Trip Start Sep 14, 2012
Trip End Oct 15, 2012

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Where I stayed
Apartment at Hastalska 25, second floor
What I did
Old Jewish quarter and the Castle

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, September 21, 2012

Up just before 0600 and showered, spending some time on the computer before others stirred. A cup of our strawberry tea before 0645 departure. Had my rugby jersey on but still cold. Arjan, Don and I walked...and walked...and walked. Eventually we got to the Charles Bridge and not too many people.

Went to Segafredo for a hot chocolate and an omelette, a bit pricier than we had planned 200 CC.
Back over the Charles Bridge toward the main square. Made a preliminary list of questions to ask Peter [involving group members]!

Went into the Czechoslovak Huttite Church. It was small but had a decent interior, the regular pews blocked off.

Into the Gothic Our Lady Before Tyn church, Roman Catholic. No pix allowed is always an annoyance.

To the meeting place for the 1100 free tour, 6 of the girls there [but Catherine doing another tour]. Rose asked me for my best Aussie accent since I had the Wallabies' jersey on, my response just being 'put another shrimp on the barbie', pissing her off further since Aussies called shrimps prawns. I had the last laugh when guide Klara thought I was Aussie due to the jersey.

Klara's first talk was about defenestration or throwing Catholics out through windows, Arjan suggesting it would take several people to defenestrate Rose!

Off to the Clock Tower but between performances. At the next stop she pointed out Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo architectural styles all in one square.

Briefly into St James' Church, done in early Baroque style. It contains 'the hand' of a person who had tried to rob the necklace of the Virgin Mary, a spirit cutting his hand off. It is still hanging for public display [and warning?]. Karla also gave some eating suggestions, noting if a place charges no more than 120 CC for goulash the prices are reasonable.

To the statue of Kafka and off 'to Paris' to see a street reminiscent of the French capital. There are lots of tours about.

To the old Jewish quarter, just one street, Red Blood, left from medieval times. I pointed out only 23 crowns to the euro at an exchange in the Jewish quarter, Arjan quipping 'what did you expect?'.
Over to Charles Bridge where the girls all left with nary a bye, others also joining/leaving. Karla noted for the one statue [on the L] if you touch the dog you will have a good relationship with somebody, be it cementing or starting one. Touching the R side means you will return to Prague.

Up finally to the Castle after vistas over the Charles Bridge. Formerly on the site of St Vitus cathedral was a church to Wenceslas. Karla took us into the interior of the castle grounds before the tour ended 100 CC.

Climbed the St Vitus cathedral tower thereafter. It is not quite as high as that of St Stephens' cathedral in Vienna but I liked the views better 150 CC.

Don wanted to see the castle interior so we got ducats for the shorter visit 250 CC. We started with the Old Royal Palace where no pix were allowed. It had an impressive large room and is used for national functions these days.

We backtracked to enter St Vitus cathedral. Its Gothic interior was impressive, especially the stained glass windows.

St. George's Basilica was relatively small. There were some old mosaics. The configuration of the basilica was unusual with a spiral staircase from both sides, leading up to the altar with the inevitable slaying of the dragon.

The Golden Lane was not that exciting. There were residences of various processions, souvenir shops [naturally] and the upper floor full of armour with a crossbow display. We ran into the girls [save Catherine] who were not all that friendly save for Nathalie.

We wandered back to the apartment via another bridge. Downloaded the day's pix and a good chunk of the diary too. Left at 1915 for the Lokal restaurant organized by the girls. I tried the carp [cooked in cumin butter] with spinach and a beer. Sat with Linda, Arjan and Catherine, the latter veritably impossible to understand yet alone carry on a conversation with. The carp was quite good. I thought it would taste like cod but not so.

Rebecca's meal was seemingly forgotten [then comped]. Paying the bill was cumbersome, precious little left for a tip by anybody.

Rose seemed bent on finding a particular chocolate place and I got fed up, returning to finish the diary and do the blog. The boys came back not too long after. We had a tea while Arjan yapped about travel to Don.

Bed by 2310. Arjan suggested should be less critical re my dissatisfaction with the aimless walkabout post-dinner. I'm not here to coddle anybody and I told him the chance for the scenario won't eventuate down the road.

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