Praha orientation and gluhwein!

Trip Start Dec 12, 2012
Trip End Jan 07, 2013

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today we went on a short orientation city tour to see where everything is. Our guide’s name was Helen, but I nicknamed her Svetlana as she just looked like a Svetlana. She gave the driver her best “Oh Victor, you are very unattractive man” look when he turned the radio on during her spiel. We visited lots of different places, Prague old town is quite compact which is great when you plan to walk most places. 

We visited the site of another Christmas market - Wenceslas square (Vaclavske Namesti) which is the biggest square in Prague. Very dodgy cafe in an old Tram here... called the “Tramvaj” cafe. Hmmmm ... don't know what they serve but I've heard it's hard to get in!

There are 23 different religions represented in the cultural mix in Prague. No official forms are allowed to ask people to state their religion so there is no conflict, according to our tour guide. If only it worked that way in the rest of the world! 

Driving along the river we had our first view of Prague castle on the hill. Oh my, it’s a very impressive sight indeed and according to Mr Guiness, it's the largest castle complex in the world. Up at the castle we watched the changing of the guards then lost our tour guide after she took off without us. Ran around in a mild panic for a few minutes until we called the tour company confirmed that yep, she had left us behind but lucky for us (or for her  -.- ) she came back to get us. 

During our drive around we noticed there are a lot of Thai massage places (apparently, this is the trendy thing to do ... don't know about the happy ending though ... maybe only in the ones near Tramvaj?), and also lots of white swans freezing their little webbed feet and butts off in the Vlata river, not that they seem to care! 

Back to Old Town and were dropped off at the Town Square for another walk around the markets there and to eat an expensive hodge-podge of potato noodle, sausage bits & sauerkraut. 30mins later we were on our next tour – a cruise of the Vlatva river with coffee and strudel. Charles bridge looked magnificent in the afternoon light with the sunlight reflecting on the water, but the rest of the cruise wasn't quite what we were expecting ... it was basically just 200m upstream to a lock, then 200m downstream to another lock, then back again. 

After this we walked through the Jewish ghetto section and bumped into Amanda Bennett on the street! How funny! We had planned to meet up later today, but what’s the chance of running into her pretty much directly in front of where she’s staying? The world is a small place. 

After a quick chat we finished our tour and then wandered around the markets some more taking too many photos because it’s so pretty (very unlike us I know!). After a couple of hours Amanda came and met us and we had gluhwein with fresh gingerbread cake (yum) while walking around. Bought some Czech glass, then more gluhwein. Walked over the beautiful Charles bridge, rubbed a statue. Realised we rubbed the wrong statue so had to rub another. Bought more gluhwein ... are you sensing a theme here? It's purely for its warming properties I tell you! 

Wondered loudly if there are any crystal shops in Prague (haha ... every second shop sells "Bohemian crystal"). Back to old town and said adieu for the night.
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