An Enchanting Tale
Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
83Trip End Sep 16, 2011
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Heading into the main town square we hurry to see the chimes of the famous astrological clock. Designed and constructed in 1410 the clock is still in working order today, complete with shaking skeletons that mark the passage of time. The clock chimes with the 12 apostles every hour and at the end a man whose sole job is, heralds in each hour with his trumpet. I know it should be corny…but we think it’s fantastic and try to catch as many chimes as we can while we are here.
We also head to the Charles Bridge, an amazing gothic masterpiece. With street artists and musicians scattered along the length of the bridge it made for a lovely end to our first day.
The rest of the time we are here Jim and I spend mainly wandering around the streets getting a feel of the city and the architecture. One day we found ourselves in an old beer hall for lunch and indulge in a traditional whole pork knuckle and dumplings – fabulous, but needless to say we didn’t feel like dinner that night.
Having spent a couple of days cruising around the ‘new’ city we head over the old town to go to the Prague Castle and gardens overlooking the hill. Said to be the largest palace in the world this sprawling complex dominates the skyline. The Castle is impressive and we were surprised to learn much of its history it was not lived in permanently but more as an official residence for when the various rulers and their court were in town – crazy. We had a small wander around the gardens but the rain seems to be following us at the moment and we found ourselves running from tree to tree as we hide from the down- pour.
St Wenceslas came from Prague, a medieval Christian king, he was said to do great work for the poor and the city… in fact he is THE Good King Wenceslas, you know, the one "who last looked out, on the feast of Stephen." We couldn’t resist and found Wenceslas Square and indulged in a good old sing song. Much to the relief of passers-by, neither of us could get much past the first verse. That said we did sing it about 5 times !
Hungry from our singing, our last task is to try out the famous goulash and dumplings, we are going to Hungary later, but the Czechs assure us that Goulash is their native dish, we don’t argue and plan to compare when we get to Budapest. We found an old café along the road leading the palace in the old town and sat outside enjoying our tasty lunch while watching the world pass by. Very nice – and still enchanting – but we hope to improve our luck with the weather for our next stop – Austria.