What was my favorite place we visited on our big trip you ask? Why, Prague, of course! It is hard to explain why The Engineer and I both loved Prague, but it just had a great vibe. The food was amazing, the beer and wine were super cheap ;-) and it was so pretty. I put both days into one post, but don't worry...there are more pictures than words :)
We arrived in the late evening and stopped by the dancing house just cuz we could ;-) I remember thinking it was cool when it was built in the mid 90's...I didn't ever think I would really get to go see it in person!
We ate dinner at a place right around the corner from our apartment (apartment tour at the end of the post if you are interested) that the owner recommended to us and it was the best meal of the trip, hands down. The restaurant was called Deminka and served the original Pilsner beer.
(Wild Boar with Potato Dumplings)
It was at this time that we realized how inexpensive Prague was...$2 beer and $1.50 wine?? Keep. It. Coming. It was so good and I ate way too much. At least we walked everywhere right?
The next morning we passed through Wenceslas Square on our way to Old Town Square and got distracted by Paul Bakery.
It is a local chain that we stopped by more than once because the coffee and pastries were so good!
In Old Town Square we ran right into the Astronomical Clock. It is apparently the oldest working one left and according to legend if it is neglected the city will suffer. The skeleton above the clock keeps tabs on its working order.
We enjoyed street performs in all the public touristy areas (particularity the abundance of live bands here) and hot wine and grog :) Well, at lease I liked my hot wine, The Engineer said the grog was terrible so we shared the wine.We also ate dinner the last night from the street vendors in old town square because we were so full we couldn't handle another massive meal from another restaurant in Prague.
In our wanderings we came across a pedestrian passage that was so narrow that it required a traffic signal for people to pass one way at a time! We also had to give in and try trdelnik because it was everywhere. Trdelnik is a sweet pastry that is made by wrapping dough around a large dowel and grilled over hot coals. Pretty yummy :)
We headed toward the river to see it in the daylight and had a great view of the older portion of the city in front of Prague Castle.
We meandered our way across one of the many bridges over the Vltava River and went into Letenské Park so we could get a good view from the hills.
The above picture with all the bridges might be one of my favorites. Its too bad we didn't see the sun in Prague because blue sky would have been beautiful.
On day two The Engineer woke me up with coffee to enjoy on our balcony.
Our apartment was just off the beaten path on a cozy street with some quiet local activity. Completely perfect. After coffee we headed back across the river to spend our day up at Prague Castle.
The 'castle' isn't quite a traditional castle. While it is walled, it is more a community of old palace residences, churches/basilicas, and small businesses. We went through the royal palace and I took a few pictures before I realized that was against the rules. Whoops. But because I broke the rules I can share the crazy impressive stone ceiling.
We went through St. George's Basilica (you were allowed to take pictures in there).
The frescos on the ceiling and walls are definitely showing their age which is pretty cool. They were just starting to restore all of these when we were there.
After that we made our way down the Golden Lane. It is a street of many tiny colorful houses, some of which are built right into the castle walls. Many tradesmen (and women) worked and lived out of these little homes even up to the 1950s.
We ended our castle tour with St. Vitus Cathedral (the focal point of Prague Castle). It was added onto several times and the detail is stunning.
When we left the castle area we landed on this gem.
Oh yes, we did. We really just went for the sake of going to a Starbucks overseas. We passed a lot of them in our travels, but this was the one and only one we stopped at...we stuck to the local places the rest of the time ;-) In the background on the hill is Petrin Tower which looks a lot like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We had planned on going up there but the weather both days wasn't exactly cooperating so we took a pass. We were already on a hill with a similar view so we saved it for next time.
Just outside the Starbucks was one of the knights from Monty Python, I swear!
We made our way back down the hill to find food again!
Restaurant U Glaubicu caught our attention because it was busy (for the odd late lunch we were eating yet again). The food and service were great as per usual in Praha.
For those that are interested, here is a tour of our awesome apartment that happened to be one of the cheapest places we stayed.
When you walked in you were greeted by the front entry hall. There was a washer in the cabinets on the right. This enabled us to wash all our clothes while we were here; an essential cheat in our one backpack and one backpack only per person plan.
If you looked up...
There was a huge window which we soon found out was the shower!
Through the entry was was the living room and kitchen with a table under the stairs.
And if you looked over the ledge from the bath tub you looked down on the entry way!
I guess you had better be careful in you were expecting company.
Thanks for reading! I'll have a short Amsterdam recap up soon.