Prague: The Start of an Adventure

Exactly 374 days ago, we landed in Prague, Czech Republic to begin our sibling ‘Euro Trip,’ as we called it.  Prague was an excellent city to start in because it’s so quintessentially European that it puts you in the right mood, right away.

On our first night we found our apartment and dinner.

IMG_20170618_132542309

We’ve landed in Prague!

Processed with VSCO with  preset

Our first impressions were excellent.

IMG_20170618_155113899

I don’t remember everything I ate on our Euro Trip, but I do remember this goulash.  Yum!

The next morning we found our first free walking tour of the trip. I know I say this often, but walking tours are an excellent way to orient yourself to a new place, both historically and geographically.  Free walking tours allow you to book without paying, not show up if your plans change, and tip at the end based on how you thought it was.  We usually tipped about $10/person.  Our walking tour in Prague lead us through Old Town, past the infamous Astronomical Clock, and through the neighborhood we were staying in, the Jewish Quarter.

IMG_20170619_122745428_HDRa

IMG_20170619_092748952

Prague Astronomical Clock

Since the tour ended only a few blacks from our apartment, we explored a little before returning to our flat for the bathroom, wifi, and a short nap. After a full day of traveling to arrive, we were all pretty tired.

IMG_20170619_133128208x

Group selfie along the Vltava River.

IMG_20170618_141415243

Jewish synagogue by our apartment.

DSC_6210a

View of Jewish graveyard from our flat. We learned on the walking tour that the reason the gravestones are so close together is because the city would not allow the Jews to bury their dead anywhere else.  So, when they ran out of space they added another layer of dirt and caskets and moved the stones to the top.

After our naps we walked to Prague Castle.  It was a long walk, but an excellent way to explore!  We found cool buildings and gardens along the way.

IMG_20170619_163519713_HDRa

By the way, if you walk to Prague Castle you will be facing many, many steps, but you won’t die.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

The view is worth the hike.

14023

There is an option to pay to see more of Prague Castle.  Or, you can do the free version that we did and just walk the grounds.  Prague Castle is the largest ‘ancient castle’ in the world, so there is plenty to see without paying.  I would recommend timing your trip to see the changing of the guards.

We ended our day with a search for Trdelniks, a Czech pastry.  It’s kind of like a crispy doughnut ice cream cone.  They are sold at many cash-old street stands, which lead us to our next challenge, finding an ATM.  Eventually, the ATM was found, the cash was acquired and the Trdelniks were enjoyed in Old Town Square.  It was a fly-by day in Prague but we thoroughly enjoyed it!

IMG_20170619_212933558a

Trdelniks and us.

DSC_6193a

Prague’s Old Town Square.

For our last morning in Prague we decided to get up early and see the Charles Bridge before the crowds hit.  The Charles Bridge is pedestrian only and offers incredible city views.  Even with our 7 am visit time, we were not alone.

DSC_6263b

Group shot on the Charles Bridge with an overexposed Prague Castle in the background.

IMG_20170620_075254123a

I love all the red roofs in Prague.

From the bridge we walked to breakfast, then back to our apartment to collect our things and go pick up our rental car.  We loved our apartment in the Jewish Quarter and I would recommend it to you, but I see that they no longer have it listed on booking.com, so I can’t.   That said, the entryway had this big mirror, which we liked a lot too.

IMG_20170620_071424006a

While our entire time in Prague was ideal, we ended it on a rather sour note.  We bought the wrong tickets (entirely by accident because we don’t read Czech) to ride the train.  As we came down the escalators to the train we got stopped by two ‘officers’ who waved IDs, inspected our tickets, confiscated our passports, and took us back up the escalators to show us conveniently located fine print in English (not at all near the kiosks) of our errors and penalties.  Then they took us to the ATM so we could pay our fines, in cash.  $34 per person.  Needless to say, the following endeavors to find our rental car agency were clouded with sour moods.  And yet, we survived it.

Why you should go to Prague:

  1. It has unique European history due to its locational overlap in being part of both the Holy Roman Empire and the Iron Curtain.
  2. Beautiful, well preserved Old Town.
  3. It’s very walkable but also has good public transportation options (if you can figure out the tickets).
  4. More affordable than most European destinations.

This was country 1 of our 6 country Euro Trip.  To read a summary of the trip, click here.

Country 2: Austria, read here and here.

Country 4: Switzerland, click here and here.

Country 5: Italy, read about Lake Como, Venice, PortovenereCinque Terre, Rome, Florence, or my final thoughts.  (I had a lot to say about Italy, as you can see.)

Prague, Czech Republic

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Prague: The Start of an Adventure

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s