Trip Start Dec 06, 2009
55Trip End Feb 05, 2010
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We had to more rooms this morning as ours was booked but our new one had a much heigher ceiling which was nice! The owner made us some breakfast which was nice of her. It was a bit like visiting an old aunt though who keeps bringing out food you don't actually want and to be polite you have to eat it. While she wasn't looking (although I couldn't be sure with her crazy eyes) I had to eat some of Ly's breakfast cake which she could just not stomach for breakfast.
We caught another tram and went to the old town square to join a tour. There are a number of free tours that leave there and the tour guides just work for tips. Our tour guide was Jana who had lived in Czech her whole life
We made it just in time for the guide to show us the astronomical clock in the old town square. On the hour the clock chimes and a number of moving parts come to life. The apostles appear in a window and some statues are animated including a skeleton and a Turkish man. The guide explained it all in her thick accent so we only caught about half of what she said but it was all very interesting!
Just outside of the old square is St Nicholas's church which has a wonderful baroque interior. We were told the story of the statue of st mary at the front of the church. As offerings many people put expensive necklaces around the statue. Many years ago in the middle of the night a man came into the church to try and steal the necklaces. As he reached for the necklaces the Mary statue grabbed his hand in an iron grip and would not let go. He struggled but could not free himself. The next morning when people came to the church they found him still stuck. After trying to free his hand they decided they would cut it off. As soon as the arm was cut off the statue released the arm and it fell to the floor
The guide explained the history of the Czech republic including how it was formed, who ruled it, the seperation of czechoslovakia, communism and the velvet revolution all in about 2 minutes. I might have to spend some time reading more about it all I think.
We continued on through the old and new city being shown various sites and then on to the Jewish quarter where the author Franz Kafka wrote some of his books. The tour ended and we feasted on some street food for lunch. Pork cooked on a spit over a fire and a weird doughnut bread thing.
In Prague there are so many take away food vendors on the street. They mainly sell different types of sausages/hotdogs and burgers in bread and are very cheap (around a dollar). A hotdog and burger filled part of our lunch as well!
We wandered around a bit more looking at some amazing glass and crystal work on display before visiting the famous Charles bridge. The bridge contains many statues and is very impressive although some of it was hidden by the scaffolding of restorers
Yet another tram and we got to Prague castle which overlooks the city. There is also a large gothic church there and several other important points of interest. The castle actully looked very modern much like the palace we saw in Auatria but still surrounded in a large medieval style wall.
While walking the streets we had to be careful of falling snow. Basically snow builds up on roofs and if there is a bit of sun or warmer weather then large blocks slip straight off the roof and onto the street below from 3-4 stories above. We saw some large chunks fall and they would have done serious damage. We saw smashed glass windows from fallen snow and jumped anytime we heard a noise for fear of being crushed under dirty Czech snow.
Sad to say dinner was more takeaway food and more Czech beer.
Remembering Nick today, had a Jaeger for him.
Daniel + Ly