A Long Walk in the Woods and an Opera

Prague Travel Blog

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The Palace
Today started out with another music class, but it wasn't too bad. Afterwards we were scheduled to do a walking tour of the Prague castle and surrounding area just before noon with our art professor, but we took the bus and got stuck in horrible traffic (Atlanta-style) and didn't get there until about 12:30. So it was cut short, which was kind of ok since I wanted to see things on my own and not on a large group.

The Prague Castle was pretty cool, but you can only see the outside. We got there right when some guards were marching out (not too sure why) and it was pretty neat to see. We walked into St. Vitus Cathedral inside the castle, which was more was VERY impressive. Probably one of my favorite churches by far.
Changing of guards.
It was just magnificant and simple at the same time. We also got a chance to climb the south bell tower and see the best view of Prague we could've asked for.

After our time at the castle, we all had free time until the big Opera tonight. I decided to run around on my own in the city and see everything I wanted to see before we leave tomorrow. I walked around the large park near the Castle district, which included the Petrin Tower (basically a mini-Eiffel Tower). The park was, of course, a mountain like all the others and was very wooded and over all just beautiful. With a sprinkling ran while the sun was shining as I walked through the woods, it truly felt like the summers that I remember. Camps, state parks, whatever- it really reminded me of the true summers that I've always known.
Excited to be there!


Nostalgia aside, I really enjoyed my walk even if it was raining. In fact, the rain cooled me and the surroundings off (as it was very hot today). It was nice to be alone and just enjoy the simplicity of the area. I eventually found the Petrin Tower which was full of and surrounded by kids. Since it also cost money and didn't look that impressive, I moved on through the woods. I found the old town wall which was cool to walk along and an overlook that rivaled the bell tower at the church. What a wonderful excursion for myself! I'm glad I ventured off into the park. The parks here in Prague are not your run-of-the-mill "let's put greenspace here for the sake of having greenspace" parks. They are purposeful, rugged, give you a great experience.

Walking down the park path, I was eventually dumped out onto the street, and was in the middle of a non-touristy neighborhood of Prague.
Main Chapel on Palace
Pretty cool to see, but nothing incredible. I walked along to the bridge that crossed the river (the water looked beautiful and inviting!) and there it was! Frank Gehry's Dancing Building! A great work of architecture, but smaller than I expected.

So two of the three things I wanted to see where complete, so I walked over to old town and the Jewish quarter, my last recommendation from people who know Prague. It was quaint and very nice to walk through, so I went ahead and bought my one souvenir for the trip (I told myself that I would only buy one for the entire trip so I wouldn't end up with a lot of crap when I got back). I bought a real puppet! Apparently Prague is famous for puppetry, and so they sell them everywhere. I hate going in souvenir shops but they had them cheap and exactly what I wanted.
I am excited about my puppet and putting it next to my Italian mask (that someone gave to me a few years ago) when I get back. Yay for collecting dust. I also bought another book to read, as I finished Freakanomics today. This is the great unexpected thing about traveling- I have plenty of time to read when I normally don't. So I opted for fiction and am going to try out Steinbeck's East of Eden.

By then I was pretty tired and knew I had a long opera to sit through tonight, so I went back to the hotel and caught a quick nap. It was then time to shower and dress up for the Opera- the big music class "field trip" that was going to be spectacular. It was Mozart's Don Giovanni (which is big here in Prague) and it was spectacular. They had subtitles for us to understand it in English, and it was well put on and very entertaining. I never thought I'd get to go to the Opera! And in Europe no less...

Since then I came back with John, Andrea, and Allyson and we got some food from a little "non-stop" slightly sketchy but cheap place across from the hotel. We ate our sandwichs and I'm about to go to bed soon- it was definitely a long day and we leave early tomorrow for Berlin!
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The Palace
The Palace
Changing of guards.
Changing of guards.
Excited to be there!
Excited to be there!
Main Chapel on Palace
Main Chapel on Palace
Inside...
Inside...
Top of Church bell tower- Prague!
Top of Church bell tower- Prague!
River that runs through Prague
River that runs through Prague
Other steeple on Church
Other steeple on Church
Top of Main Chapel
Top of Main Chapel
Walking down hill through woods...
Walking down hill through woods...
Dancing building!
Dancing building!
Prague
photo by: vulindlela