Praha

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able and continue to travel to beautiful cities across the world. Paris – I was in love, Tokyo – I was even more in love, Venice, Rome, Vienna – Love, Love, Love. But Prague is a different story. The Czech Republic and Prague is still considered to some Eastern Europe and it’s never been a city that I have longed to go to. Just 3 hours from Linz, we always talked about maybe on a day off driving up and just checking it out but it was never a real must-see. Every November and February, Andrew gets a couple of days off. We have been able to travel to some amazing cities during these breaks and I really look forward to them. Our original plan was to go somewhere warm, Canary Islands or Spain … but leaving the planning to the last-minute didn’t give us many options. We decided we should check out Prague. It is constantly getting rated a top city and everyone I have ever talked to that has been absolutely raves about. We would have 4 days there and I can say each day I fell more and more in love with this city.

Straight out of a Disney movie, Prague has some of the most beautiful churches and spires around. Everywhere you look, you see them. It also has a pleasant “old-world” feel very different from the other places I have been. We really had no plan when we arrived and I am glad. Just wondering the streets, leads you to some pretty amazing places, restaurants, and views. The first afternoon we walked to the Jewish Quarter, which was a close 5 minutes from our hotel.

I don’t know much about Prague’s history or the Czech Republic but I did know that it had one of the biggest Jewish Ghettos during WWII. Hilter had intended on using the Jewish Ghetto in Prague as his museum site for an extinct race. Our first stop was the Spanish Synagogue. No pictures were allowed but I tried to sneak one. I have never been inside a Synagogue and I am glad this was my first one. It was breath-taking. My one picture I took does not do it any justice. The colors are a bright cobalt blue, deep wine red, bright green and gold accents. If you Google it, there are many better professional photos where you can see what I am talking about.

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We also walked through to the Jewish Cemetery. The Jewish community was not granted more land to bury their loved ones, so they were forced to bury graves one on top of the other. The wall outside the cemetery is probably close to 15ft high. Walking inside, you are pretty much at the top of that wall.

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After wandering around, we walked to Letna Park. I had researched enough about Prague before we left to see where some iconic shots were taken and this park , not popular to tourists was where you could view Prague and all its bridges. It was stunning. Lucky for us, there was also a small cafe at the top of a hill where we could enjoy our first (of many) Czech beers.

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We ended the night going to U Fleků. One of the oldest breweries in Prague., founded in 1499. The food was traditional Czech cuisine. We enjoyed an appetizer of sausages and cheese, entrée of goulash and half a chicken with a pickled cabbage salad, bread dumplings, and potatoes. We were pressured into desert by the servers, nasty shots of some honey medicine flavored liquor and something dark brown I refused to try.

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The next morning, we woke up at dawn to see the Charles Bridge before it got crowded with tourists. We weren’t the only ones with this idea. It was a beautiful morning watching the sun rise and staring out across to the Prague castle.

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The only thing we had really planned was seeing the Prague Castle, Pražský hrad. Unfortunately, I know nothing about it. We did get audio guides but I can’t remember what most of it was about and I had a hard time following the history. Feel free to Google it (something I should probably do)

The Castle consists of quite a few buildings and is the largest coherent castle in the world. After passing through the guards, our short tour started with Cathedral of St. Vitas.

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We continued the tour to the Old Royal Hall and were able to explore rooms of the former castle and the beautiful Vladislav Hall.

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Our next stop was St. George’s Basilica. Again, breath-taking, beautiful, etc., etc., etc.

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The tour ended on Golden Lane. A place once reserved for castle servants. The architecture was tiny, bright, and playful. I felt a little like the Wizard of Oz in Munchkin Land.

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After the tour, we sat at the oldest winery in Prague. We then made our way back down to New Town and explored some more, dropping into different breweries and grabbing a beer and a bite to eat.

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The following day we toured Old Town and went up the clock tower. The views from the top was a 360 degrees of Prague, both the Old Town and New Town.

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Our day was full of walking. We walked through Kampa Park, took the train up to Petrin Hill, and walked along New Town to the John Lennon wall.

Kampa Park was a small park on a semi-island. It was full of sculptures and romantic places to sit and view the city. Petrin Hill had an observation tower that looked rather similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. After the 300 stair climb and some hyperventilating, the views from the top were amazing! Prague is just so beautiful.

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Walking back to Old Town, we stopped at the John Lennon wall. The wall is constantly changing. What you see one day might be covered with something else the next. It was a fun place to have a little photo-shoot. And listen to a guitarist play some favorites from John Lennon, as well as, The Beatles.

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For our last night, at the recommendation of our hotel, we took a boat dinner cruise. We went with the Jazz Boat (recommended). It was a fun evening going up and back down the river seeing all of Prague with great entertainment.

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We were lucky to have gorgeous weather for most of our trip. The last day it was raining. Thankfully we had booked a massage for the morning (Prague has some of the cheapest spa’s around). After, we grabbed lunch at the famous Lokal and hit the road.

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I can’t say enough about how beautiful and romantic Prague is. I am so happy we are so close so I can hopefully travel back. There is still so much I need to see.

2 thoughts on “Praha

  1. Your Prague travelogue is colorful, enchanting – a perfect
    elixir on a drab, grey Minnesota morning. Grazie!
    Roseann & Mike

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