OUR FIRST LOOK AT PRAGUE

Trip Start Oct 01, 2008
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276
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Trip End Sep 02, 2009


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, July 20, 2009

Today my Mom turned 90!  Wow!  There was a party where she lives, they had cake and the usual refreshments.  We telephoned her and got to sing happy birthday.  It sounded like a wonderful time for her with family and friends.
 
We are touring Prague today.  Since this wasn’t on our to do list we are winging it.  We catch the #17 tram into town along with a school group, so we get off when they get off.  We head towards the river to have a look at it and the tour boats.  The ornate Charles bridge is close by so we walk over to have a look at all the statues on it.  Construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of 15th century. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava (Moldau), it was very important. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, erected around 1700.
 
Once on the other side we stop in at the tourist bureau and get a map.  They had no brochures in English so we are really playing the town by ear.  We head up to the castle to see it and the churches on the way.  We pass the St. Nicholas Cathedral (1286) from the Lesser Quarter.  It is now Prague's number one church in the new sector, and then up to the castle area. 
 
We watched the changing of the guards and then went in and took the mini tour which included the old castle, St. George’s Basilica, and the old town and prison tower.
 
The old castle was a little scant on furniture, we were really impressed with the wooden doors, the view over the city and the size of the great hall where weddings, coronations and special events were held. 
 
St. George’s Basilica was small, with some fresco paintings on the ceiling and a skeleton statue in the crypt area.
 
I got to go into the Story of Prague, which included items found on the grounds from ancient times, burial clothes and shoes, ancient sword, jewelry, and lots of reading.  Sorry no pictures inside.
 
We went into the old town of small houses, each house was a store with something inside for sale.  Upstairs there was an impressive collection of armor and helmets.   Some of the pieced were BC, may have been just copies, but the displays were poorly looked after and dusty.  They were all marked with dates, which was excellent.  I commented that even back then they knew enough to protect their heads when going out to do something reckless and yet today we still have to make laws to wear protective head gear!
 
Len went into see the Military Museum, he didn’t seemed to impressed with it and then after 3:30 we went into the art gallery as it was free.
 
Len went into the church to see it while I was in the Story of Prague.  He said it was very similar to ones we had already been in, judging by the outside it is very similar to the cathedrals in Strasbourg and the Notre Dame in Paris. 
 
Having walked our feet off again we set out to find tram 17 and get back to the campground.   The sun is shining now, just a sprinkle of rain today, the grass is slowly getting dry.
 
Great day!
 
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