Posts Tagged ‘Prague’

Eurotrip 2012- Prague Part 2

January 19, 2013

Ok, so where were we…

The next day we decided to start where we’d ended the previous day- so we took the tube into Old Town as I wanted to cross the Charles Bridge. We may have enjoyed a McDonalds treat before crossing… maybe. I must say I did like glancing at all the wee shops approaching the bridge lots of Bohemian glassware and such.

The bridge is littered with painters, musicians, all kinds of artists really- it was a little hectic but of course we knew this going in, traveling in the summertime means all of the tourists all of the time. The view of the Vltava was lovely and peeking at some of the baroque statues.

Our walk through old town was okay, but it felt like the worst parts of the Royal Mile smushed into a large area. All of the shops seemed to be horrible tourist fare- big hats, flags and magnets. Then it seemed that outside of each restaurant they had pushy shouty staff trying to get you to choose their establishment. There were no independent businesses- no cozy wee cafes it just seemed to be a bit of a circus. Whereas in Edinburgh you can walk down the Royal Mile along with the tourists and get to your destination and enjoy the charm of the architecture and your surroundings- I found myself completely incapable of enjoying the things around me because I felt jostled and stressed. I do admit this could be entirely due to the time of year we chose to travel in- but I still was a bit let down.

We did make our way to the Prague Astronomical Clock which is super impressive. That whole square to be honest is really picturesque. Then we just took the rest of the afternoon to wander around and just take things in. Some parts of Prague look very much like Italy- it’s a bit jarring. These pastel buildings meshed with the white/orange. I did make a special trip out to see the Dancing House. I think he’s so neat! I think I came across an article about this sucker on Neatorama or something like that. It was so cool seeing it in the flesh.

The next day we were off to Cesky Krumlov which I love, love, love, loved. LOVED.

Bye, bye Prague.

K

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Eurotrip 2012- Prague

December 1, 2012

Prague is a strange one… Roisin and I are pretty much in mutual agreement that this was our least favourite place of the entire trip. At first I wondered if it all boiled down to exhaustion after so many huge cities in a row- but I really do think it just isn’t our cup of tea. Maybe I’d dig it more in the winter, it seems that loads of people enjoy a saunter around the old town in the snow- that would definitely be the type of thing I’d enjoy- but I left feeling all kinds of “meh”.

To begin with our guide told us to look out for police as they’d been known to pull tourists up for jaywalking and then march them to the nearest cash stop so they could pay a fine of some amount of that officer’s choosing. (Oddly enough it was pretty rare to see any kind of jaywalking, everyone seemed to stick to the pedestrian signals.) Sketchy. Soon after we’d heard this lovely news we got heavily ripped off by the taxi driver that brought us to our hotel. So not really a good start.

We did luck out that evening though- with easily the best meal of the entire trip. We searched Trip Advisor for some tasty treats close by and the only thing that turned up with 3-4 reviews was Grill Bar Rodr. This place was fantastic. Incredibly cheap for the good quality food and drink. So bloody memorable- the stuffed chicken dish that I ate there will likely haunt me. The sad part is, is that this restaurant is so far from the city center I feel like even if I highly recommend it- it’s not incredibly likely that if a pal stays in the city they’ll end up anywhere near it. It’d be worth a special trip though-

The next day was slightly rainy and full of grumpiness- we tried to “pull a Berlin” and walk across the whole bloody city- but the thing here is that… residential Prague really isn’t much to look at.
This is a rough look at the walk we did- Map. It’s about 14km and honestly… essentially sight-free for the vast majority, until you finally hit the Vltava River. He is pretty. Worth the wait.

Our first stop was Letna Park (Letenske sady). Many steps, but really beautiful. They have loads of different types of trees and plants scattered throughout this bad boy. We also of course had a look at the Prague Metronome. He sits on a spot where a Stalin monument used to be. Clearly this is an improvement to the space.

Then we went up to the Castle– where I think we both had the biggest disappointment. It is said that this castle is the largest in the world. How exciting right?! But… it feels more like… loads of separate buildings clustered on top of a hill. Each building feeling entirely different than the next. I guess yeah- by description castle it may be- but I wanted fairytale-esque type things. Pff.

There are a few buildings of note up there though- the incredible Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral and St. George’s Basilica– but otherwise, I’ve definitely seen more impressive castle scenarios.

Afterwards we decided to head down to the Old Town making our way through The Palace Gardens to get there. The view of all the orange rooftops is amazing. Definitely a highlight. From that view we did notice this big grey wall… or monument … big grey something in the distance below. So we kind of turned the whole thing into a mission to discover what it was.

This mission brought us through the Old Town and into the Wallenstein Palace Garden where we discovered the creepy Grotto (Dripstone Wall). Honestly- this thing is bloody freaky and it looks so strange when you look down on it from the castle. I actually decided to blame it for the horrible “Missing Prague Photos Event 2012”- as the moment I got home all the photos I’d taken all day disappeared from my camera. The reason I wasn’t able to post as we traveled was all due to this day and my need to post things chronologically- I couldn’t do any of it until I’d recovered them all and it ended up taking me 3-4 different programs and months to do so. Argle.

Day 1 ended in the rain and with exhaustion. Pretty underwhelmed but I believe there was a willingness to give Prague another chance the next day.

K