Saturday, November 27, 2010


Well, "they" were right; Prague really is a gorgeous, intriguing and amazing city.
Since Zev had some time off over Thanksgiving weekend, we decided to head somewhere that was local and where we had never been to before. Prague was the perfect choice. Only five hours from home, door to door, the journey here on Thanksgiving day meant that we arrived in Prague in the afternoon, just before sunset. We had booked an apartment online and were very pleased with the quality and value of this clean and modern apartment in the heart of Prague. The area is lovely, not far from the famous Charles Bridge, with lots of great pubs and restaurants in the quaint neighborhood. The apartments themselves are gorgeous from the outside; think Paris, with high ceilings and intricate marble work on the outside. They are all in good condition too.
The next day, we had breakfast at the Starbucks in Old Town Prague and then went and joined a free walking tour of Prague run by "Sandemans." I had read about this free walking tour online through tripadvisor, and I must admit I was a little skeptical, thinking that nothing can be free and imagining that the guide would pressure us for tips the entire time.
Well, the trip turned out to be well worth it, with the guide mentioning tips at the end of a very informative and interesting 3 hour tour of Prague. Our guide's name was Karel, and he is a native Czech who studied abroad in England and was very passionate about his city. We started the tour at the infamous "Astronomical Clock" which you see above and ended it overlooking the beautiful Prague Castle (which is really spectacular when lit up at night).
Prague is super easy to get around on foot. The city is mostly cobblestoned streets along streets filled with stores, restaurants, pubs and of course private apartments.
During our walking tour, Karel pointed out some interesting facets about Prague's history, including the story of some guy a long time ago who tried to steal some jewelry off the statue of the Virgin Mary in a church. According to the legend, the Virgin Mary "came alive" and grabbed his arm. As the statue was considered sacred, the church officials decided to cut off the thief's arm at the elbow in order to release him. Anyway, Karel took us into the church to show us the arm which is all black and dangling off the roof. Oh yes my friend, it was dangling there.  
Just goes to show; you got to watch where you "hang out".
Korel also took us to the Franz Kafka statue which is based on one of the famous authors dreams and is located on the outskirts of the Jewish Quarter, also a "must-see" in Prague. Franz Kafka is actuall buried in the Jewish historic cemetery.
Zev and I had coffee after the tour in the "Franz Kafka" cafe to warm up a little bit.
 The Prague Christmas Markets started this weekend, which helped to distract us from the cold!
Isn't this city pretty!? This is the night view of Prague Castle.
The Old Town square. It looks like a fairytale scene to me.
If you are a romantic, this city is for you.
If you like dark beer, sausages, pumpkin dumplings or hearty goulash, Prague is also the place for you. German beer is great; Czech beer is excellent. So what did we do for dinner last night? We went to an underground, former brewery and ate pork knees with some of the most delicious dark beer I have ever tasted. The pork knee was quite tasty!
This is what the pork knee looked like when it came out...
And after...
 Today we were blessed with beautiful blue skies.
We decided to explore more of the Old Town as well as the Castle distict, on the left side of the river.
It was neat to cross the famous Charles Bridge, which was packed with tourists.
It was pretty cold, I must say!!
The view from the top of the hill was quite amazing. We watched the changing of the guards at the castle.
We even tried to get inside the church. But we were unsuccessful, unfortunately. It kind of went something like this:
Zev: Hi I'd like to have a look inside
Czech guard with a stern look (no smile): It's closed to tourists.
Zev: Oh, but we just wanted to....
Czech guard with a sterm look (no smile): I said it's CLOSED to tourists. Closed!
Zev: I guess it's closed......
We enjoyed a lovely Czech dinner tonight at a local restaurant, off the "touristy track" near our apartment. Our bellies are full and Zev's eyes are glazing over. So I think it's night night time.
Hope you had a lovely and warm weekend! Not long until Christmas now. Take care and love those nearest and dearest to you.
Zev and Fi xoxo

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Is it bad that I am so jealous of your travels!!??? You look so cute by the way!