Friday, September 7, 2012

Prague

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Our most recent trip was to Prague.  It's one of those places you always hear about being so great so we had high expectations.  It really is a beautiful city--the Golden City of a Thousand Spires.

St. Barbara's
We arrived late on Thursday night after a quick flight from Frankfurt.  In the morning we headed out into the city.  Before meeting up with a New Europe tour we stopped by a church with a mummified arm hanging from the ceiling--look it up :-)  The Old Town square was magnificent--one of the best squares I've seen.  Our tour guide gave us a lot of history and took us through the Old Town, to the New Town, and through the Jewish Quarter.  After the tour we walked up to the "Dancing House" and the Charles Bridge.  It was a rainy day, so we didn't get the best pictures but we kept on.

From there we walked to Wenceslas Square in the New Town to see the statue (it's huge!) and then spent some time in the Communist Museum.  My husband remarked that if you need that much propaganda to get people to believe in it and in order for it to "work" you have to actually do things differently in secret, it's a pretty bad idea.  We then bought tickets to a "Black Light Show"--a popular form of theatre unique to the city--and dropped our bags at the hostel.  Before going to the show we stopped for a drink at a pub.  The show was interesting--certainly different, but we didn't quite get the story that was going on.  Afterwards we had a late dinner of some traditional Czech food.  Goulash might be my husband's new favorite.


In the morning we took a train out to Kutna Hora.  It's home to a few UNESCO churches and one other very interesting church.  This church was built on a very popular burial site (it had dust from the holy land) and when they started just having an awful lot of bones lying around, a half-blind monk just thought he'd go all Martha Stewart and start making decor from the bones.  Bizarre.  A must-see if you're in the area.  We had some ice cream at a little shop across the street and did some souvenir hunting before walking over to St. Barbara's, one of the UNESCO churches.  It was quite amazing and I really loved it.  I'd say it's appearance was up there with Notre Dame.  We had a nice lunch nearby before returning to Prague on the train.  We hunted for souvenirs again before heading back to the hostel to drop off bags and Skype with my brother-in-law.  My husband found a few recommended bars and pubs in the guidebook so we went off to make our own pub crawl of sorts.  After our big lunch, we really only had room for appetizers so we had a traditional Czech cheese at one place with live accordion music and then fried blue cheese at another lively establishment.

On Sunday morning we walked across town and up a hill to Prague's answer to the Eiffel tower.  It's a rather small tower, but the hill gives it a nice view that we enjoyed.  We then walked over to a monastery and the Prague castle.  It claims to be the largest ancient castle in the world.  Well, don't get too excited about this because it is not a very castley castle.  It is really not ancient-looking at all.  But it is nice and has guards that stand stoically in front and do a little changing ceremony.  The St. Vitus cathedral inside is quite nice as well and my husband got to see the window from which they were keen on throwing people out hundreds of years ago.

With our last few hours we decided to split a pizza and see the astronomical clock strike on the hour.  We finally managed to get some sunny pictures of the square and climbed the clock tower as well.

Our train coming home from the airport had some sort of problem so we ended up having to wait for another with a whole bunch of people for quite awhile, but it was fine.

This weekend we will actually be staying home and we're looking forward to it.  There will be pancakes and reading and video games (for some).  Next week we will be tackling London!

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