On To the Main Event...Prague!

Prague Travel Blog

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Petting Zoo!

From Amsterdam, we were off to Prague.  The flight was easy going though I would like to give a shout out to the lovely flight attendants of KLM, they were all gorgeous and so friendly; The Netherlands, the gift that keeps on giving.  When we landed I was surprised to see that the airport was pretty small.  I was happy that I received my luggage though, after my problems in Spain, I always get a little nervous.  The airport is a little ways out from the actual city so you can take a cab or take public transit.  We choose public transit. The reason is that I had done enough research to know that the taxi drivers are known for ripping people off.  In fact, 5 minutes off the airplane and we were being accosted by a taxi driver who did not appear all that wholesome.

Springtime in Prague
  After we told him "no"several times he still kept pestering us and seemed a little aggressive.  Finally, we just ignored him and he went a way.  Trust me on this, take the 119 Bus and then the subway, all in all it costs under $4.00USD to get to Prague and is very easy to maneuver.

We hadn't slept on the plane that much, but were really too happy to be in Prague to care. So we checked into our hotel (The Akcent) and we were off.  The nice thing about our hotel is that the Andel subway station was right outside our door.  The thing about the Czech subways is that they are deep underground and cold with a wind tunnel effect.  It could be 120 degrees outside and it would still be a breezy 45-50 degrees below.  This kind of sucked because the weather while we were there was perfect; 75 degrees everyday!  But then you would go down into the frigid subway and freeze.

Hooray Praugue!
  But I must say, the subways are clean and run frequently.  Hey, MTA take note of the European subway systems!  They actually run, are clean and affordable!

After 4 stops Noah and I got out of the sub zero subway station to the bright warm sunshine.  The center of Prague was before us in all of its Eastertime glory.  My first impression was wow this place is crowded, then again, we were near the Easter booths as it was, hey, Eastertime!  People were milling everywhere, brats and beers in hand.  There were booths selling Czech goods and even a little petting zoo at one end.  I can't pass a petting zoo, I just can't and wasted a good 15 minutes there along with all the other children.

Let me just say, the architecture is amazing.

Walking to St. Vitus
  That is why a lot of people come to Prague and now I understand why.  It really is quite beautiful.  Even the buildings and places of business were interesting because the Czechs aren't about boring colors, oh no.  There were buildings in all colors, mostly pastels.  You don't see that a lot in major cities but you did in this one. 

The other thing I noticed rather quickly was that the roads are cobblestone.  At first I thought it was just the major tourist areas, but I was wrong.  The cobblestone is EVERYWHERE!  I wouldn't normally mind, but you see, I had messed up my back a few weeks earlier doing an extreme yoga move.  I hadn't done yoga in a couple months due to a musical I was in, I didn't have time, and I was in very good shape thanks to the show so I assumed I could begin where I have left off.

St. Vitus
  Advice:  You can't!  Yes, this is a travel blog, but please, take my advice.  That and if you do mess up your back, avoid Prague as you can't walk correctly on cobblestone after a while.  Even Noah who is a fine, strapping young man with a perfect back was hurting by the end of the day.  I am glad to report my spine is back to its former glory!

After, we had a quick visit to the booths we decided to head to the Charles Bridge.  Unfortunately, the bridge was under construction at the time which kind of stunk.  They were working at the entrance of both ends which made getting onto the bridge a chore.  I had no idea how crowded it would be.  It was swarming with tourists and peddlers.

Fighting Giants
  That was a little discouraging, but the views were great, especially at night.  Another cool thing to check out are the jewelry stands.  I like to buy things from the locals when I travel as it is handmade and unique.  I got one of the coolest necklaces there and have gotten many compliments on it.

A little history lesson: The Charles Bridge was built in 1357 and was finished at the beginning of the 15th Century.  Along the bridge you will see many baroque statues depicting various saints and patron saints.  The most popular statue is St. John of Nepomuk, a Czech martyr saint who was thrown off of the bridge.  If you touch this, you will have good luck and will return to Prague.

Charles bridge at Dusk
  Take a few steps towards the Old Town from the statue and you will come to a cross with five stars on the left parapet of the bridge, here you are supposed touch the cross and the stars with your LEFT hand and make a wish.  This is supposedly where the martyr was thrown off of the bridge, why it would bring you good luck I don't know, it didn't really for him.  Interestingly, more than half the people use their right hands, I don't know what happens to wishes if you use the wrong hand.   Anyway, the best time to go to the Charles Bridge is early in the morning to avoid the crowds.  It really is that bad, but still very beautiful.

Because we had arrived later in the afternoon, we didn't have too much time to explore Prague before it got dark and we had to feed. But before dinner we decided we wanted to check out the Prague Castle.

Dusk
  It is a little bit of a trek uphill but nothing outrageous; I quite enjoyed it!  When you reach the top you will get a beautiful view of the red rooftops that Prague is known for.  We decided to do a quick run of the grounds, because the palace was our main attraction the next day and we didn't want to spoil it, but let me say one thing, St. Vitus is amazing!!!  That is all I am saying for now.

After we visited the grounds we decided it was time to grab some real Czech food, which meant stay away from the tourist areas as much as possible.  We prefer to do that anyway, but that is where you will get the cheapest and most authentic food.  In fact, the packed restaurant was all Czech except for us and a Spanish table.  I had the onion soup, salmon and apple strudel (which was everywhere).

Old Town
  I have to say, it was quite good, though they believe in salt and more salt, well at least at this restaurant.  But I can't complain, I am a fan myself. 

After the dinner, we wandered the city a bit before heading to the hotel.  We both were pretty exhausted from the flight and in our head it was 6PM our time and we had not slept.  So off to bed we went.

 

 

binky says:
See! It's hard to know where the pain comes from, yoga, stage diving or Prague's cobblestone. I loved it there, but my back was messed up for weeks afterwords.
Posted on: Oct 11, 2010
free08 says:
Very nicely written!
Posted on: Oct 11, 2010
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Petting Zoo!
Petting Zoo!
Springtime in Prague
Springtime in Prague
Hooray Praugue!
Hooray Praugue!
Walking to St. Vitus
Walking to St. Vitus
St. Vitus
St. Vitus
Fighting Giants
Fighting Giants
Charles bridge at Dusk
Charles bridge at Dusk
Dusk
Dusk
Old Town
Old Town
Prague
photo by: vulindlela