Pretty Prague

Trip Start May 05, 2012
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Trip End Mar 01, 2013


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Where I stayed
Hotel Caesar Prague
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
Praha Cycle Tours

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, November 26, 2012

Crossing the border from Austria to the Czech Republic was very noticeable, especially compared to our border crossing into Austria from Hungary. Not long after we crossed the border the landscape changed from the rolling farm land of Austria into the much more stark mountain regions of the Czech Republic. The villages looked very cosy and inviting, nestled in between hills and all the buildings had the steep roves that are the trademarks of heavy snow falls.

Upon arriving into the Prague train station - which is much nicer than the Budapest counter part - we picked up tickets that would allow us to ride the trams to our hotel. Prague, as well as Budapest and Vienna, is a city that runs on tram tracks. The trams are everywhere and are able to take you to nearly any part in the city you would require. It was a really neat comparison to the attitude toward trams we have in NZ. We managed to find the hotel without any problems - thank you google maps!

We stayed in a 4 star hotel which was located about a 15min walk form the Old Town section of the city which is the tourist centre. After getting settled we went for a wander about to get our first real impressions of Prague. In less than 5 mins we were at the river looking up to the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. We started walking toward the bridge with the idea of getting some dinner on the other side. The Charles Bridge is the icon of Prague. It is a pedestrian only bridge and each pillar along its side holds a statue of one religious icon or another. The bridge is very beautiful and draws lots of buskers and vendors to put on the atmosphere for the tourists.

We meandered across the bridge and eventually found a nice restaurant that served authentic Czech food. I had trout while Steph had Slovakian Gnocchi and a side of mashed potatoes - we were still getting excited about the familiar staple foods that we missed form home! The food was delicious but very heavy, as we had found with most food from this region of Europe. Very stuffed we found our way home across the bridge and back to our hotel.

The hotel provided breakfast and I was so excited to see a proper toaster machine - so far all the bread we had been served was fresh. We filled up on the toast, eggs and Czech-baked-beans and headed out for our second day. The night before we had done some investigating into the attractions around Prague and found a company that offered bike tours. We managed to book on their morning tour and so headed out very excited.

When we arrived at the tour place we were rather disappointed to find that our guide was a very loud mouthed American woman who didn't even bother to introduce herself, ask us our names or even if we wanted helmets. Being the only two on the tour we also thought we might have gotten a more personal tour, as we had gotten in Athens, but she seemed determined to stick to her predetermined script - even to the point of not answering our questions straight away because she was going to "say something about that later sweetie"! We covered a lot of ground in the 2 hours and by the time we returned to base to drop the bikes of we were very happy to see the  back of her!
The sights we saw were very beautiful - check out the pics - Prague definitely meets its reputation for beauty, but riding on cobbled streets following the obnoxious American guide was not worth the price of the tour.

After this disappointment we got some more Czech food for lunch and then returned home for a quick rest. By this stage in the trip we were both starting to feel a little bit jaded of all the travel and found ourselves using the afternoons to rest while going out exploring in the mornings and evenings which worked well, as our days mostly focused around food!

That evening we went and found the Old Town Square which has lots of restaurants and the famous astronomical clock. The clock is very beautiful and is another of the tourist draw cards of Pargue. Thinking with our stomachs we managed to find a great little restaurant just a few streets off the main square which did excellent food. After our meal of Prague Ham, Stuffed Peppers and a Czech Burger, we returned to the square and  found a lady selling a Czech version of the Chimney Bread we had tried in Budapest.  It was pretty much the same- just smaller.

We spent the next day exploring the castle area and Charles Bridge in daylight. I will try to post a video of a band that we saw playing on the bridge (buskers have been so much more impressive in Europe!) as it sums up the atmosphere quite well.
The castle area at the top of the hill was quite impressive but neither of us felt drawn to look around the museum inside - I'm afraid to say we have a rather low tolerance for museums. We took lots of pictures and had a good look around the outside though. The view over the city was great and would be even more so had it not been so foggy.

After an Italian lunch - we were slightly over the heavy Czech food by now -  we started looking around at the souvenir stands and found a few paintings that we liked. The hardest part however was trying to figure out how we would be able to get them home with out damaging them. We looked all afternoon and it wasn't until we were on our way home after dinner - more Italian - that we found a triplicate of smaller canvas paintings that we just had to have. Success at last!

The next day we had a very lazy start and just about missed breakfast! We checked out around 12pm and went down to the square to see the clock one last time. We were picked up form our hotel about 2pm to go to the airport and had a 2.5hour wait in the airport for our flight to Paris.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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