A magnificent day in Prague, both weatherwise and travellingwise. It was the first day of our trip that the sun came out with enough strength to make us want to actually sit down and feel the warmth. Of course, we still had our thermal underwear on, and it probably never got above 7 degrees, but it still felt wonderful.
Prague is a tourist operators dream coming to life. Astounding sights and vistas around every corner, all clumped together in a 4 square kilometre block, so there’s no real travelling time between them. And then when you get to where you’re going, wow.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon from Vienna, and after a few trifling issues with the hotel/guest house we managed to settle in. A quick trip around Prague to get our bearings and it was time for dinner. We stopped in a traditional Czech beer hall, about three rooms each of which sat about 15 people around sparse wooden benches and tables. Then they just start bringing the beer. Budweiser, which is originally a Czech beer, and has no shared characteristics with the American version. The main difference being that this one has taste and appeal. So a couple of downed pints and it was time for dinner. We both decided to give the traditional goulash and potato dumplings a go, mainly because it was only about $4. The goulash was wonderful, but we aren’t sure if they made a mistake and served us window putty instead of the dumplngs. Whoah. Talk about stick to your ribs. Yikes. So we had to wash that down with more beer.
Up relatively early this morning, primarily to see some of the sights in the early morning sun, but also to beat the crowds (which are pretty bad now, I dread to think what they will be like in the middle of summer.) We made it to Old Town Square, which is postcard city. A large square, surrounded on all sides by huge churches, town halls, splendid old buildings etc etc. Lots of photos, lots of people taking photos. A quick breakfast and we were off again. This time we crossed the river and headed towards the castle.
We’re not sure if this castle is less impressive than some of the other ones that we’ve seen, or if we are just castled out for the time being, but we were a little jaded as we wandered around. That said, the main cathedral in the castle was absolutely stunning, and definately bigger than Notre Dame. More gothic gargoyles and intricate carvings abound. Also some pretty impressive Stained Glass windows, one of which would have easily had 10 000 pieces of glass in it.
A quick refreshing nap back at the hotel (after walking up 10 flights of stairs …. no lift thank you very much) and it was off for dinner. There is a Beer Hall that everyone seems to talk about when they talk about Prague. It was famous 10 years ago when we were hostelling. A huge beer hall (it seats about 1200 people), and the beer used to cost a British penny a pint. There must have been some serious inflation in Czech over the past few years because it now cost about AUD$3 a pint. But it was still pretty impressive. And intoxicating.
A couple more days here, and then it’s onto the planes for the loooong flight home. We are kind of looking forward to it. Living out of a suitcase tends to wear thin after a while, but that is a nice problem to have at the moment. No doubt this time next week we will wish we were back here.