Monday 13 December 2010

Prague - part two

Having woken at 8am on Sunday, we went down to breakfast, which was a help yourself continental buffet. It wasn't fancy, but it was fresh and filling, which is what we needed before venturing out into the freezing temperatures again!

We had decided to take the tram to the funicular railway as our first attracation to visit. This meant we had to get the metro first to the tram stop where we could catch the right tram! The transport map we had been given when we arrived was very good and using that and my Rough Guide map we didn't get lost at all! We had bought a travel pass when we arrived on the Saturday and this included all travel on trams, metro, buses and the funicular railway for the princely sum of £3.30 each for 24 hours, which was absolutely brilliant value for money as this also got us to and from the airport.

The funicular railway ride wasn't very long, but it was fun and at the summit there were wonderful views of Prague. The views became even better when we ventured up the observation tower at the top of Petrin Hill. Known as Prague's Eiffel tower it is 299 steps to the top.
Fortunately there was a viewing platform half way up where we stopped and took some wonderful photos.

The entrance to go up to the top platform was shut, but Hugh found an alternative entrance (the down stairs!) which he suggested we walk up. I got up two more turns before I started to get acrophobia and had to rapidly make my way down again! Never mind, we had taken some wonderful photos.

Walking back to the railway to make our way down again we had to walk through the gardens, which were just like a scene from Narnia. We cleared the snow off the back of one of the benches and set up the self timer to take a photo of the two of us.

Our next adventure was to get back on the tram and to to Prague Castle. I was expecting great things here, but have to admit that I was a little disappointed. It was quite expensive to get in and several of the buildings were shut as they were filming in them or renovating them. We did get to see the old palace which was interesting and an exhibition of Prague Castle through the ages, which was fascinating. Wenceslas Cathedral was spectacular, but unless you paid extra, you could only go into the first half of it.

Feeling a bit let down, we made our way back, walking this time, to Charles Bridge to see it in daylight. During the day it is lined with artists and street entertainers, which made for a very different feeling as you walked along it.
By this time we were a bit cold, so back in the Old Town Square we found a little cafe where I had the most delicious cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream - actually I had two cups of it! After his first coffee Hugh went to the loo and came back laughing and saying he needed to go back in and take the camera. I couldn't begin to imagine! But, gave him the camera (fortunately we had taken the point and shoot, not the DSLR) which he hid in a pocket. When he came back he showed me this:
The cafe was obviously know for this urinal as plenty of men came in to use the loo and then left laughing!
Having warmed up we decided to have a walk to the Jewish Quarter. We wanted to have a look around the Jewish Cemetry which the Rough Guide said was free to go into. However, since the book was published things had obviously changed and you now have to pay, which is a shame. As the price was quite high and included the Synagogues as well and we didn't really have enough time left we had to miss out on these sights, which was a shame.

Our day was drawing to a close, so we made our way back to the hotel and came upon St Nicholas, an angel and the Devil as it was Mikulas Day.

There were loads of little children getting their presents from St Nicholas and telling him if they had been good this year. It was lovely to see and a lovely end to our time in Prague.

We returned to the hotel to collect our suitcase and then found a lovely little pizzeria to have our evening meal in.
Then it was back to the airport, where we checked in, went through passport control and then found that our flight was delayed! Fortunately only for an hour, but that meant that we eventually got back to Stansted at 11.30pm and back home at 1am! After 5 hours sleep I was up again and back to work!
However, Hugh and I really enjoyed our weekend away. It is a really nice start to Christmas for us and something which is now starting to become a bit of a tradition for us! Cologne last year, Prague this year - where next year? Any suggestions?


Sian said...

A lovely tour Becky. I'd really, really like to go now!

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

I really enjoyed seeing your photos from your weekend trip to Prague, Becky. It looks like you had a lovely time, and seeing your pictures makes me want to visit there! Thanks for sharing. xo

scrappyjacky said...

Sounds like a lovely place to visit,Becky.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Lovely! We climbed all the steps in the castle for a great view. I also loved the Jewish cemetery.
Maybe Vienna for next year? Or Dublin?

humel said...

Oh, I loved this post!! We went to Prague for our honeymoon (13 years ago now) and your photos and descriptions brought so many memeories flooding back :-)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful little trip and the pictures are really great. Definitely had to laugh at the one though. :) We have friends over in Brussels on a NATO assignment that's coming to an end shortly and they're busy wondering where they really have to go before they leave.