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Monday, April 30, 2012

Prague Day 4

Day 4
We decided to check out one of the museums and church that was pointed out on the tour the day before. We caught the metro to go back to the Castle but ended up further past it. We wanted to go back to Prague castle and see the museum there. Well we had to consult the map a few times to find where exactly the castle was to the stop we got off at. Once again we walked. Just as well because we came across the royal garden which was just magnificent with an old building that they were renovating. I love the historical beauty of Europe that is still evident today. 
The biggest hedge I'd seen in the Royal Gardens
Cathedral inside the Castle grounds
It's free to wonder around the castle grounds but to go into a museum within the castle grounds you have to pay. We chose the Story of the Castle museum which showcased bits and pieces which they discovered in the castle. I mean bits and pieces as these things were so old and broken. The later the discovery the more complete the items were. I wasn't overly impressed with the set up and what was available compared to other museums but I guess with the tumultuous past of the country and the castle itself there's not a lot that could be salvaged and then again they could be in other museums around the city! It didn't help it was a cold day and they do not heat the part of the castle with this was freezing inside the museum. After about an hour or so of wondering around we made our way to St Nicholas Church. Another beautiful church not far from Charles Bridge. Small but beautiful artwork inside with gold trimmings on the pillars and all. 
We made our way back into the town stopped at a puppet store to buy a puppet for our son. The guy at the shop asked where we were from. We tiredly said Samoa and he said "David Tua" ha. It's amazing how sports connect people. He also knew that we loved rugby! It was hilarious and so unusual. He was from Romania or thereof where the Klitchco boxing brothers are from he informed us! Onwards we went to look for the pub that was in the Lonely Planet that the previous president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel loved to hang out. Apparently when Clinton went to visit Prague Havel invited Clinton to meet with him at this pub! However we were warned the tables would be full by 2pm and it was packed by the time we got there so we continued elsewhere. We made our way to another brewery restaurant not far from the Vtlava River Bank which had very good food and beer. We went back into Wecleases Square walked through different streets and just took in the air of Prague. At the Easter stalls they had these yummy sugared swirly bun type things that I couldn't resist. It looked as if it's an age old method and delicacy being revived as alot of the baking were done by young people! Enjoyed a munch here and there with a pint at the stalls before we went home later in the evening. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Prague Day 3

After breakfast we took the tram into the city centre at 9am and found the Ultimate Walking tour office at Wecleases Square with no problems. The tour started off at 10.30am from the New Town and into the Old Town by the old clock and Jewish Quarters also through Paris Avenue. It was a a very cold day so I bought gloves to keep my hands warm. Our tour guide was fantastic, well versed with Prague history and she walked us all through town then we had a break on a boat for a 30minute ride along the Vltava river while we enjoyed a drink or two. We then made our way to lunch past the Executioner's house now a pub called Ukata. The lunch was inclusive with one drink and we had four options to choose from which were good enough. I think it's a good tour to do and then choose what you really want to see and go back the next day and check it out. 
We made our way to the Prague Castle after that. Beautiful cathedral in there of which a part of was just completed in 1929 but was started about 600 years earlier.(I think) The tour finished around 4pm then we went to have a drink at the Ukata which was a bit of a greasy joint. We went to the Easter markets in the Old Town and had some food and drinks there which was nice. A lot of restaurants have their own breweries which is remarkable. So there was beer on tap from their cellar which according to beer taster hubby was very good. Otakar hotel was clean and the tram stop in front goes straight to Wecleases Square which is very convenient. We had a good day of walking alot, eating, drinking, meeting people and just enjoying Prague.

The old town square
Charles Bridge built in the 15th Century
The famous Charles Bridge which was supposed to be the most beautiful bridge when it was built. The architect of the bridge thought it was a waste of resourceswhen there were destitute people. He regretted building the bridge and killed himself and left all his money to the blind as he said the blind people were lucky never to see this bridge!
Throughout the tour there were a lot of morbid stories like that. Our first stop infront of the Wecleases Museum were two painted marks on the ground. The tour guide stood over the two marks and said this is where two young students stood and burned themselves for the Czech people to be free from communism. On Charles Bridge was a statue of St John Hung(sp) and this priest was thrown off the bridge and drowned for disobeying authority. Later at Prague Castle a window was pointed out where two priests were thrown out of accused of lying! Happy stories I tell ya!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pilzen-Prague Day 2

We caught the train using a Bayern-Boheme ticket which is very cheap from Munich to Pilzen, we stopped and visited the Pilsner Brewery. Awesome tour for about an hour and a half with beer-tasting at the end. 

We then caught  a Student Agency bus that took us to Zlicin, Prague in an hour and it was a comfortable ride with few stops. From Zlicin we took the train into the city and on to Otakarova where Otakar Hotel was. People were helpful along the way which was really nice. 

Helpful people
The receptionist at the brewery was kind enough to point us to the Student Agency bus which was quicker than catching the train with too many stops. A random Czech stranger with good English helped us find the right tram stop from downtown to our hotel. The hotel receptionist sent us to a lovely restaurant nearby that had great traditional food and band at reasonable prices and great service.