St. Vitus, Red Roofs and Petrin Overload!

Prague Travel Blog

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Eastertime in Prague

 

We ended up getting up at around 7AM, not just the next day, everyday.  The strange thing is that Noah would wake up first which is unusual.  Everyone knows he isn’t about mornings but his clock was all messed up on this trip and he kept waking up early.  I could have slept in, but once I heard him stirring across the room I was up.  I am the lightest sleep on EARTH!  No really! 

The good thing is that we got to have breakfast almost everyday which cuts down on expenses.  The breakfast was decent, quite filling and tasty.  We both took advantage of it and ate more than most people would think humanly possible.  Both Noah and I are really thin and we can eat like nobody’s business.

St. Vitus
  By the time we were done, we would be satisfied until about 2-3PM where we would grab a snack…usually ice cream…and then grab dinner or more ice cream.  Yeah, it wasn’t the healthiest trip.

Our first morning in Prague, we decided to visit our now old friend the Prague Castle, but this time it would be for real.  The first time was just to check out the city from above.  Let me just say there is a lot to explore up there, the grounds are vast and very nice.  I would advise taking a full day up at Prague Castle or at least a good half day, at least during the warmer months as I can imagine it to be very cold in winter.  We were there a total of three times and I still don’t think we saw the whole thing.

St. Vitus

As I had mentioned earlier, St. Vitus is amazing!  Seriously, it really is that beautiful, but I am a huge fan of cathedrals and I had been waiting for a while.  I know many people feel that if you have seen one castle or cathedral in Europe you have seen them all, but I really disagree.  Every one has their own feel and flavor and I couldn’t wait to see this one and climb the 287 steps to the top of the bell tower to see Prague.  I was stoked!  There is a line to get in, but who cares, it is free (Except the bell tower).  The cathedral really is very beautiful!  I have to say that St. Patrick’s in NYC was my favorite until St. Vitus.  It helped to have a perfect sunny day to light up the stained glass and strangely enough, it wasn’t that crowded once you got in.

St. Vitus
  People didn’t stay that long, though I was there for at well over an hour and I have the 100 photos to prove it! 

Before we left, Noah and I headed towards the stairs to make the pilgrimage to the top..  Well, the universe said, “no” because when we got to the door we were surprised to see a sign informing us that there were technical difficulties with the tower.  Technical difficulties in a tower?  What would cause technical difficulties?  It wasn’t like there were a lot of lights or wires up there.  Also, the weather was perfect.  It was very odd, but you can’t argue with the sign, so unfortunately, we had to leave without the full St. Vitus experience.

When we left St. Vitus it was around 11:55AM so we knew that we were close to the area where they have the changing of the guards, so we hurried over to join the huge crowd.

Changing of the Guards
  I have seen a few changing of the guards in my lifetime and let me just say that this was the largest and the longest.  It was pretty cool at first as it was pretty elaborate.  Besides the guards, there was a small band playing from the windows as well.  It was pretty cool at first, but after about 10 minutes, we started to lose interest along with others.  Seriously, I think the whole show was 20 minutes!  Well, more bang for your buck!  Except that it was totally free.  Anyway, be prepared to be there a while and enjoy the marching and the brass band.

After the changing of the guards, we were treated to a four piece string group playing the most beautiful piece I have heard in a long time. Besides cathedrals, I am a huge sucker for stringed instruments and was almost brought to tears.

I Wish I Understood Czech!
  Yes, I am an idiot when it comes to beautiful music, to me music is life and this was gorgeous.

We walked the rest of the grounds for a while before stopping to take in the red roofs before heading down.  When in Prague you must pay homage to the red roofs from the Palace area as that is one of the areas where you will get the best views.  I had to admit, Prague was defiantly as pretty as people had said it was.

After, visiting the Prague Castle, we decided that a visit to Petrin Hill Observatory was in order.  The tower at Petrin has been called the Eiffel Tower of Eastern Europe and contains 299 steps leading you to one of the best views of Prague. You can walk the hill all the way up to the top of Petrin Hill, but since we wanted to get in as much sight seeing as possible, we decided to take the funicular as it was faster.

 

The tower is pretty sweet up close.  We were both really excited to start hitting the steps to see these incredible views.  That is until we began the ascent up the first 50 stairs.  The tower looks like it is sturdy, but when going up it, not so much.  The things began shaking as people came down and we went up.  I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous. 

When we got to the top, we were pleased to see that the views weren’t overblown and actually were quite fantastic.  They were amazing!  But for some reason, the structure kept freaking me out as it continued to shake.  The shaking mixed with the height made me uneasy so after about 10 minutes I left Noah behind and made my way downstairs.

The Petrin Tower
  Look, I know this thing has been around for a while with no incidents, but I was being a big baby that day.  Safety first!

Once I was back safely on the ground (or so I thought), I was soon accosted by an Italian tourist.  He was with a group of his countryman, but it was pretty obvious that he was the main person of the group who had been celebrating a little too hard this afternoon.  I mean he was ripped!  He began making interesting suggestions to me which I did not particularly want to partake in with this individual now or ever.  I can deal with catcalls, I live in the catcall capital of NYC, but when he started to get a little grabby it was on.  I seriously contemplated punching the guy the way good old Dad taught me, but thought assault may be frowned upon in Eastern Europe.

Astronomical Clock Face
  In the end, security had been called as I was not the first person this group had harassed.  I was amusing to see him carted off by security to who knows where.

When Noah came down, he apologized for taking so long.  I told him I had a view all my own and explained the incident.  He asked if I had taken any photos or video.  Hmm, thanks for the concern, but no, I did not unfortunately.  After the fun at the Petrin Hill, we decided to walk down the hill and check out the surrounding neighborhood which included parks, houses, and plenty of churches.  We stopped at a bench outside a church to give our feet a breather and were treated to the sound of ringing bells indicating service was starting.  We were surprised to see the service fill up as much as it did as it was late in the afternoon, around dinnertime.

The View From Petrin
  It was very peaceful and a nice way to take a load off before searching for dinner.

I won’t lie, I am a picky eater and the food in the Czech Republic was a little much for me.  I don’t eat beef or pork and I don’t like stew, so pretty much I was SOL in Prague.  What I did enjoy was the omelets.  Apparently, the Czech Republic rolls like I do.  Omelets are available all the time as they are a dinner staple as well.  This made me happy as I have been known to eat omelets any time I go to a diner or any other late night joint that serves them.  So, while in Prague most of my meals consisted of eggs, cheese and assorted vegetables.  I always find a way to make it work.

After dinner, we walked around the Charles Bridge to see it lit up before walking around the beautifully lit historic buildings.

  There is nothing as beautiful as Prague lit up at night that is for sure, especially with the Easter celebration in full swing adding to the ambience.  We also stopped at the Astronomical Clock, but decided to come back later as it was dark and our photos wouldn’t be as crisp.  That and I think it stops its hourly “show” after a certain hour.  So, we headed back to the hotel after a long day with plenty of miles on our feet.  We would be getting up early the next day due our first side trip out of Prague; Kutna Hora. 

 

 

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Eastertime in Prague
Eastertime in Prague
St. Vitus
St. Vitus
St. Vitus
St. Vitus
St. Vitus
St. Vitus
Changing of the Guards
Changing of the Guards
I Wish I Understood Czech!
I Wish I Understood Czech!
The Petrin Tower
The Petrin Tower
Astronomical Clock Face
Astronomical Clock Face
The View From Petrin
The View From Petrin
Prague
photo by: vulindlela