Prague, Czech Republic

Note** Pictures will be uploaded SOON.

I knew I was going to Europe, November 7-10, and I listed myself to both Paris and Rome. Then I bought low cost tickets from Paris to Prague and Rome to Florence. It was a toss up: head over to my favortite city on Earth or visit somewhere I’d only dreamed of visiting. I made it to Paris, and found my way to Czech Airlines – nice, efficient service and pretty flight attendants.

Good morning Prague! I must say, I speak no other language than English, but it was no problem with the friendly people I met. A short visit with tourist information and my hostel was booked at $14 for 2 nights, I had info about buses and trains, and I was ready to explore! One more stop at a currency exchange, I found my $150 to exchange for over $2000 czk. This does not mean the city was cheap, but the coin money sure fooled me.

On the bus, I met an American who was teaching English. He was surprisingly the only other American I met. He said that public transport was excellent and I would find Prague to be a safe city, and I did. If you go here, just remember your ticket must be time stamped and you may use trains, buses, and trams with the same ticket.

After a short walk from the Metro station Malostranka, I found Little Quaters hostel – not a bad deal for a clean bed and central location. I started walked up the mountain; Prague Castle – the largest castle complex in Europe – was 5 minutes away by foot. I stopped in an old world marionette shop where at least 50 beautifully artisan crafted works of tradional art hung on the walls. Later, a young man taught me about the different kinds and what features made arms and legs dance around. I played with one! Since it’s a Czech tradition, I just had to see a show I decided! Don Giovanni – i went to see it direct on the King’s Coronation way near The Old Town Area on day 2. On to the centuries old Castle I went, taking pictures of this gothic work of art. Then on to The Czech Republic’s first vineyard – where I sampled hot wine. Down a winding staircase towards the city, I spoke with a Czech artist who took me inside his shop to show off his masterpieces. We made plans to meet in the Old City for dinner later. I stood him up. So, I need to go back to Prague just to make it up to the old man. I went to a orchestra concert that evening in baroque cathedral. Then, I made my way to a Garnet shop where I bought a unique and gorgeous ring and earrings. The astonomical clock wasn’t about to chime, but I found it in the old square. On my way back to my hostel, I crossed the Charles Bridge from where the palace looks like a fairytale painting. Making my way up the small streets, I returned to my hostel where a luxurious bath and a comfy bed awaited. (I know, it’s a hostel, but it’s true.)

I booked The Prague Tour (all Inclusive) for Day 2 for 1200 czk – about $65. I highly reccomend this if you go. My day included all the following from 9am-4pm, plus lunch in a medieval restaurant and a boat trip (with more hot wine):

1. Prague Castle
2. St. Vitus Cathedral
3. Strahov Monastery
4. Loreto Pilgrimage Place
5. Hradschin Town
6. Lobkowitz Palace
7. Archbishop Palace
8. Castle Gardens
9. Breathtaking Viewpoint
10. Nerudova Street
11. St. Nicholas Church
12. Infant Jesus of Prague
13. Knights of Malta
14. Lennon’s Wall
15. Kampa Island
16. Certovka Canal
17. Charles Bridge
18. Old Town Bridge Tower
19. Kings Coronation Way
20. Clementinum
21. Astronomical Clock
22. Old Town Square
23. Tyn Church
24. Ungelt
25. Powder Gate
26. Mozart and Prague
27. Carolinum
28. Old Jewish Cemetery
29. Old New Synagogue
30. Former Jewish Town Hall
31. Jewish Ceremonial Hall
32. Pinkas Synagogue
33. Maisel Synagogue
34. Spanish Synagogue
35. Prague Cubismus
36. Frank Kafka House

At the end of the boat ride the tour was over and I ran over to the Atronomical Clock to see it strike 4pm, and I saw all 12 apostles appear. I walked over to a market where I bought Bohemian Czech glass beads for a project I have in mind for my niece and I. In this part of the city, tourists ran amuck amongst shops that all sold the same souvneirs. Back in the Old Town Square, I hopped around from one vendor to another at a wine tasting event in honor of Saint Martin. I learned he would where white and ride on horseback towards the end of the week. I sampled wines and bought quality handmade items, including a red loomed hat and wine.

The food here is good. Roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut is the most popular dish, I’m told and I tried in during the aforermentioned tour. Smoked ribs are also excellent. You’ll find vendors in every corner selling sausage dogs, waffles on sticks, Pilsner and hot wine – which reminds me of red wine but at the same time cider. My guide told me to try a traditon Czech sweet made from plum. I have no idea what that is, but you’ll find patries and dumplings all over the city of Prague. I understand the fruit dumplings are often served as a meal by themselves.

Walking back towards Charles Bridge, I discovered a marrionette show! Don Giovanni was playong at The National Marionnette Theater! How fun it was to see! I lingered on the bridge after. Then back up the path to the castle, where a grand ball appeared to be taking place. Then down the steps to “the oldest medieval bar” in Prague. If not the oldest bar, it claimed to be one of them. There I drank a mix of a Czech beers, because the bartender didn’t have Havana Club and brought on pour on top ofthe other. A couple of those with some new Belgian friends, and one more walk up to the castle to view this gorgeous city I said ahoj (goodbye.) Then spent the rest of the night talking with an engineer from Mexico City who had come to Europe to study German in Berlin – oh the joy of meeting people at hostels! How I missed it!

Flying back to America was easy with Delta – direct to JFK, leaves at 12:30pm and arrives at 3:45pm. Flights depart daily for Prague as well, out of JFK.

Pictures to come. Looking for friends to return and have dinner with the artist and myself in Prague. Then, I desire to venture out and visit a few Czech villages. I was told by my Belgian bar friends that they are more authentic, and much less westernized. Please message me comments on facebook, my cell, or leave comments here.

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