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Central Europe roadtrip 2023

My family and I visited several Central European cities where we met and spent time with friends and extended family. It wasn’t a sit-back-and-chill type of vacation but one full of action and adventure; it can’t be different with two young and active children.

As we left Switzerland and entered the plains of southern Germany, wind turbines started to pop up. I don’t know if I saw one wind turbine in Switzerland (there probably are some), but Germany is full of them. I saw them in eastern Austria around Vienna later in the trip. We usually travel through Munich, western Austria, and Slovenia to get to Croatia—either there aren’t wind turbines, or there are so few of them that they don’t register in my mind. However, metal and plastic giants followed us on this trip to Berlin. There is something dizzying in them, slowly rotating on the horizon as the road turns and winds.

A collage of two photos, both of wind turbines next to the


I’ve been to Berlin many times in the past decade, so there was no need to go to the most popular spots. And just walking around Berlin looking at architecture and graffiti is interesting by itself.

Two buildings next to each other. One is an older
traditional residential building with straight lines and
subtle light matte colors. The other is modern, dark, and
shiny, with sharp angles, and looks like it’s made of many

A graffiti of Walt Disney’s Goofy holding a spray can. Goofy
is being entangled by enormous octopus

A graffiti of a slightly confused and annoyed emu looking
straight into the viewer.

A graffiti in Berlin saying: baby face boy billionaires
design doom scrolling dead ends like mirrors of their

Zoo Berlin has such a nice logo. I captured several visually appealing textures and patterns on animals and buildings on camera.

Zoo’s logo is a gorilla constructed out of simple shapes,
but its legs are separated by outlines of famous towers and
landmarks in Berlin.

Zebras’ black and white

Baby elephant’s head in front of a bigger elephant who is
throwing sand and dirt on itself, so the background is a mix
of wrinkled elephant skin and dust

A view upwards from the bottom of inside a pagoda tower. The
skylight at the top of the tower and the sharp geometrical
shapes of the tower’s building blocks create a visually
pleasing combination of light and dark

Little BIG City Berlin is the story of Berlin from the first settlements to today, told through miniature models. I was surprised by the craft.

A photo of the whole miniatures area and the path between
them. One starts in the Middle Ages with old castles and
medieval houses and then progresses to the Industrial
Revolution and the Second World

A camera is placed in a street of a miniature scene so the
photo looks like a real-world photo of a city. The photo shows
the Titania Palast in the 1920s or 1930s with two antique cars
on the street.

A miniature scene of a man in front of a brick building
cleaning a street with a broom at the beginning of the 20th
century. A camera is placed low behind two women figures, so
it looks like they’re watching the

A somewhat abstract or caricature depiction of an early
20th-century theater show. A man is playing piano while a
mermaid is performing. Two men in suits sit and watch while
counting money, making phone calls, and toasting with a

The Museum of Musical Instruments was glad to send us our way because our kids tried every interactive exhibit; we were the loudest visitors in the museum. It was more try-and-listen than take-a-photo experience, but I captured a lute to the tone of “Toss a coin to your witcher.”

Several old lutes kept in a glass

The Museum for Communication held a few surprises, primarily by displaying items that I used in my childhood. In other words, I’m not young anymore. On the positive side, the lobby of the museum is gorgeous. I’m a sucker for late 19th-century stone, glass, and steel industrial architecture.

The museum lobby looks like from the late 19th or early 20th
century. Marble columns and floors, arches, glass and steel
domes. It’s spacious and well

A collection of about thirty mailboxes throughout the
history of Deutsche Post, from the oldest on the left to the
newest on the right.

An old postal carriage suspended from the ceiling. The
carriage is disassembled and displayed in an exploded view so
that each part is visible but still close to its original
position so that the shape and recognizability of the carriage
is still unmistakable.

A wall full of telephones showing the evolution of
telephones over the centuries from left to


We briefly stopped in Dresden on our way to Prague. Still, a short walk around the historical center was surprisingly lovely, particularly the opera house and the Procession of Princes mural painted on 23,000 porcelain tiles spanning a hundred meters.

A circular 19th century huge opera house, two floors, a half
dome in front with a four-horse chariot statue on top of

A hundred meter mural depicting a procession of nobles
riding horses.


Our first time in Prague. It was very nice because of the well-preserved historical parts, but I expected it to be more exotic. The city and the country are culturally and historically close to Zagreb in Croatia, where I’m from, so architecture, food, language, and people felt … too similar?

In any case, we had to visit all the standard locations like the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle and the cathedral on the hill, the old town, the astronomy clock tower, the Powder Tower where gunpowder was stored, and similar.

A view of the Charles Bridge over the Vltava River. There
are a few small barges and canoes on the

A detail of where the bridge enters a neighborhood. There is
a small yellow cafe under one of the bridge

A spire on the top of the Powder

There are so many good photos of the St. Vitus Cathedral online that one more wouldn’t really matter. However, I enjoyed catching details around and on it, like these ornate doors.

Old but well preserved ornate wooden and metal doors in
frames of stone blocks.

Here are a few more details or interesting scenes from walking around the city.

A map of Prague from the year 1743, framed in a thick wooden
frame and hung on the

A world map on which visitors can pin their location of
origin. Most pins are from Europe and the Middle East,
followed by North America and Southeast Asia. There is a
surprising cluster of pins in East

An enclosed passage opens up to a narrow alley. One side is
medieval architecture, and the other is 19th

A plush mole cartoon character next to a jug of dark beer.
The jug has sunglasses on its handle, so it also looks like a

Grinch is my spirit character.

Several small figurines of Grinch in various

The old library in Klementinum was gorgeous. It reminded me of the Library of Trinity College.

An old and highly ornate library. It contains manuscripts on
two floors. Various astronomical globes and clocks sit across
the middle of the ground

The LEGO museum delivered another blow—LEGO sets from the 90s that I still have at home that my kids play with. There were newer sets too, but not many older ones. The custom-built sets of Prague architecture were amazing.

The LEGO building of the Prague Astronomical Clock

LEGO Muppet Show characters.

A small LEGO space vehicle. The set is called Beacon Tracer,
and it’s from 1990. I have it at home, as many others from the
same era.

A scene from the Battle of Hoth from Star Wars. An AT-AT
walker is in focus, with Luke Skywalker pulling himself up
beneath it.

Google Prague

I stopped in one neighborhood because I remembered a Google office might be nearby. As I reached for my phone, I lifted my gaze and saw the Google logo on a building. What a coincidence.

Google logo on a building visible from the street

The same Google logo, but seen from the top

Internal staircase connecting two floors. On the walls
around it, there are many colorful posters and photos of

A view from Google’s lounge to 19th-century residential
buildings outside. A huge Fatboy cushion pillow with a
lowercase letter g is in the middle of the

Previous blog post:
Smartphone snapshot 2023

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