Kirsten is back, as promised and this time, with Prague!!
Dobry den! (that’s hello in Czech if you were wondering)I’m back! Hope you enjoyed seeing snapshots of my few days in Vienna. After our time there, we took a morning train to Prague. It was just a 4-hour train ride and quite affordable! It was also a wonderful way to see the Austrian and Czech countryside. Hope you enjoy the highlights from my time in one of the most historic cities in Europe!
Since we arrived mid-day, we decided to take it pretty easy and just do some exploring. Prague was a bit more difficult to navigate than Vienna as less people speak English, you need cash for more things, and our hotel was located near a tram stop instead of a metro station. Therefore, we were on a bit of a learning curve the first day to figure out exactly how to navigate where we wanted to go, but we got the hang of it. Our legs definitely got in a good work out every day!
First, we headed to Old Town, which is beautiful but also crammed with tourists—much different than quaint Vienna. We stopped for lunch, where I had sausages with some fresh horse radish and mustard. I must say that Vienna and Prague do their mustard well!
After a bite to eat, we set off to make our trek toward Wenceslas Square, which is also tourist-heavy but is a major shopping street with lots of restaurants and things going on. On our way back, we stopped to try a traditional Czech sweet called Trdelnik. It’s known for its sugary goodness.
We had a couple hours before dinner, so we went back to Old Town to visit the Astronomical Clock Tower. It was installed in 1410 and is the oldest astronomical clock tower in the world that still works. You can climb the stairs to the top or pay to take an elevator, which was our choice, to see amazing views of the city.
Our second day in Prague was much more sobering than our first. We planned a trip to an outside town called Terezin, where a prison camp and ghetto from the Holocaust are located. It was located in a beautiful, quiet, little town, but a haze remains over this town because of its horrific history. The prison camp was originally built as a fortress in dedication to Empress Maria Theresia of the Habsburg Dynasty, but it was eventually used as a prison during World War I. In fact the man who assassinated Franz Ferdinand, which began World War I, died at Terezin of tuberculosis. When Nazi Germany took over Czechoslovakia, they turned the fortress into a prison camp, where many Czechs who were in opposition to Nazi Germany were imprisoned. Needless to say, it was a sad, but also enlightening journey to explore the history in this town.
For dinner, we enjoyed a medieval show at the second oldest restaurant in Prague. I wasn’t expecting the food to be great, as many places like that specialize more in entertainment. However, I was pleasantly surprised!
For our third day, we were up early to conquer the day. Our goal for the day was to visit the Prague Castle complex. Built in 870, it is the official residence and office of the president of the Czech Republic and includes a cathedral, basilica, and historic lane. We were so eager to see it, we were 30 minutes early, but first in line for tickets! The early bird gets the worm.
By our last day, we were pretty exhausted. We slept in and had a relaxing morning before heading to the Vltava River for a lunch cruise! It was a low-key and easy way to see the city from a different perspective.
After our lunch cruise, we took a walk through the Jewish Quarter of the city, where there are many old synagogues and one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries left from WWII. We then took a walk through Mala Strana, one of the old historic districts in Prague and spent part of our afternoon relaxing on a bench, people watching. For dinner, we headed to a cute Mediterranean restaurant called Luka Lu. It was a great way to end our trip! Until next time…