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Prague – Last Day Scramble

April 10, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Vltava River through Prague, several bridges

We traveled on many trams today. We walked a long way today. We did many things. We saw many sights. We are tired. I think I may just crawl onto the airplane tomorrow and pass out, if it weren’t for the discomfort of economy class.

We took trams to the base of the hill on which the Vysehrad Park is and walked up the hill. We walked all around the park and took many, many photos. We then walked down the hill and took a tram again. DaddyBird had scoped out a particular pub he wanted to have lunch in, but it was either closed or located deep in the basement. We couldn’t figure it out, so went to the Indian (Native American, that is) themed Baretta Pizza place instead. The whole place was decorated in wild west artifacts and pictures. The food was very good. We recommend.

Then we got on another tram and went closer to the center of town to a bookstore where DaddyBird hoped to find an English translation of a particular Czech book. No dice. Before the end of the day we went to two more bookstores and finally found it at the last one.

Then we went to a touristy trap pub. It is known for it’s surly staff, bad food, but good beer. It is all true. Then, back on a tram to Wenceslas Square to finish our souvenir buying and have a fried cheese sandwich. And, finally, onto another tram to go home to the apartment and collapse.

To see it all, click here.

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Prague in Miniature

April 10, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

We hopped on the tram and traveled across the river to the Holešovice part of town to the market that is held in the old central slaughterhouse. We roamed around a bit.

two statues one of a woman with a bull and one of a man with a bull

These statues at the entrance were the first clue that this used to be either a cattle market or slaughterhouse. This shot doesn’t show them very well. One is a woman with a huge bull and the other is a man with another huge bull.

large warehouse room full of booths selling vegetables and fruit

DaddyBird was looking for the vegetable market. We found it by watching for people with vegetables and backtracking where they were coming from. We didn’t buy any veggies or fruits since it is late in our time here and won’t be doing much cooking for ourselves, but we did buy a few seed packets for growing herbs in our apartment.

Then it was back onto public transport. This time the metro subway train to the neighborhood of the Prague City Museum. But, first, lunch.

quaint restaurant

Just up the street from the museum is the Pivovarsky Klub which boasts the biggest beer menu. It also has very good food and a great atmosphere. An introvert’s dream.

yellow stone three story building

We were running short on time, but we did a quick tour of the museum to see the Langweil Model of Prague. The staff didn’t speak much English, but they were eager to help. We started with watching the short 3D movie of the model. This is cool because it takes you closer to the model than you will be able to get when looking at the original. The original model is on the top floor of the building along with a nice collection of artifacts nicely displayed. Well worth a visit – a longer visit than we managed.

large model of the city of Prague made out of cardboard

This is the model. It was made by Mr. Antonin Langweil as his hobby. (I would like to point out that he was a librarian in his day job.) It is quite amazing.

As usual, to see all the pictures of the day, click here.

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Prague – Music, Books, Food

April 9, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

We headed up to the castle hill for a second day. DaddyBird stopped into a music shop to get a couple of Zelenka albums.

rows of compact discs in a music store

As we came out, we noticed that it had clouded up and was raining. There was much rejoicing.

quaint restaurant

We stopped in for lunch at a quaint restaurant.

cobblestone lane

We wandered on down the hill to the castle. We toured the Story of Prague museum display at the castle, but photography was forbidden.

view of rooftops from castle hill

This is what Prague looks like on a mildly rainy day.

tree lined path in a park

Back down the hill, we found another neighborhood park by wandering through a doorway.

bookstore

We stopped in at Shakespeare and Sons bookshop because Daddybird wanted to pick up a few Czech authors in translation.

graffiti on an archway showing a sheep's head

Graffiti is rampant as you may have noticed in some of my pictures, but it is mostly tagging and not artistic. It seems strange in a city so filled with art that the graffiti wouldn’t be artistic, too.

arched wooden door

I took several door pictures.

stein of extremely dark Budweiser beer

We stopped for dinner at a restaurant that was established in 1466. We had REAL Budweiser beer and a lovely meat filled meal.

To see all the pictures, click here.

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Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral

April 8, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.
main entrance to the Prague castle
We took the tram up to the top of the hill and walked down to the castle. (Interesting point of information – the castle is still used as the seat of government and the presidential residence.) Click here to see all the pictures. Click here for a map of the castle grounds.

cathedral spires

Within the castle grounds is St. Vitus Cathedral. To see the interior photos I took, click here. Click here for a map of the cathedral.

stained glass cathedral window

Many beautiful stained glass windows in many different styles.

entrance gate to the Strahov monastery

After touring the castle grounds and walking down the hill to the tram stop, we took the tram back up to the top again so that we could have dinner at the Strahov Monastery.

plate with goose leg, cabbage, dumplings

We ordered goose and duck. The goose entré was the best. The duck was good, but not as tender and lovely as the goose. The chef didn’t seem to know what to do with spinach except cook it to death.

plate with duck, spinach, dumplings

I ordered stuffed gingerbread dumplings with plum sauce. The dumplings were not made of gingerbread, much to my disappointment. I am not impressed with Czech dumplings, whether savory or sweet. They are tough and tasteless. Inside was half a plum and the plum sauce was delicious, so it wasn’t all bad.

dumplings, plum sauce, cream

DaddyBird had the pancakes with beer ice cream. I had a little taste of the ice cream and it was yummy.

crepes, ice cream, whipped cream

The sun was going down and exhaustion was setting in, so we took the tram home and called it a day.

tram rails

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Dinner and a Movie – Prague

April 7, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

restaurant menu

Day Five was a laid back day. We headed out for lunch at a little neighborhood restaurant.

sausage and cheese appetizers

Cheese and sausage appetizers.

potato pancakes and goulash stew

DaddyBird had goulash and potato pancakes – very nice.

pork ribs and sour cream

I had the world’s best honey glazed pork ribs. Beyond words.

two glasses of beer

And, of course, there was beer.

We made a quick trip down to Wenceslas Square to buy games at the game shop we found the other day and another quick trip back to the apartment to drop them off.

movie ticket

Then, we were back on the tram to go to a neighborhood, artsy-fartsy movie theatre to watch Only Lovers Left Alive starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton. It was so lovely to be in a room where no one was talking or eating. Everyone was quietly watching the film and laughing only when appropriate. No one was sitting next to me asking me to explain the film to them. This is how movies should be experienced.

lobby of the movie theatre

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Another Peaceful Prague Day

April 6, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

view of Prague from a rooftop

We woke up to a cool, cloudy day. It got up to 59F for a high. Perfect day. We love that kind of weather.

Nothing overly exciting on our agenda. We just took the tram down to Wenceslas Square and wandered around the Easter market booths. We had a grilled cheese sandwich.

slice of bread, grilled cheese, fruit jam

We went up to a rooftop restaurant for a very leisurely lunch. It was after 3 pm by the time we decided to move on.

We wondered down to Old Town Square again to browse more Easter market booths. We tasted the trdelnik which is bread wrapped around a spindle and cooked, spinning, over coals. It tastes a lot like my mother’s cinnamon rolls. We had spa wafer cookies. They were heated so that the filling oozed out. Trust me, next time you eat wafer cookies, heat them up.

We bought a few souvenirs. I bought a few linens.

two table cloths embroidered with blue flowers

Then is was back home to the apartment and dinner in the neighborhood restaurant downstairs. A day well spent.

To see all the pictures, click here.

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Prague = Beautiful

April 5, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

ornate church exterior

Prague is beautiful. There is art everywhere. There is a mixture of all the historical periods and art styles. Old buildings have been maintained and updated so that they can still be used without stripping away their history and beauty. Even the utilitarian Soviet era buildings have a place and add to the beauty.

statue of a woman with two children

Living in a country where representation of the human form in sculpture is not allowed makes the statues here even more impressive to me. I understand the prohibition against images, but I wonder at the loss of history by the exclusion of this form of communication. Public art depicting historical figures teaches us about those who went before us. We can look them in the eye and wonder about who they were, what they were like. They are all around us. We can stand on the bridge where John of Nepomuk was tossed over to drown by the order of the King for not divulging what the Queen had been confessing. We can marvel at the bravery and the villainy. Maybe when I take a picture of St. Anne, I’m thinking more about the pigeons than the history, but later I might wonder what she did to be remembered in this fashion.

colorful five story buildings

DaddyBird did quite a bit of reading and research before we came. He read advice on a blog written by a couple who lived in Prague for a few years. They warned their readers away from the crass touristy area around Old Town. We walked through there on Friday and are still wondering where the crass part is. It was a bit crowded, as you will see in the pictures, but the shops were pleasant and the wares in the windows were good quality. The prices are high, but that’s normal for tourist areas. We only encountered one hawker who wanted us to eat at his restaurant, but he took “no” for an answer. It was clean and charming.

To see all the pictures from Day Three, click here.

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