,

8th October 2018 update: I’ve fixed a few mistakes thanks to the advice of the friendly staff at Ludwigsburg Palace. In some places I’d used Ludwigsberg and I now know that berg = hill and burg = palace. So if you visit a German town that ends in burg, you’re likely to find a palace!

Our visit to the Ludwigsburg Palace was part of our German Road trip (that page has links to all the hotels, restaurants and places visited).

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace is one of the largest Baroque buildings in Europe to survive in its original condition. Tours are available in English. We arrived at the entrance to the gardens and found that there was an entry fee that wasn’t part of the tour. I’m not sure if you can buy a combined ticket for both gardens and tour – the Palace website only mentions the tour. 9th October update: I’ve now found details of how you can purchase entry to both gardens and palace – see the end of this review.

So we walked around the edge of the gardens to the Palace entrance.

We found the tour entrance to the right and went up some magnificent stairs. It turned out that we were the only three members of the English tour and so this turned into a private tour.

Our guide was really friendly and was able to tell us all about the Palace, without sounding like a tour guide.

The first palace on the site, the main part of the building, was constructed from 1704 onwards. It was intended as a hunting lodge for Duke Eberhard Ludwig. In 1715, when Ludwigsburg became the Duke’s principal place of residence, he sought a more fitting reflection of his power and prestige. As a result, the three-wing complex acquired a fourth wing, enclosing a square. The impressive structure was completed in 1733.

The corridors and rooms were impressive.

There were styles from Baroque to Rococo to Neoclassical.

The Hall Of Order was one of the King’s most important rooms, where he met with his hunting order and his other very important guests. It’s still used today for ceremonies or classical concerts.

The view to the gardens.

We really enjoyed a tour – it was a nice segment between our visit to the Porsche Museum earlier that day and the Mercedes Museum on the next day. You may even be lucky and find yourselves the only visitors on the tour.

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace
Schlossstraße 30
71634 Ludwigsburg, Germany
Phone +49(0)71 41.18 64 00

info@schloss-ludwigsburg.de

https://www.schloss-ludwigsburg.de/en/home/

Open every day 10:00 am – 05:00 pm but you have to take a guided tour

Guided tours in English:
15 March to 15 November:
Mon – Fri 1.15 pm, 3.15 pm
Sat and Sun and public holidays 11.15 am, 1.15 pm, 3.15 pm, 5.15 pm
16 November to 14 March:
Mon – Fri 1.15 pm, 3.15 pm
Sat and Sun and public holidays 11.15 am, 1.15 pm, 3.15 pm

Adults 7,00 €
Reduced 3,50 €
Family 17,50 €

If you have a StuttCard (17 € for 24 hours) you can go free to Ludwigsburg Palace, Porsche and Mercedes Museums plus a host of other museums and attractions.

October 9th update: Visit this page and choose Baroque Experience (German: Barockerlebniskarte) https://www.schloss-ludwigsburg.de/besucherinformation/preise/ you can find prices for a combined Palace Tour and Garden visit.
Adult                         18,00 €
Reduced                     10,00 €