Monday, 26 September 2016

Three Days in Prague

As soon as we started planning this trip, we put Prague on the agenda. Not only is it a unique city that we've often talked about but my cousin, Sheri, moved here a year ago and this was a great opportunity to visit and reconnect. She and Remy and Pascal were wonderful hosts.
Two hands are required to keep Remy and Pascal happy!
Day 1

Sheri had to work the first couple days we were in Prague (teaching English as a second language) so Andrew and I wandered on our own and did a few of the typical tourist things. We visited Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, walked across the Charles Bridge, saw the result of someone falling in the river (ok, untypical tourist thing), hiked a very round-about route to get to Prague Castle (although we didn't go inside when we saw the horrendously long lineups that have been the result of increased security measures), and simply just walked and walked and walked and enjoyed looking at the amazingly detailed architecture.
Detail on the clock tower in Old Town Square
As we watched this boat from the bridge deck we heard a splash off to the side. A woman had fallen into the water as she tried to step across into a boat. We saw a couple of the staff pulling her out, dripping wet!

Flower boxes off the beaten path 

Imagine all the work involved in hammering in all these small stones to make a city's worth of walkways. Wow!
Below Prague Castle

River and city view from Letna Park
Golden wings

Day 2

We spent all of Day 2 at the Prague Zoo. I'm sure we didn't see everything there was to see. Last year it was rated the 4th best zoo in the entire world and it's easy to understand why. It is huge and has unusually large enclosures for the animals which was great to see. It always bothers us when animals are kept in such tiny places they can barely move.
Not sure what type of bird this was but he and Andrew had a good chat.
Feathers up close
The Canada display -- Bison and Canada Geese!
View from the observation tower at the zoo.
An interesting way to cut steps for a very steep incline to the top of the observation tower.
The famous Przewalski's horses, the only remaining wild horse species not driven to extinction by humans.
Day 3

Sheri joined us for Day 3 and if we thought we'd walked a lot the first two days, we were sadly mistaken! I was amazed my feet weren't sore the following day. We started out at the Saturday morning Farmer's Market situated along the river. It's a great location and the market had a good mixture of vegetable stalls, pastries and other food and drink booths. Apparently, it's never too early for a beer! 

We saw the upside down statue of King Wenceslas riding a dead horse (strange but interesting -- apparently a mocking reference to the more famous statue in the Square named in his honour); the Dancing House jointly designed by Frank Gehry and a Czech architect (but Gehry's influence is obvious); wandered a craft market; came across a photographic display celebrating the 25th anniversary of Czech National Parks; hiked up to the Strahov Monastery and wandered back down via winding park pathways; and took a boat ride on the river which gave us a different perspective of many of the sites. There may have been a couple glasses of beer and wine in there somewhere too! :-) 

We finished off the day with supper out at a nice vegetarian restaurant (one of many delicious meals either made by Sheri or eaten at a restaurant). We were surprised by the number of completely vegetarian restaurants there are in Prague! 
Saturday morning Farmer's Market
Sheri and Andrew during a short stop for coffee/tea and mid-morning snack.
A photo of Andrew and I together. Shocking, I know! (Thanks Sheri)

It's often difficult to get a photo without power or tram lines in it.
Sheri and I thought of our cousin Jill when we saw this series of three portraits. A new idea for all her vegetables!

We came across a display of beautiful photographs of the Czech National Parks; celebrating 25 years. 
We went on a boat tour and got some different views of a few of the sites. 
The Charles Bridge with Prague Castle in the background. Note the wooden "ice breakers" in front of each of the pillars to prevent ice flow from damaging the sandstone.
Another beautiful domed roof.
View of Prague from near the Strahov Monastery (and library and hotel and brewery and vineyards, etc.)

Love this skyline!
Thank you again, Sheri, for a wonderful visit!

Good vegetarian restaurants we ate at:

  • Maitrea (Old Town)
  • Clear Head
  • Green Spirit (nice courtyard - had lunch here)

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