Prague..

It’s about time to talk about my trip to Prague and Budapest, although I will do it in two different posts. Let’s start with Prague, this wonderful capital of Czech Republic.

We left Berlin on a Saturday morning at 7.30 am, which means that we woke up around 6, and took a taxi to go to the station near the U-bahn station of Messe. On the bus we had lot of space, so we could sleep and stretch our legs as much as we needed and by the way it was only a 5 hour trip…

During our bus trip we stopped in Dresden, I have never been there before and haven’t seen much only passing by bus, but it looked like a city worth a visit. Nice buildings and streets, and the main station was such a beauty architecturally.

We got to Florenc station in Prague around 12.30/1 and from there we tried to locate our hotel on the map. We wanted to drop our bags before starting the tour of the city. We took the metro and got off at the right station, but after that we got lost. We walked around for a while, trying to find the street by ourselves, but after a while we realized we had no idea of where we were so we asked to a policeman, and later on to some other people. We walked, walked and walked until we finally found the place, which was in the opposite direction, lol. But anyway, travelling is also about getting lost, wouldn’t you agree? After checking in and leaving our bags in the room we decided to start sightseeing. We didn’t have a definite itinerary so we just walked toward the city centre, we passed by the National Museum of Prague and decided not to go in since we didn’t have much time to spend in town. We took some pictures with the magnificent building on the background and then went on with our walk… Something that fascinated us was the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of the city, although you could see a lot of tourists around there was a sense of peace and silence, which accompanied us for all the stay.

We still hadn’t eaten anything so, since my friend has the habit of trying a kebab in every city she visits, we took one in a small stand on the street. I know is not Czech typical food, but traditions have to be respected. After eating, sitting on a bench in this shopping street, we went on walking, stumbling almost randomly on monuments and masterpieces of architecture. We passed by the Powder Tower and the Municipal House and then, walking through some streets not filled with tourists we got to the Old Town Square where I took a lot of pictures and where we saw the first bride & groom taking pictures in their wedding clothes.

From there we didn’t really know where to go, we still didn’t have a guidebook so we just picked random streets intentioned to find the river. We finally got to the river where we could admire Charles Bridge for the first time and I would say that is one of the most beautiful bridges I have ever seen. So full of art and artists, painters, musicians (Travel Theme: Rhythm to check some pictures), etc. There we saw our couple again, with the bride passing us in her trainers. (See the picture clicking here)

Checking the time and seeing that it was still quite early we then decided to cross the bridge and visit the Castle and the neighborhood. The view from the bridge was also fascinating. On the other side of the bridge we checked some souvenir shops, where I bought a guidebook, just to make sure not to lose the main things, and then we climbed the street to the Castle. The view from the hill was wonderful, postcard-like. Red rooftops, the river. Such a nice panorama. We passed through the Giant’s Gate and crossed the First and the Second Courtyard arriving to the Cathedral of St Vitus, where another couple was taking pictures on their wedding day (See the picture here). We quickly visited the inside of the church for then continuing our walk around the Castle. Because of time restraints we didn’t manage to see the buildings on the inside, as you know it might take a while to visit a Castle or a museum, and we only had one day and a half to spend there. However, this is also a good excuse to go back to Prague and visit all the things we didn’t see. After a while we decided to get down the hill and go back to the city centre. It is then that we found our dinner: the Trdelnik (Click here for the picture & description of this delicious sweet). My friend chose the one with sugar, while I decided for the one with Nutella and it was a good choice! I loved it! Back in the Old Town Square we stumbled on the wax museums, and since it wasn’t the usual one of Madame Tussauds, we decided to give it a try, it was only 3 euro for students and honestly it didn’t impress me. The statues were not given much space and you couldn’t get close enough to take pictures as you can do in Madame Tussauds, plus some of the statues were too close to each other. Fortunately it was cheap! After the museum we decided to walk home, it was already 9.30pm and getting up at 6am, travelling and walking all day we were definitely exhausted!

The morning after, we got up quite early, we went downstairs for breakfast and then up again to take a shower. We went out quite late but it was mainly because we knew we had all day since our bus would have left for Budapest only at 11pm. Since it wasn’t too far from our hotel, we decided to check the Dancing House and then walk on the right side of the river until reaching Josefov, the old Jewish ghetto. There we looked for the main synagogues and noticed that it is a rich area, lot of jewelry shops and brands boutiques such as Armani, Gucci, etc… The Old Jewish Cemetery was closed to visitors but we managed to take a look from outside. Then we walked around it and saw some other synagogues. I am not a fan of churches and religious places where you have to pay a fee to go in, so we didn’t see any of them until we got to the Spanish synagogue, which is advertised as the most beautiful synagogue in all Europe. We didn’t want to miss it! We queued at the till and paid the entrance fee, which being a student, was not high. Once inside it was forbidden to take pictures, but I managed to take a couple without flash, it was worth it! The ceiling and the interior were beautifully decorated…

Outside the Spanish Synagogue there is a monument dedicated to Kafka, author of the Metamorphosis. Listening to a guide who was just in front of the statue when we were there we discovered that Kafka became famous only after his death, which I found quite sad. I read some of the Metamorphosis and I liked it. The guide didn’t say that Kafka died in Italy, information that I still remember from my German classes in the high school. After the visit to the synagogue and this cultural digression, we started being hungry!! We found a nice place that sold bagels and salads and decided to stop there for a while; our legs were already aching so some rest was what we needed. My friend took a salmon salad which looked yummy and I took a bagel with pumpkin seeds on top of it. Lovely! After lunch we went on the other hill of Prague, the one where the Hanavsky pavilion is, which offers some beautiful views of the bridges of Prague! We spent some time there, taking many pictures of the panorama; I love to see the cities from above! Later on we went down and decided that we would like to go on a boat trip, to see the city from another perspective. But because of me we got lost again! I thought that the place where we had to take the boat was in the opposite direction, so we walked a lot for nothing! Or rather, not for nothing since we stumbled on the John Lennon Wall (in the Mala Strana district), which was worth seeing (you can check out some pictures clicking here) and some other pieces of art. When we realized to be in the wrong direction it was already too late to catch the 2 hour boat trip, so we took a tram to go to the small harbor and took the 1 hour boat trip! We enjoyed the sun and the registered voice telling about the history of Prague! The hour we spent there was the shortest hour ever. After our cruise, we stopped by the river to enjoy some sun and spent some time taking pictures. I wanted to wait for the sunset to see the lights on Charles Bridge, but we were afraid to miss our bus since we didn’t know how long it would take to get to the station. We waited for a while, but still the lights were off. What time do they turn them on???? It was already 9pm and no lights yet!!  Around 9.30 we decided that we didn’t want to risk missing the bus to Budapest so we left the city centre and went back to Florenc station. There we stopped in a McDonald’s to charge our phones and cameras. It’s the only place I know with free electricity and lot of sockets to plug your stuff! Plus they have internet! At 11pm, we took the bus to Budapest, but this is another story…

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16 responses to “Prague..

  1. I like the getting lost technique! Looks like a great balance between impromptu wanderings and seeing the sights. I must get to Prague one day too! xxx

  2. Beautiful pictures of Prague! Thanks for sharing them. When I was there, I also went to the synagogue. And I love the Dancing House 🙂

  3. Pingback: Sunday Post: From a distance | Autumn in Bruges·

  4. Pingback: My 2012. | Eat, travel, photograph·

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