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a view into the Jewish Quarter from partway up the path. The church in the distance is on the other side of the river, beyond the Jewish Quarter.

Trebic, Czech Republic: A 3-part UNESCO site

The small town of Trebic is about two hours southeast of Prague in the Czech Republic, and the thing to see in Trebic is its UNESCO site. When I say “UNESCO site” though, I’m really referring to three sites that UNESCO has combined into one: the old Jewish Quarter, the old Jewish cemetery, and a…

Arion's fountain is on Upper Square in Olomouc, very near the UNESCO site Holy Trinity Column.

A UNESCO site in Olomouc (and other things to see there)

The Holy Trinity Column, a masterpiece of the Moravian Baroque style, is a UNESCO site in Olomouc, a small town in the eastern end of the Czech Republic. Standing alone at one end of Olomouc’s Upper Square, this memorial column stands 32 meters tall. Covered in impressive artwork, it dates to the 18th century. (Disclosure:…

This is the teeny-tiny plane we flew in on our tour of Prague Airport.

Prague Airport tour and a teeny-tiny airplane

If you’ve followed Rachel’s Ruminations for any length of time, you’ll know that I struggle with my fear of flying. So, naturally, when bloggers attending the TBEX conference in Ostrava, Czech Republic, last month were invited to a Prague Airport tour, I jumped at the chance. “Face your fear” and all that. (Disclosure: I took…

Rynek Underground Museum at Krakow Main Square

Krakow’s Old Town is centered around a lovely main square called Rynek Główny, which means main market. It dates to 1257, when it was rebuilt after the Mongol-Tatar invasions. Krakow Main Square Krakow Main Market Square forms the focal point of Krakow Old Town, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the center of the…

Wieliczka Krakow salt mine isn’t just a salt mine!

You wouldn’t think that touring a salt mine would be particularly interesting. I pictured tunnels carved into solid salt, and that was about it. It turns out that the Wieliczka salt mine outside Krakow, Poland, is much more than tunnels carved into salt. It has a history all its own, and, surprisingly, it has artworks…

orzechowiec, a nut cake we had for des

Urban Adventures Krakow food tour review

Polish food doesn’t have the excellent reputation of, say, French cuisine or Thai cooking. Frankly, it’s not something I ever really thought about. So when I traveled to Krakow for an influencer conference and was offered a place on an Urban Adventures Krakow food tour, I figured, “Why not?” I had minimal expectations of the…

Goshka with the Trabant, who would together take us on our Communism tour of Nowa Huta.

A Krakow Tour with a Twist

Crazy Guides’ communism tour advertises a visit to Nowa Huta, a “model communist city.” Built starting in the 1950s, this experiment in communist community-building is considered a landmark of Soviet-era socialist architecture and urban planning. I signed up for the tour with low expectations. I thought that the phrase our tour guide kept using, “worker’s paradise,”…

Jesus washes the disciples' feet in this fresco in Desesti church.

Wooden churches of Maramures, Romania

You’d think that after visiting the UNESCO-listed fortified churches of Transylvania and the painted churches of Moldavia, also UNESCO listed, we’d have gotten tired of visiting historic churches. Romania has yet another collection of UNESCO-listed churches, though. (Maybe Romania’s motto should be “Land of Churches”!) Right up near the border with the Ukraine, the wooden…

The Elie Wiesel Memorial is housed in this modest house in Sighet, Romania

Elie Wiesel Memorial House: a museum with a message

I am ashamed to admit that when we passed through the small city of Sighetu Marmaţiei, in the north of Romania, it was just a place to stop for the night on our way home to the Netherlands. Our GPS was about half a block off in directing us to the hotel we’d booked randomly…