Prague

The name is enough to begin to imagine the old city the romance the beauty of Europe without conflicts or religious wars.That time of course never existed but the culture and art still emanates from so many cities in Europe and never so beautifully as Prague.

I think planning is not necessary just pick a spot in any part of the city and just start walking, you will be rewarded at every turn.

You can start in the Old Town Square and just explore and you will discover a magical

Europe.

Saint Petersburg,Russia

The most beautiful city in Russia is Saint Petersburg which is easy to reach if you are in Scandanavia or any of the Baltic countries.

I had purchased a package that included transportation from Helsinki and a Visa for my

2 days in Saint Petersburg.

The city was created by Europeans so it naturally has a European quality.

I concentrated on the Hermatage Museum and the Peterhof which is a day trip by bus and if you wish by boat.

The Hermitage was not in good condition after the Soviet Union had left history so money was raised abroad to bring a great museum back to its former glory.

It is on the same level as the Louvre or the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

It is a good idea to come early since it gets very crowded.

Peterhof

The next day had a wonderful trip to the Peterhof,went by bus and came back on a fast boat.

Gardens at Peterhof

Had rare good weather it was around 72F or 22C

Winter Palace and Hermitage museum

This is not a city that you should ever skip if you are in the area.The big hassle is getting a Visa,the best way to lower the high cost is getting a package by Rail or Ship from Helsinki,Finland.

Marienplatz

While I was in Munich took the U-Bahn from my Hotel to Marienplatz which was a short distance from the Holiday Inn Munich Leuchtenbergring.

The Hotel is very good value and when I stayed in late April the rooms were about 72 USD a day.

After taking a walk around the beautiful Marienplatz I took a short ride on the U-Bahn to the Deutsches Museum.The Museum has a strange name since it is a Science and Technology centered exhibition. It includes every aspect of Science and Tech that you can think of and is worth your time.

The Marienplatz area of Munich is a geographic and cultural center of Munich and is a good starting point to any visit to the area.

New York

In New York for a few days the weather was beautiful used Reward Points to stay at Grand Hyatt which is next to Grand Central Station and then stayed at the Intercontinental near Broadway.

By using Rewards points from Hyatt and IHG I paid for one night so the total for 4 nights cost me less then 500 USD

New York City is expensive so you need to learn about the various Rewards programs if you wish to visit without hurting your wallet.

I booked the Grand Hyatt so I could just walk out of the Hotel and grab a train on the Metro North to the Hudson Valley.I went to Beacon to visit the various Art Galleries in the area.

It is not a expensive trip for a journey of about 100 minutes it varies in price based on what time of day you travel.The price is between 23 to 45 USD

The trip alone is worthwhile since almost the entire journey is along the Hudson.

After I arrived back in New York I visited the High line and then Hudson Yards.

The High line is about 1 1/2 miles long and more then 30 feet above the sidewalk and is a fun experience.You can either visit downtown or visit Hudson Yards.

Flying near George Washington Bridge

Metro North near Beacon
The Track is very close to the Hudson
Metro North near Beacon
A beautiful train ride from Grand Central Station
Metro North to Beacon
From the High Line a view of Hudson Yards
Hudson Yards
A view from my room at Intercontinental Hotel
Flying over New York
Nice View from the Plane

Neuschwanstein Castle

You take the Train from the Main Train station in Munich……. the trip takes about 2 hours.The trip is pleasant not spectacular but a nice way to spend 2 hours.

When you arrive at Fussen the closest town to the Castle a Bus is waiting for you outside the Train station it is about 3 USD but included if you have a Bayern ticket.The ticket can be purchased online or at the train station it is about 28USD and can be used anywhere in Bavaria including Saltzburg for almost 24 hours for any type of public transportation.I used the Bayern ticket to go on the U-Bahn to the

Munich central station………. it was used to go to Fussen and then showed it to the driver for the 30 minute ride to the Castle.You arrive at the bottom of a hill to get to the Castle which has its own shuttle to the top……. are you tired yet ? This is a long trip and a lot of people are making a buck from this Castle especially Disney.

But you get your reward when you start to get a view of the Castle and of course you pay again if you decide to go into the Castle.Although the views of the area are nice I think just walking around the area and getting a view of the Castle and the area is more interesting.

My suggestion is to arrive early and try to come in off season.Even though it was late April it was still busy.Also it was about 45 F or 7 C not a Beach day.

How to get a Boarding Pass to Mars.

This is an article from The Verge………………

Now’s the time to get your name on NASA’s next mission to Mars

It’s that time of the year again, when NASA gives you the opportunity to “ship” your name to another celestial body. This time, the destination is Mars, and the shipping service is NASA’s future Mars 2020 rover, which will be headed to the Red Planet in — you guessed it — 2020.

The rover’s primary mission is to get us closer to answering that fundamental question: did Mars ever host alien life? The robot is equipped with tools and instruments that will help scientists figure out if the planet may have hosted life in the past. On top of that, the rover will also be drilling and collecting samples of Martian dirt. It’ll then leave those samples on the ground, where they could potentially be picked up someday by another spacecraft and brought back to Earth.

And while the Mars 2020 rover is doing all of this, your name could be along for the ride. If you send in your name sometime before September 30th, NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will etch it onto a silicon chip with an electron beam, and then the rover will carry it on its journey. The names are going to be pretty teeny, though — about one-thousandth the width of a human hair. That’s small enough so that more than a million names can be included on a single chip as big as a dime — but big enough for any Martian microbes to read (only kidding… Martians can’t read).

NASA has provided this opportunity for members of the public before, when it landed the InSight lander on Mars in 2018 or when it sent the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to the asteroid Bennu. And just like any seasoned traveler, you’ll get a boarding pass and “frequent flyer” miles. Seeing as how the InSight travelers got about 300 million miles from their trip, the Mars 2020 folks are poised to get some serious points, too. Unfortunately, it seems doubtful Delta airlines will accept them.

Oxford

After going back to London made a quick trip to Oxford.It is a great day trip from London since it is only about a 1 hour journey from Marylebone train station.

When you arrive at Oxford there are many buses stopping at the train station.Since I needed to get back to london in a short time decided to take the tourist bus that covers the entire city in about 70-80 minutes.It costs 20USD but you can save about 10 percent by using a Viator promotion code that you can find online.

The bus makes about 20 stops and you can get off and return whenever you want.

I paid about 17 USD for a return ticket from London so it was not an expensive trip.

Here are some Pics