Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our Day in Prague

With only one day in Prague and a wonderful apartment with several rooms all to ourselves, we got a slow start that Sunday morning. We'd been out the previous evening after the train ride ( we traveled from Berlin to Prague during one morning on our trip and it was a morning well spent) and getting checked into the apart/hotel location. We got lost while trying to investigate the tram system. I looked out and saw the river on my left.  After we studied the map, we decided that the river should be on our right if we were headed the correct direction. Minor problems with the cities tourist maps gave us good reason to covet the warmth of the subways. We found the local LARGE grocery store & bought a baguette/nutello & coffee for the following mornings. Sunday was a day to fit EVERYTHING in.

AND when I say everything, I mean almost everything. We started by taking the tram to a spot close to the gates of Prague Castle (Malostranska). The regular tram line was being worked on (in the dead of winter?!?! by hand - not a backhoe in site). And moved our way past the changing of the guard, St. Vitus Cathedral, and St. Nicholas Church. Because we were traveling down hill and needed to do it "all" in one day, we didn't pay entrance fees and therefore missed some of the sites' eccentricities.

We were told about the Lobkowicz Palace on Castle hill by Julie at From Greer to Here.  She is a mom to five active children and wife to a military pilot who lives in Germany and home educates her kids.  They get to take local field trips and had past through Prague. She loved the art collection and the story behind the Lobkowicz's struggle to regain their family home and the precious art pieces.  I might have loved to explore, but with so much to see, we didn't stay long and missed the tour. We walked along the Kafka area on Golden Lane.  The Lesser Quarter Square was a quick walk to a church and back because it was mostly about shopping.  BTW, shopping with elementary kids in tow is NEVER a good idea, especially in a shop that is selling Czech crystal ware.

We ate lunch at the bottom of the hill before crossing the Charles Bridge.  I actually ate dumplings and gravy and some warm kraut. It was Czech food, but not deep fat fried liked I wanted. We finished there after a few lessons on the language from our waiter and moved over the Vlata River. Each of the kids touched the statue on the bridge for some "luck." We found the quiet street (?Carolina Street?), opposite the frequently traveled shopping street (Karlova Street) and moved into the Old Town Square to see Tyn Church, an enormous Christmas market and the astronomical clock that is pictured below.

Proseem (thanks) 

It is amazing to see what a city looks like when it is NOT bombed to pieces during world wars. Prague was not damaged as much as Amsterdam, Munich, Berlin or Frankfurt am main. Prague is from the 1300s. Medieval. We didn't get to hear any concerts or see beautiful gardens (traveling in November is not all it's cracked up to be), but I still enjoyed what I saw. The underground (subway) trip to Wenceslas Square (more of a boulevard though) was fun to see where many import recent happens occurred (Velvet Revolution). It was mostly for shopping too, so we headed back for Christmas Market food and singing on the stage at the Old Town Square. The subway and tram system were wonderful. Seems like we walk so much when traveling anywhere, but on European cobblestone, walking can be challenging and tiresome. The lights at night in Prague made a good memory for me. By the time we were ready to take a plane to Frankfurt, we were recognizing many landmarks and had figured out our way around. Maybe I'll see Prague again, but there are so many other places to explore and maybe next Thanksgiving a warmer place will be reached by our stand by - space available privileges. Posted by Picasa


Sarah B. Roberts said...

I love being open to getting lost and rarely have a plan when I travel. I consult the map only when I have to be somewhere specific at a specific time. Therefore, I am open to kismet! I'm loving all of your photos!

Pursuing Wisdom said...

I agree Sarah, but I like well lighted places with interesting stuff to wait for the tram that goes the correct direction and that my kids don't get seperated from us. I've instructed them on how to stay away from men in riot gear keeping the peace near demonstrating workers in Rome, as well as what to do when a loud shot is sounded in an airport terminal. But then, if I didn't enjoy seeing how excited they get at something new and unexpected, I'd never take them out at all.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

Oh wow, Brrrr! We hear the weather is terrible in Europe right now, shutting down airports and trains. How are y'all faring?

living in Germany said...

You definitely didn't have time to do any indoor activities with only one day in Prague other than the "main attractions". It took nearly all our time to see the city walking around outside and we were there several days, but oh what a wonderful city to explore and see, huh?

Thanks for the link to my site. I don't think anyone has ever linked to my blog before!! :-)

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