Day 3: Castle Capers

Prague Travel Blog

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Loreta

Our first stop on monday morning was the CD Travel office on V Celnice, where we wanted to buy our train tickets to Bratislava. However, the place was closed and looked like it had been for a while. A sign on the door told us to piss off and buy tickets at the main train station. We decided to do this at the end of the day and first head to the castle.

We took the subway to Malostranska and then tram 22 to the Pohorelec stop. The first place we got to was the Cerninsky Palace, which was a bit disappointing. Nearby however was the Loreta, which was closed on monday (just our luck), but we didn't mind really, as we just enjoyed all the stone sculptures on the steps.

We walked along a deserted Novy Svet to the castle square, passing the Schwarzenbersky Palace and the Archbishop's Palace, and then went into the castle.

Katedrala Sv. Vita
Crowds and crowds of tourists made it impossible to see or even enjoy anything. We just walked through the castle, into the gardens, where there were less people and then walked down the steps to Malostranske Namesti, where we had a bite to eat.

On Karmelitska, we found a little gem, hidden behind an unnoticable gate. The Vrtba Gardens. These Baroque gardens were just breathtakingly beautiful. A few of the statues were missing, but you could tell that the whole place had been passionately restored to its former beauty. It was well worth the 40 CZK each to get in.

Afterwards, we walked to Kampa Island and sat down at a table on an improvised terrace next to the 'Devil's Stream' for a drink, enjoying the sun, which had finally come out for a peek.

Kampa Island itself was pretty and we walked into the courtyard of the Kampa Modern Art Museum (and quickly out again), and then went looking for the Lennon Wall, with its ever changing graffiti.

Vrtba Gardens

Afterwards, we walked across Charles Bridge, which was rather dull, as two thirds of it was undergoing renovation work and the remaining third was taken over by stalls selling the usual crap, and tourists, buying said crap.

And then it was off to the train station to get our tickets taken care off.

I think that you need to take a special exam to work for the railway companies, or there are certain qualities you need to work there, as it is generally the same anywhere you go in this world. Rudeness, ignorance and sloth are 3 that immediately come to mind. We were confronted by all 3 of them, when we presented ourselves at the 'international tickets' office at Hlvana Nadrazi. We tried to explain ourselves in German and English, throwing in a couple of Czech words for good measure, but all we got was a blank stare and a lot of sighs.

Lennon Wall
Fortunately, I had written everything down on a piece of paper, in Czech, so I shoved the paper in his face. This produced more sighs and severe molestation of his computer. 5 minutes later, he wrote the price on the paper and showed it to me. I paid about 1200 CZK for 2 one way tickets to Bratislava and then we buggered off, so he could get back to sleep.

We also needed tickets to Kutna Hora for the next day, so we located the 'national tickets' office and tried our luck there. This time, I just smiled at the lady, gave her the paper where I had written down everything and looked at her with big puppy eyes and a slightly confused look on my face. I have discovered that this triggers the mother instinct and yes, this time, the lady was so friendly and helpfull, it was amazing.

Charles Bridge
When we had our tickets, we smiled at her again, said goodbye and waved and she even waved back.

We had made a bit of fools of ourselves, but we had the tickets, which in the end meant 'Mission Accomplished'.

We celebrated by having pizza in a restaurant off Wenceslas Square, bought groceries and headed back to the hotel to rest our feet.

knowledgebee says:
Good job on the blog. I'm planning a similar tour with my boyfriend this June.
Posted on: Jan 19, 2010
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Loreta
Loreta
Katedrala Sv. Vita
Katedrala Sv. Vita
Vrtba Gardens
Vrtba Gardens
Lennon Wall
Lennon Wall
Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge
Loreta
Loreta
Schwarzenbersky Palac
Schwarzenbersky Palac
Castle Square
Castle Square
Inside the castle
Inside the castle
View from the castle gardens
View from the castle gardens
Zam. Schody
Zam. Schody
Saint Nicholas Church
Saint Nicholas Church
Kampa Island
Kampa Island
Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge
Subway
Subway
National Museum
National Museum
Prague
photo by: vulindlela