Friday, November 30, 2007

Prague, Czech Republic

On to part 2 of my Eastern Europen trip update......

So Monday morning (Nov.19) at 6am, we arrived in Prague....or Praha as they say it there.....or my fave was Praga (as the Italianos say). After a disturbing night on the train, I can't really think of a happier moment in my life than the one where I stepped off the train....in a beautiful foreign country.....and was greeted by our driver who was totally hot. Quite unexpected since my mom taught me that there aren't any attractive men in Eastern Europe--I guess that was only HER part of EE. :)

We went to our apartment which was soooooo cute and of course I didn't take any pics but I think Caro and Shiloh did so I'll have to get some from them and post later. We took naps and got ready and headed out around 10am.....


And the Charles Bridge is pretty much the first thing we saw. I had heard and read about how cool it was....but really it exceeded all expectations! It is 3/4 of a mile long--cobblestones of course, and lined w/statues on either side. Plus my fave thing is that vendors are set up all along and you can browse their beautiful artwork, jewelry, etc. as you walk. Here's me and Christy on the bridge, w/Old Town Prague behind us....we were heading that way....


And here's a self-portrait of the four of us on the other side of the bridge--with the Castle district behind us now. You can't tell by the pic but it was much colder this day--we were all a little shocked. But we were also well prepared so that helped....and so did the delicious hot cocoa that is more like liquid chocolate! :)


We then continued on the to Old Town Square....which includes so many amazing buildings. This is the Tyn (Teen) Church. Yes, it's a church, not a castle. This was hands down my fave building on the trip. I love how it looks oh so sleeping beauty castle (the way her castle should be---not pink and friendly looking). I took this pic from the top of the Clock Tower.....


And this is the clock tower. It chimes beautifully every 15 min....and has moving parts, 12 apostles, etc. :) Loved it, of course.


Our own personal Rick Steves (Christy Banker) was so excited to see the statue of Jan Hus in the Old Town Square but when we got there we had to look around to find it.....sadly it was under construction. :( But when we got to the top of the clock tower, we caught a glimpse. He did something cool for Czechs and Christy was teaching her students about it the week before....but of course I already forgot. So Christy when you read this you'll have to comment on why you like him, what he did, etc.

If I had to narrow down what I like to do most when traveling, the answer would be shop! My favorite thing to shop for in Prague was crystal necklaces. :) And of course I only bought them at Czech Art Glass because they are "probably the best!"

Why would I want to buy from anyone else? Anyway I bought so many--and yet I already feel like I grossly underestimated what I needed and how many colors I should get. (sigh)


In the afternoon we wandered down to Wenceslas Square, which is really more like a street w/a park in the middle. This is kinda like Prague's Times Square (people, shopping, hot dog stands, etc.)


We stopped for a break and to get warm and drink some hot cocoa....even though I really think I just had a Coke Light. hmmm.... this was such a cute cafe I had to snap some pics.....

And I'll be honest that the lighting in this pic is bad so I shouldn't post it (sorry Shiloh)--but I just think we look so happy that I couldn't help it!

Shiloh and I were constantly snapping photos of different images that we think will make cool stamps--so here's one example. I love it--but now in hindsight I wonder if I love the purple and gold and Christmas look more than anything...

Ok so this is the first photo on Tuesday in Prague. After crossing the Charles Bridge again, we climbed an overlook tower. Here's a pic--just a typical pic of what it is like to look out over Prague. Other than the crystal, this is what I loved most (ok maybe the two are tied). But the buildings were just so amazing and stacked on top of each other and I just loved it!

This one is the Charles Bridge from the same tower. The Castle hill is on the right and the Little Quarter (where we stayed) is on the left.

Next we headed to the Jewish quarter and toured the Jewish Museum, which is really a big string of sights. Mostly Synogogues and....this old old old cemetary. For hundreds of years, Jews were only allowed to use this small area for burials--so you can see by the headstones that they ended up stacking them (not just the headstones).

In the last minutes of daylight....it was such a sad time for me each day around 4:30 when there was no more sun. :( So you can see in this pic I was happy holding on to the last of it. Red bag in hand is necklaces. :) The other thing about this pictures is it's another random street.....I could've taken a picture of every street b/c they were all this perfect!

And we ended the day at Cafe Per Lei......mmmm crepes (or pancakes as they called them). This was one of my fave meals on the trip. Lots of atmosphere and lots of great, funny and entertaining conversation! :)

OK I still have one more day in Prague left....but there are too many pictures so I'm going to have to do a separte posting. Thanks for reading all this--hope you're not too bored. If there's something you want to see or hear more of, let me know in your comment. :)

12 brilliant comments:

Kade & Kendal's Mom said...

Wow! Looks like a great trip. Beautiful pics.
Glad you made it home safe and sound. My sister-in-law, Pavlina is from the Czech Republic. I'll have to forward your posts to her. I am sure she'd love to see them.

Vanessa said...

Ok skinny minnie! Can't wait to see your awesome crystal! On the edge of my seat to see more photos. I live vicariously through you!

Pavlina said...

Hello! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in Prague, it is the most beautiful city in the world.
I have a little history lesson for you in you are interested:) Jan Hus is one of our most important persons, religious reformer who ended up in prison and burned at the stake at 1415. Many of his writings were smuggled out of his cell, they are our treasure. Here is a link:) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Hus
Again, thank you for such kind words about our capital city. Hopefully you can make it back there again one day:)

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the mistakes, I was in such a hurry:):)

Anonymous said...

I love Prague! And I love your recap of it!!! It reminded me of stuff that I had forgotten about the city. I love reading about your trip(s). You should have your own travel show.

Amanda

MAnderson said...

HAHAHAHAHA! 'probably the best'.
THAT is golden! That is a sign speaking to you...you should've taken a picture with that peaking over the top of your head. 'probably the best.' I keep laughing. I love it.

Oh yeah - Prague looks pretty cool, too.

Nick said...

Prague looks great and the best way to explore this city is to get lost in it.
I spent one week there. Prague is amazing city. It is full of beautiful squares, beautiful architecture, and beautiful art. Also I really enjoyed my accommodation, because Prague hotels are not expensive and offers free transportation from airport.
Just look around at the great monuments, the Prague Castle with the Golden Lane and the St Vitus Cathedral, the facades in different colors and styles along the Vltava, the 1001 peaks all around, the numerous cathedrals, basilicas, churches, synagogues, the national theater, the lovely little alleys and so much more.

Victor said...

Great pictures. There are not many places in the world, about which I can say I love them. I have to confess, that Prague is ONE of those. The architecture of Prague property includes Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque as well as classical buildings and Art Nouveau.
After reading your article I have understood that you liked Prague, so did I.

Anton said...

Halo, I am Anton I would like to ask you Shannon for sending me foto of Jan Hus monument took from tower. The photography is on your blog when you were in Prague and the statue is covered with baner. I need it in full resolution for my nonprofit project criticizes advertising on the statue.
thank you very much

Anonymous said...

Halo, I am Anton I would like to ask you Shannon for sending me foto of Jan Hus monument took from tower. The photography is on your blog when you were in Prague and the statue is covered with baner. I need it in full resolution for my nonprofit project criticizes advertising on the statue.
thank you very much
antoncierny@gmail.com

accommodation in prague said...

It looks you've enjoyed a lot..I like the pictures you have posted they are very nice you looked very happy and fun..It seems very interesting to explore Prague.I've never been yet in this place but I love it.Very nice blog of yours!

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site lifewithshannon.blogspot.com
Is this possible?