The drive to Prague and a walking tour

Trip Start Apr 13, 2014
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Trip End Apr 26, 2014


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Hlavní město Praha,
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On the buses this morning at 8:00 to drive to Prague. That meant an early rise to get bags out for collection and breakfast. The weather is once again clear and warm expected to reach 19C today with minimal wind. I just realized that we have really only experienced a few showers on a couple of days so far on the trip; our guide on the bus this morning mentioned that there was heavy rain and electrical storms in Prague last evening, but no sign of it today.

I noticed a lot of Canola being grown along the trip as well as a large number of solar panel fields generating electricity. The Canola oil is used mostly for fuel and these two uses of the land are competing with food production purposes. Skoda is one of the main industrial enterprises in Czech Republic making cars but also bicycles and the guide said industrial equipment, but I haven't seen that name yet other than cars. General George Patton was responsible for the liberation of the western part of the Czech and Slovak republics at the end of the war, and he got as far as Pilsen before the Russians decided they wanted to claim this territory. George is still celebrated each May in Pilsen.

We got checked into the Hilton in Prague with no problem, and shortly after getting some lunch, our bags were delivered to the room. Shortly after, we left by bus to begin the walking tour of the 'lower town' and the Charles Bridge, built by King Charles IV to permanently connect the two sides of the city. He also had a university built and of course the usual castle and chuch. We walked across the bridge which is pedestrian only now, and has statues of saints and other historical persona. The bridge also hosts numerous street vendors of all sort: trinkets, souvenirs, caricaturists, musicians, etc. At the far end is a small market with numerous stalls selling goods and food, and a four piece band was playing German polka music.

We walked throughout the old 'lower town' with a very good guide and saw more churches and castles and eventually rendezvoused with the bus to return to the hotel. Before getting cleaned up we went walking to find a pivo (beer) and walked about six blocks to find an open-air place - despite the very mild weather (19+ today) this is early in the season for Prague so most places don't have their outside set-ups in place yet. We did find a place that had cold pivo and a bruschetta and accepted Visa. I have avoided getting Czech Krona from an ATM as it is of no value anywhere else, and in fact I have some Slovak bills from 1999 that I'd like to part with if I get a chance. After a refreshing pivo, we got cleaned up and walked to one of the recommended restaurants; we met one of our fellow passenger couples on our way and they advised the local potato dumplings were good but large. We ordered another pivo and I ordered the dumplings and a Caesar salad with chicken - mistake. The dumplings were delicious but five of them with sauerkraut was definitely a full meal - and then the huge Caesar salad with chicken arrived. I definitely did not clean my plates.

When we got back to the hotel we took the iPad down to the lobby to get a WiFi signal to send the blog and check email. Krista also did 'FaceTime' with Gail MacFarlane in Nova Scotia and Joanna in BC. Technology has certainly made the world small.
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