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145 Kms from Pardubice
To walk on quintessentially European streets and feel like you are on top of the world at Prague Castle
Beyond PragueOn our recent trip to the Czech capital, we decided to take a day trip from Prague to explore Bohemian Switzerland. On our previous trip, we had comfortably explored the little heavens of Czech Republic. These heavens were towns such as Karlovy Vary, Telč, Litomyšl and Česky Krumlov. Most of these towns could be covered on a day trip from Prague!Bohemian Switzerland was long on our bucket list ever since and we took the chance to explore it without further delay by making it a part of our trip. Having experienced the quaint vibes of Czech towns earlier, I had great expectations from Bohemian Switzerland. But it was also important to plan the trip well and explore accordingly.Where is Bohemian Switzerland?Bohemian Switzerland, also known as Czech Switzerland is a picturesque region in the north west of Czech Republic. It is an extension of Saxon National Park, a part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Germany.Bohemian Switzerland is 2 hours away from the Czech capital, Prague by road. It’s the perfect destination for a day trip from Prague.Many people also take this day trip from Dresden, Germany.Day Trip From Prague | Tisa | Bohemian SwitzerlandPlanning with Northern HikesWe got in touch with our friends from the Northern Hikes, a leading adventure company in Prague which organizes some well-designed hikes from Prague to the Bohemian Switzerland region. They recommended we make the most of the ongoing winter season and try their Narnia Labyrinth and Bastei bridge hike. This meant, we were going to travel across 2 countries on our day trip from Prague. Also, this tour was apt for beginners and could be taken by anyone. So, we booked ourselves on the tour from Prague by coordinating with their team and were all pumped to explore this dream destination.Tour: Narnia Labyrinth and Bastei bridge hikeDuration: 10 hoursDistance: 6kmsInclusions: Pick up & drop from hotel/hostel, transport, guide, breakfast, a lá carté lunch (inclusive of vegan options), waterCost: EUR150 per personPreparationsWe were all set for the big day, to explore a destination that was on our bucket list for a while.Apart from sleeping early to rest well before our hike, we ensured we had the following list in place:Comfortable shoesWinter wear: Thermals, Jackets, Gloves, Warm Socks and BeaniesWater bottleChocolateCameraPassport (we always carry it along when travelling abroad)Narnia Labyrinth and Bastei Bridge Hike with Northern Hikes
Prague is one of the cheaper cities in Europe and thus the private cabs are not as expensive as some of the other Western European nations. We managed to reach our Hotel from the Airport in a private Mercedes in about 20 Euros by booking it in advance online. The chauffeur stood at the airport with a cardboard having my name on it which gave me a sense of luxury in the usually very expensive European nations. I had booked a 5 Star Hotel with an approximate cost of Rs 8000 for 2 nights inclusive of breakfast.
Day 3:Our 1st stop of the day was Prague castle. Bought 30 min ticket and took metro from Mustek to Malostranska and tram 22 further to Prazsky hrad (Czeck for Prague castle). The metro/tram stop is just infront of entrance to Castle. It is the easiest way to reach here. Be at Castle’s entrance maximum by 9 AM to avoid long queues for security check and maddening crowds. Castle District consists of St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, Rosenberg palace, Golden Lane, Royal palace where president still resides sometimes, Lobkowicz Palace, vineyards and South gardens. Access to castle district is free of cost, therefore we did not feel any need to buy tickets unless you want to see above mentioned churches, palaces (which are actually museums now and towers from inside). Entry to Golden Lane is free post 5 PM. It is a long sloping cobblestone pathway lined with tiny, charming and colorful dwellings. It has been preserved in its original form and not to be missed at all! Tickets are priced at 250 CZK onwards. St. Vitus Cathedral is accessible till certain point without tickets. Its architecture is magnificent. It has beautiful stained glasses inside and wonderful Gothic appearance outside which I felt is more admiring.
Day 2:We had breakfast at Starbucks and straight away rushed towards Sky Service tandem jump’s office located in Old town square. Yes! We were going to sky dive today! Make sure to book an early morning slot otherwise almost entire day will be gone in Sky diving. Also, reach their office atleast half an hour before your time slot so as to complete the initial formalities otherwise you will be sent in next slot and others will be preferred over you. They are very time punctual!! We booked our package on their website atleast a month before and paid half of the amount.For skydiving you will be transported to a small town located outside Prague. It’s a 1.5-hour journey. Enjoy the scenic countryside views of Czech enroute! Bring along some snacks or lunch. The whole experience was absolutely out of the world and full on adventurous. If you are prone to motion sickness then do not forget to bring suitable pills along as you might feel dizzy or vomit post diving.With every skydive package taken from this company you get to choose one complimentary offer from Hop on Hop off coupons, pub crawl passes or some restaurant’s food coupons. We chose HOHO coupons since we had already booked Pub crawl tickets.Well, to board a HOHO bus you will first need to redeem these coupons for tickets which can be done from a company specific HOHO bus ticket counter only and not just any kiosk located in Wencelas square (there are a few companies running their own HOHO buses and tours). Finally, on getting our tickets post much struggle, we hopped on to one such bus. But we did not find it much useful. Buses are not open therefore you are not able to see most of the places being talked about on audio guide.Post covering New town (Prominent places in New town are Wenceslas Square, The National Museum which was getting renovated, Jan Palach Memorial Cross, The Beer Factory and The Dancing House – overly hyped place) in HOHO bus, we got off at Malastrana (Little Quarter). It is nestled underneath the Prague castle, on one of the ends of Charles Bridge, opposite Old Town Square. Its cobblestone streets are lined with picturesque buildings, restaurants, cafes and churches. It’s busy square is always bustling with people. Its metro/tram stop is called Malostranska. We visited St. Nicholas Cathedral, small beautiful church in Malastrana. While walking towards old town square we accidentally stumbled upon Wallenstein Palace Gardens. The grounds are peaceful and well maintained. I saw white peacocks for the first time in my life wandering around freely.
Post having lunch we went back to our Airbnb apartment, freshened up and slept. In evening, we went for leisure walk around Old town square and Charles bridge. Enroute we came across this farmer market which goes on till 6-7 PM daily. You will find fresh fruits, magnets, souvenirs and other local things at very reasonable prices. Metro/tram stop of Old town square is called Staromestska.
1.Travel on foot in Prague to get the most wonderful experience from UNESCO protected sites such as Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Don’t be surprised if the cobbled lanes, beautiful architecture and fascinating history leave you spellbound!
I love Czechia. I love it so much that I have visited Czech Republic 8 times in past one year. In this post I will be specifically covering Bohemian Switzerland. It lies in the northern part of Czechia along with German Border. The area is covered with forest and sandstone hills which use to lie under the sea millions of years ago. There are a number of trails you can do in this region. Each one of them giving you a unique experience. I will be specifically covering the one I took which leads you straight to Pravčická brána, the largest natural Sandstone Arch in Europe. You may have spotted this sight in the movie Narnia. I have attached a video above which covers my Trip to Czechia and Slovakia
216 Kms from Pardubice
Austria’s capital city, Vienna, did not let me down! It is hard to find a city that looks as pretty as Vienna in winter. Walking on the streets of Vienna is like walking into stories of fairy tale. It is a city bestowed with history, baraquoe architecture, music, good cafes and bars.Deciding where to stay When I started researching about accommodation, I learnt that (like most of the European countries) Vienna is split into 23 districts (Bezirke), each having its own flavor. To cut it short and put it simply, 1st district is closest to city centre and the succeeding ones will be farther outside the centre. Districts 1 to 9 are inner city of Vienna offering easy access to cultural side of Vienna. I stayed in Vision Apartments Vienna Marc-Aurel. I would give this apartment 10/10 for its location.Museums, Palaces and much more!Vienna is known for this! There are many museums and art galleries in Vienna. The best way to get started is to by taking a walk around the Ringstrasse (ring road). While walking on this route, you will see Opera House, City Hall, Parliament, Imperial Palace.Visiting all of the museums and palaces might be a challenge if you wish to see or do other things as well in limited period of time. Keeping in mind the limited time I had, I visited the following places:➢ Schönbrunn Palace:
Day 9:Next day we went back to Vienna by train at 8:00 AM. Tickets were booked 2 months earlier on OBB app. Recommendations:1. I highly recommend staying in Budapest for atleast 2 entire days to leisurely explore everything. It has a lot to offer.2. On the day of your arrival, go for free walking tours which are highly informative and give you quick overview of important places and Budapest in general. Just Google for more information on these tours.3. Budapest looks extremely stunning at night so I highly recommend either a) strolling at Chain bridge, Buda Castle hill and near Parliament or b) may be going for Boat cruise on River Danube at night4. You can use Google maps for navigating by public transportation within Budapest.5. Having only a day in hand to explore Budapest, we couldn’t see following places which I would love to cover in future if I ever visit here again:a. Buda Palace Labyrinth: I read about this place is some blog. Though couldn’t find any reviews on TripAdvisor. It is apparently located underneath Buda Castle district. It has complex of caves and cellars. They have a website as well. It seems quite adventurous.b. Hungarian Parliament from insidec. St. Stephen’s Basilicad. House of Terror Museume. Jewish quarters especially Dohány Street Synagogue and Wallenberg Memorial Park having Tree of Life and Heroes’ Templef. Széchenyi Baths from inside
Day 10:Our 9-day trip to eastern Europe had come to an end. Our return flight to Delhi from Vienna was at 12:0 PM. We took Uber cab to reach airport from Hotel Beethoven. Recommendations:1. I will definitely not recommend the itinerary we followed for Vienna and Budapest. Vienna is rich in history, culture, art and architecture. It is astonishingly beautiful as well. Therefore, I recommend spending atleast 3 full days in Vienna to cover all important sightseeing places leisurely.2. 1 additional day you should spend in taking guided tours to Wachau valley, Dürnstein - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Melk's Benedictine monastery - Melk Abbey and wine tastings. There are many private tours which you can be hired from Vienna or can be booked online in advance on Viator.com. one of my friends took this tour from http://www.viennaexplorer.com/ and they thoroughly enjoyed it!3. You must take free walking tours before you start exploring on your own. They will give extensive overview of Vienna in general and all important monuments. They generally last for 3 hours. One such can be booked here: https://www.goodviennatours.eu/ 4. Because of lack of time we missed on following places which I feel are worth exploring:a. Museum Quartier: This Complex holds 4-5 museums of which the most famous ones are Kunsthistorisches Museum which holds Vienna’s greatest collection of paintings, Museum of Natural History (Naturhistorisches) which has significant collection of dinosaur skeletons, fossils and meteorites in addition to a large display of insects from around the world and Leopold Modern Art Museumb. Upper Belvedere Palacec. Churches like St. Charles church (Karlskirche) and Votive Church (Votivkirche)d. Tiergarten zoo, Gloriette and Museum of Carriages in Schonbrunn Palacee. Performances at Spanish Riding School5. Vienna Pass: We did not take it but I guess if you are staying in Vienna for 3-4 days atleast and plan to cover all above mentioned places then may be it is worth buying.6. Famous restaurants and cafes in Vienna: Demel Café for chocolates, cakes, etc., Palm Tree House and Café Sacher. We couldn’t try 1st two and last one we found overhyped!7. Google maps do not provide local public transport information in Austria. They tell only about regional buses which runs intercity. They have their own transportation apps.8. All markets in Vienna are closed on Sundays9. Buy chocolates and alcohol in Vienna. They are cheaper here than at duty free shops of airports.
Day 9:We reached Vienna by 10:30 AM. We planned to cover Schönbrunn Palace today. We bought tickets for Imperial Tour at https://www.imperial-austria.at/schoenbrunn-palace.html for afternoon time slot. We took U4 metro to reach here. From metro station, it’s a 10-minute walk. The palace showcases the Ritz and glitz of Habsburg dynasty. You get the audio guides and while touring you get to see 22 lavishly decorated rooms. Access to Schonbrunn gardens is free and you can walk up till Gloriette to witness some amazing views of gardens and palace. There is Tiergarten Zoo in the complex of Palace which is world’s oldest running zoo but we skipped it! Museum of Carriages or Wagenburg is also located in palace grounds. We came to know about this later so couldn’t check this out. Atleast 6 hours are required to cover everything this place has to offer!
Day 7:We reached Vienna at 10 AM from Salzburg. We booked train tickets 2 months before on OBB app. From railway station, we hired Uber taxi till Hotel Beethoven, our accommodation in Vienna. This hotel is located very near to Naschmarkt. Apart from this, we found nothing good about this hotel. Small rooms, bland food and above all bad customer service! Receptionists were totally incompetent in providing information to tourists. But good thing was that they have luggage storage facility. Since our check-in time was 2 PM and we had reached earlier, so we logged our luggage into their storage, freshened up in their guest washrooms and left for sight-seeing.We decided to have our breakfast at Naschmarkt. But unfortunately, none of the few restaurants here had any vegetarian dish! So, we decided to have fresh fruits and other produces which this market is actually famous for and we did not regret our decision at all!
It was time to say goodbye to Salzburg and travel to most significant Austrian city, Vienna. Had booked our train tickets in advance through OBB app.Recommendations:1. Dedicate atleast entire 2 days to Salzburg alone to cover major attractions of the city peacefully, enjoy some music concert and soak in the beauty of this small European alpine town. Similarly, 1 full day is required to enjoy Hallstatt, summer luge rides and Ice caves.2. If possible and suits your budget then stay at Wolfgangsee. It is located mid-way from both Salzburg and Hallsttat. This place is absolutely scenic and worth staying at.3. Do not forget to stroll around padlock (lovelock) bridge of Salzburg in evening and night. Everything is lit up and you will witness some enthralling views of river, fortress, old town, greenery and mountains in background!4. Tyrolean Folk performance with the Gundolf Family is must-do in Innsbruck. It happens only on specific days and in evenings. You can book them in advance at Viator. We couldn’t do it since we were on a day trip to Innsbruck and had a train to catch in evening.5. If going to Salzburg and Innsbruck both, then shop for souvenirs at latter since it will be cheaper with more variety6. Must try delicacies - Schnapps, Schnitzel and strudel
On reaching Vienna , the temperature was 8 degrees and the slight drizzle , it was a wonderful welcome by the rain Gods and our tour guide Ronnie Palia was an upfront person who briefed us as soon as we got into the tour bus .We were told about the do's and dont'sand were taken to an Indian restaurant for dinner and then Hotel Trend Pyramid which i would say is a bit off the city , but since we had the tour bus which stayed with us all along the tour , there was'nt much a problem .It was a group of 35 people and we were lodged comfortably in our rooms . Since we reached late evening , there wasnt much to do that evening , so we called it a day.
From elegant architecture to aromatic cafes, from magnificent palaces to dramatic operas, the city of Vienna portrays royal connection in it's every aspect. 'Wien' as they call in German is a hometown to famous Mozart and Beethoven.Though my short stint with the city was not enough to explore the musically and artistically pleasing capital of Austria, I really wanted to make best of it to see as much as I could.In Vienna, I ditched the expensive hotel rooms and choose to stay at Airbnb home-stays. It was homely, cozy and really cheap. Located in the heart of the city here's a glance of my room.
1. Touchdown Vienna and begins the committed platonic relationship with 'Tourist Information Desk'. Our first encounter, a redhead lady (just her hair were read, keep that urban dictionary aside, please) at the desk. While struggling to understand the streets and the sub streets and the sub sub streets, I guess the travel desk lady understood our bewilderment and said, 'It's 5.50 pm, if you can wait for anothet 10 minutes, I will drop you to your accommodation. It's opposite the street where I live'. And the first whiff of the beautiful Veinna air.But wait a minute. We didn't know that 'I will drop you' means 'I will walk you'. This city walks and walks with stride of an athlete. Not surprised by the 'thigh gap' being a commoner's commodity here. So the redhead not only helped us with carrying the luggage (3 women. Don't expect us to travel light) but helped us give an insider's overview of Vienna. We were amazed at the humility and camaraderie of this woman whose name also we didn't know. This was our introduction to the level of trust for a stranger that the Europe exhibits.2. Are you from India?- Yes!Ah! Na'A'maste!Our three days in Vienna echoed with the above. It was amusing to see how people knew about nationalities and the local pleasantries of various nations. It somehow boosts your confidence of 'being known' and automatically creates a sense of belongingness. When after 'Na'A' maste' with a few too many, I asked a gentleman that how does he have so much knowledge about different nations of the world, their demography and their local pleasantries, he said:'It's the fear of Unknown that makes us susceptible to people around. Once we read, understand others, we know that it's just the geography which aparts us. In today's time and age, it's a must to read about /to know about different cultures, practices and traditions of the various nations. It's not the treaties that maketh a better world, it's the heart'.
468 Kms from Pardubice
To visit a country that rose from the ashes of World War II in Krakow...
To visit a country that rose from the ashes of World War II in Krakow
This post is one of the most difficult post I ever had to write because I don’t know If I can do justice to the place, the suffering, the inhuman activities which took place in Auschwitz.Let me tell you something which I'm very embarrassed about. I didn’t know about concentration camps until I was 20 and visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Munich. I knew who Hitler was but I had no clue what he did and how he did those things. I felt sorry for myself and for everyone else who didn’t know about the Holocaust. This part of history should never be forgotten, because those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.
Krakow was such an amazing historical city and I felt so alive having gone there by myself and seeing all of these incredible sights and making new friends. It was the first time I opened up on my travels and I was kicking myself that I hadn't done it earlier.I discovered I shouldn't be so shy and to open up more to strangers, because other people can really make your trip so much more special. Now it's what I love the most about travelling and thinking back to that particular day always gets me so pumped and energised for new adventures ahead.
Krakow is interesting. Walk down the street, and barely anyone is smiling. It’s a little bit depressing (maybe the weather is partly to blame). But then, start talking to someone, and they’re the nicest person ever. It’s funny to me that a person can be so happy, yet 5 minutes before that, they were walking around without any expression at all on their face.
251 Kms from Pardubice
All buses drop you off at the Dresden hauptbahnhof (main station). A short tram ride took us to the old town center....
Dresden was once called the “Florence on the Elbe” being one of Europe’s architectural and artistic highlights. However, much of it was bombed during WWII and much of the city was not much more than a rubble heap. On February 13, 1945, 800 British aircraft showered the city with 2,600 tons of bombs. The Americans followed the next morning with 300 Flying Fortress bombers. It is estimated that 25,000 people were killed, while 13 square miles of the historic city center were destroyed. With temperatures rising to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, the burning city was visible to pilots from 100 miles away. Dresden was a central hub for the Nazi’s and the city remained loyal to them, hence its destruction. Being Saturday evening, there was not much open other than restaurants and bars, but it was lovely seeing the city at this time of day. The streets were crowded with tourists and residents strolling and chatting in various languages. What struck us the most was that it was COLD. We both had liners under our coats, but we could have used gloves and scarves too. The outdoor restaurants all had their heatalators on to keep the hungry crowds warm enough to sit through a meal.
260 Kms from Pardubice
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the largest city of the same. It was once part of the glorious Hungarian Empir...
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the largest city of the same. It was once part of the glorious Hungarian Empire, and it has a very interesting history inspired by the German, Hungarian, Austrian, Czech, and Serbian cultures.It is located both on the bank of the River Danube, and the River Morava on the left side. Interestingly, it was not called ‘Bratislava’ until 1919. It used to be called ‘Pressburg’ due to the high erstwhile German population here.I spent my Sunday here, and here is a list of ‘Must go’ places in Bratislava.Tea store in an underground bomb shelter: There is a beautiful little tea store gorgeously decorated which used to be an underground bomb shelter during the war. They serve several kinds of tea, and it’s one of the few (or maybe only) place in Bratislava that serves you amazing Indian Masala Chai. For tea addicts, you can’t miss this place!2. Ice cream in black cones: Now for those who are ‘meh’ about ice cream, please skip this point. However, for those who aren’t, this is a major fun activity to do in the city square. You get ice cream in these beautifully crafted black cones! Just like this.3. The Bratislava castle: If castles are your thing, then you should not miss this. The castle is nestled on a hill overlooking the Danube river. It makes for a really picturesque location.Credit: Kongres magazine4. Hlavne Namestie: This is the city square in Bratislava. It has a very vintage old-world vibe coupled with several modern restaurants, and shops. So if you want your fix of old town mixed with contemporary, then this is your place to be!You can take the old city tour in a toy train from just outside the French embassy, and enjoy beautiful sights of the city like the hall where Mozart gave his only performance in Slovakia, the Roland fountain and the old town hall.5. The cumil or ‘Man at work’: This is the rarest statue that I have ever seen. Bratislava is famous for this statue of a man who is peeping out of a manhole to stare at the people walking on the street. You almost miss it until you see a swarm of people around this statue taking pictures.The old tour also shows you this interesting landmark, towards which you can proceed once the tour is done.Credit : Trip advisor
We started at 9 am from Vienna and went on with our trip to Bratislava , the capital of Slovakia . A picturesque drive through huge roads with farmlands and windmills looking down upon you and waving goodbye . We reached this wonderful place . A lot of history is embedded into this city as the guide told us . The beautiful cobblestone roads and dimly lit alleys , the graffiti on the walls . It's a different charm altogether . After describing a brief history of the place through the streets we were taken to the town square where we spend good time and we're taken to the Linder hotel . Now I can't skip mentioning this part . We luckily got a room on the 10th floor of this hotel , one of the best properties I have ever stayed in . The hotel connects to a mall , which allows you ample shopping and eating opportunities if you are a foodie . The view from the room was amazing as we could see till distant horizons with a glass of wine from the balcony. Bratislava will be remembered .
The first time I went to Bratislava, I didn’t have high expectations. After four days spent in this city - I had to admit - I was so pleasantly surprised that I couldn’t believe it! Bratislava is a gorgeous city, small and quiet but, at the same time, colorful and full of surprises. It has a very nice Old Town and a lot of historical places to visit, but also everything you need for your social activities. Well, you will see with your own eyes! :) Anyway, during your first visit to Bratislava there are 5 things to do that, in my opinion, will let your stay be more interesting.A visit to the Blue Church This teeny-tiny church is one of the most impressive things you will see in Bratislava. Officially named St. Elizabeth Church, like from a fairy tale it is completely blue: the facade, the mosaics, the majolicas, the interior, even the roof is tiled with blue-glazed ceramics. The church is an art nouveau building, built in the early 20th century, and it’s situated in a very nice area, in the eastern part of the Old Town of Bratislava. You absolutely have to visit the Blue Church, and don’t forget your camera: you will need it! :)
Bratislava is simple old world charm. I can't stress how friendly and helpful the people are. They are simply waiting for you to ask them directions! While entering the city, the Brastislava Hrad (castle) is an imposing sight and the Old Town is enchanting. When backpacking in Europe alone, chuck other cities to definitely stop by Bratislava as it will welcome you with open arms.Getting around in BratislavaWalking around the Old Town is your best option. A good walk will get you all around the historic centre, main square and by lanes that are open for exploration. To get around the city, buses are the best bet. Tickets are available at magazine shops or most bus stops have a ticketing machine. Again, don't forget to punch in your ticket. While Slovakia uses the euro, it's much cheaper than other neighbouring countries.Accommodation in BratislavaThere are tons of good hostels near the Old Town and the Castle. A personal recommendation would be to stay in the hostels to get a feel of the pulse of the city. Other than that, Airbnbs and hotels are the usual options. Just remember that there are plenty of walks uphill and downhill so it will be easier on you if you're a bit fit.What to eat in BratislavaWhile most dishes have meat, carbs like potatoes, bread and noodles are staples. Dairy products are also very popular. When backpacking in Europe alone and you find yourself in the Slovakian capital, try the Bryndzové Halušky or potato dumplings that are similar to gnocchi served with sheep’s milk cheese. The goulash is also very popular which is a Hungarian specialty.
400 Kms from Pardubice
Leipzig had the largest Hauptbahnhof in Europe until Berlin usurped it. This seems to be the trade fair capital of Germa...
Leipzig had the largest Hauptbahnhof in Europe until Berlin usurped it. This seems to be the trade fair capital of Germany and an important city for such throughout Europe dating back centuries. What we did not know was that Leipzig was having a Goth festival. As we were walking and admiring the beautiful architecture, there were many other sights to see walking along side of us. For music lovers, which I do not count amongst the many, Leipzig is where Johann Sebastian Bach lived for a good part of his life and was the Kantor in the Thomaskirche. He is buried in the choir with the Bach archives across the street. Felix Mendelssohn headed the Gewandhaus Orchestra and founded the first conservatory in Germany. Richard Wagner was born here, receiving his musical training here. This city also boasts Germany’s first stock exchange.