Prague – Czech Republic – 2008

Per Trip Advisor:

The bohemian allure and fairy tale features of Prague make it a perfect destination for beach-weary vacationers who want to immerse themselves in culture. You could devote an entire day to exploring Prazsky hrad (Prague Castle), then refueling over a hearty dinner at a classic Czech tavern. Spend some time wandering the Old Town Square before heading over to gape at The Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock. Prague’s best bars are found in cellars, where historic pubs set the scene for a night of traditional tippling.

If you read my travel around the world page, then you know that Prague was our first trip abroad as a couple.  I would like to say we chose Prague for noble or intellectual reasons, but the truth is that it was the cheapest trip at the time .  I am not cheap, just economical – sounds better.

We booked 10 days in Prague.  Ten days was plenty of time to see the sights.  In fact I would recommend 4 to 5 days and a day in Karlstejn.  I recently found this site Three days in Prague – http://www.tripadvisor.com/Guide-g274707-l76-Prague_Bohemia.html which is a great guide to seeing most of the highlights if not all.  I would add the Kafka museum, taking in a concert, seeing the dancing house, and a visit to Vyšehrad.

We stayed in an economical hotel in the area of Vyšehrad.  While not in the center of the city, travel to the center was no problem.  The subway (see pic) is economical, clean, fast and VERY EASY to navigate.  We also found a restaurant that served great goulash in a bread bowl around the corner from our hotel.   Our hotel was quaint and interesting.  We had three (3) desk clerks, the beautiful student (see pic below) spoke excellent English, was courteous, friendly and gave us some good directions.  She had us venture to a mall in the suburbs via the subway and recommended the day trip to Karlstejn which was one of the highlights of our trip.  The young man at the desk was also excellent.  But the older man at the desk was something else.  The morning we checked out, we had to awaken him from a drunken sleep on the floor.  Two things to note – they love dogs in Prague.  It was common to see a dog at our restaurant sitting peacefully at its masters feet while the master dined.

I tried to learn Czech before we went – the important phrases like “Where is the bathroom?” and “How much does that cost?”  One day, when looking for a restaurant,, I asked a local worker, in my best Czech, where it was.  He shrugged his shoulders and indicated he did not understand.  I agave up after several tries.  Barb then opened her mouth, pointed to it with her finger, made a chewing motion.  His eyes lit up and pointed the way gleefully.

Our Hotel in Vyšehrad

Our beautiful and courteous desk clerk with Barb.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vyšehrad comprises a sprawling, walled fortification dating to the 10th century and containing several interesting historical sights, such as the Romanesque Rotunda of St. Martin, the Gothic Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, and the Slavin Cemetery, where the nation’s most famous personages are laid to rest.

Rotunda in Vyšehrad.  Vyšehrad has a nice park and walking through the streets one views the rotunda, the college, ancient bridges, and other interesting sights without the touristic hubbub of Prague.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our favorite restaurant in Vyšehrad – loved the goulash served in a bread bowl.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Getting Around – Subway

The subway was fast, clean, easy to navigate and economical.  We took the subway daily with visits to old town only a couple of minutes away.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Subway – economical & easy to find your stop

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Originally dating to the 9th century, this landmark, which surrounds St. Vitus Cathedral.  To read more about this castle and the complex visit http://www.praguewelcome.cz/en/visit/monuments/top-monuments/54-prague-castle.shtml

 

 

Charles Bridge

Founded on 9th July 1357 by Charles IV the bridge has 30 statues and sculptures of saints.  Unfortunately the bridge was undergoing repairs during our stay in Prague.  A boat trip on the Vltava river was a relaxing overview of the major sights in Prague.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

BOAT CRUISE

Take a cruise, sit back and enjoy the sights including Charles Bridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the cruise you will see the Metronome swinging back and forth.  After tearing down  in 1962 an enormous monument to former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. The Metronome was erected in 1961.  It is a  functional metronome in Letná Park, overlooking the Vltava River and the city center of Prague. It was erected in 1991, on the plinth left vacant by the destruction in 1962 of an enormous monument to former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. The 75-foot-tall (23 m) Metronome is now mostly a scenic vista and a meeting place for young people. It was designed by international artist Vratislav Novak.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLD TOWN HALL

Old Town Hall has played a part with the most significant events in country’s history. Established in 1338, when King John of Luxembourg granted Prague’s Old Town the right to establish its own administrative centre, it was the site for George of Poděbrady’s selection as king of Bohemia in 1458. Following the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, leading revolutionaries were imprisoned here, and 27 were executed in front of the hall on 21 June 1621.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 DINNER & FOLK DANCING TOUR

We took a night tour that included dinner, and a show of folk music and folk dancing.  It was very enjoyable and the new friends we met added a warm glow to a perfect evening.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Beer Hall

If you visit Prague, you have to stop in a famous beer hall.  Sitting a long table, we made friends with locals and had a good time.  Here we stopped in beer house u Zlatého tygra. A traditional Czech pub, guests here sit at wooden tables. Just make sure to get here early!

 

 

 Doorways I was fascinated by the beautiful and gigantic doorways throughout Prague.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Old Town Hall with the Astronomical Clock

In 1338, when King John of Luxembourg granted Prague’s Old Town the right to establish its own administrative centre. The original basis for the town hall became the gothic house of the wealthy merchant Wolflin of Kamen, for whom a stately tower was built in 1364. The Old Town Hall is associated with the most significant events in the country’s history. This is the place where the king of Bohemia George of Poděbrady was selected in 1458. After the Battle of White Mountain, the leading participants in a revolt were imprisoned here. Twenty seven of these were subsequently executed on 21 June 1621 in front of the Town Hall.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The apostels of the Astronomical Clock are in operation from 9 to 23 (9:00 AM to 11:00 PM)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Streets, parks & homes

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course you can book a tour with a ride in a car of yesteryear.  We didn’t.

Or you can get an aerial view from a balloon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Music hall

Czech crystal

Jewish Cemetery

Our walking tour included a visit to the Jewish Cemetery.  Tombstones date back several hundred years.  Despite being only a fraction of its former self, Prague’s Jewish Quarter comprises the best current complex of Jewish historical monuments in all of Europe. The smallest of Prague’s districts was walled off as a ghetto in 1096, following a pogrom against its inhabitants, who were mainly Jewish immigrants.

Grave marker from 1439

Leave a Reply


*