Breathtaking Prague

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Mar 16, 2009

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Walking through Prague is like walking through a fairytale of medieval castles, cathedrals and cobble stone roads... and what makes it even better, it that it's actually an adult's fairytale as the city had more bars and restaurants than you could visit in a life time. We were extremely luck as Inge-Marie had secured us an enormous one bedroom apartment with lounge and kitchen, in the centre of Prague, which meant all the attractions were within walking distance. For a change we had more space than we knew what to do with and it reminded us of how much we missed having a home.
We thought seven days in Prague might be a little long, but we couldn't have been more wrong. Our time in this amazing city flew by and we wished we had another seven days by the time we had to leave. For us the beauty of Prague was not only visiting the major attractions but exploring the back streets; abandoning the map and just wondering through the cities labyrinth of beautiful cobble stone roads and appreciating the unique mixture of architecture. During many of these walks we discovered dozens of wonderful little restaurants and bars, fascinating buildings and architecture, and in so doing, got a better feel for the true Czech way of life. We also popped into the Museum of Communism, which is very well presented and (mildly) educational - communism is still a resent reality and long not forgotten.
I could write for hours about what makes Prague intriguing, but I've decided not to spend too much time but would rather add just this one point - that if there is one city you must visit before you die; top of my list would be Prague. So get here and see it for yourself, you wont be sorry. And for all of you who have had the pleasure to enjoy Prague, you'll know exactly what I am taking about.
Even though it was tough, we did manage to drag ourselves from the city for a cycle tour into the surrounding country side. The trip took us on a winding route along the Valtva River through many little villages consisting mainly of summer homes and some even turned into little restaurants where you could stop for a quick pint and some tasty homemade delicacies.
The cycle trip, which covered a leisurely (if I can remember correctly) 30km (IMH: it was closer to 40km) of country side, ended at the Karlstejn Castle. A little history: Karlstejn Castle was founded in 1348 and has a unique position among Czech castles. It was built by Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place for safekeeping of the royal treasures, especially Charles's collection of holy relics and the coronation jewels of the Roman Empire, bla bla bla. I was very happy with just taking photos of the castle from a distance and even with all its long glorious history was not convinced to spend the Euro 20 odd on the guided English tour of the castle. Inge-Marie took the tour on behalf of the team and I took up a shady spot for a little nap.
Anybody who has ever been to Prague will know that it is renowned as a party city that attracts clubbers and pub crawlers from all over the world. Not to miss out on this experience we booked ourselves on a "haunted pub crawl", supposed to visit the cities haunted bars, only to find out on the night that it wad been cancelled. We did not have to walk around for every long to find another pub crawl and soon we were enjoying unlimited beverages at the crawl headquarters (IMH: even though we were by far the oldest and only married couple in the group, one guy actually asked me with a face that looks like he just smelled something horrid upon hearing we were married: "Oh... so exactly how old are you?").
It turned out to be a real fun night and we got to visit some very popular pubs and ended the evening off in Prague's top dance club. We also met a great couple (who were not actually a couple), Megan and Bobby who are both in the US Navy, based in Germany and visited Prague on a short vacation. During our walk home we all passed a little tent that was set up in protest against US nuclear or radar sites in Czech Rep and when I asked for details the chap manning the tent was rambling on and making no scenes but basically compared George Bush to the Nazi's and Hitler, I burst our laughing but our new American friends who were in the Military did not find it as amusing.
On our final few days in Prague we decided to take another day trip out of our beloved city to a small town Kutna Hora to see the UNESCO world heritage sites which includes an impressive gothic Cathedral, but most importantly the Kostnice (Ossuary) which is a chapel decorated with more than 40,000 human bones. It was an eerie experience walking into the entrance and realising you were basically in a burial tomb surrounded by thousands of bones. The smell was even a little unsettling and one of the ladies in the tour group broke into an uncontrollable laughter, probably the best way she knew how to deal with the shock of seeing it all. Very freaky but worth a look, now that I think about it I might make a good chandelier once I've passed......
Prague, we will be back!

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dennisb2008 on

Staying in Prague
I'd like to visit Eastern Europe soon, hopefully next year. After reading your entry Prague is definitely on my list. Good review!

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