Published: June 5th 2011June 4th 2011
This is sort of a day late due to coming home after pivo (beer) consumption, having a bit of a lie down and then waking up at 2am, so “nothing” (like blogging) gets done. So lets start with:
Friday 3 June. Usual late start and got the metro down to Staromestska which is the closest stop to Stare Mesto (the Old Quarter) and also the river and the famous Charles bridge. So decided to head over in that direction which is not far. There seemed an alarming number of blokes (mostly black it seemed – and French?) dressed in sailors unfiform and flogging river cruises – which barely seem to go anywhere on the river much due to the weir just above the Charles bridge – but no idea how far up/downstream they go. The bridge itself is a fairly heavily foot trafficked affair as you can imagine, being no.2 attraction in Prague after the Castle and Old Town. Lots of people selling instant sketches and daubs of the Bridge at various stages of the day and some cheapo jewellery etc. One can see the Kafka Museum on the riverbank on the other side but no great desire to see
that. Naturally the streets of Mala Strana (Little Village) on the other side of the bridge are also full of restaurants and places to snack at tourist prices. There is a very jazzy McDonalds with bright modern colours – but if you want to use their WC I think it was 20Kr. No such thing as a “free” toilet here, unless in a restaurant of course and Maccas have obviously woken up to the fact that everyone else pays – the sign to WC, seemingly a bit of good citizenry, is in fact a commercial opportunity to pay 10Kr (about 60 cents). I have managed to take my bladder beyond the point where I am desperate anymore!
Wandered around there a bit, had a slice of pizza to keep me going then headed up the hill. Lots of embassies in this area – Italian, US, German etc, and you can see their flags from the cobbled road up the hill. Up there on Petrin Hill, which is quite a large park, there is a bit further over the top of an Eiffel Tower like structure you can see over the trees, but I did not go right round there.
view to Mala Strana
fr.Charles brdg incl. Ch. St Nicolas
There is also a funicular going down the hill (ditto not do). There is a magnificent view over Prague from a terrace colonized by a beer/restaurant place. I actually found a discreet wild patch of scrub on the corner of an otherwise busy road to relieve my bladder! Decided to eat earlyish so went into a micro-brewery/restaurant sort of place on top of the hill (but no view) – unfortunately could not sit out in the courtyard as on my own and had to be stuck inside. Had a grilled sausage with mustards and grated horseradish to start, then an ovenbaked bit of pork with some potato stuff under it (they are not big on veges here!). Gourmet tours this is not. Reasonable prices though – main disk was 220Kr (about $13). There are cheaper pub-type places where you can buy something for 130-140Kr, places like this one with mains around 220-240 – then there seems to be a jump to places with 350-400Kr mains. One of which I saw the next night which was completely empty – maybe because rich people eat later, espec. on Saturday night?
Wandered down the hill again and around the area below the
on the hillside above Mala Strana
Castle to the nearest metro station then home. Which involves going 3 stop on the A line – changing to the C line at Museum and then only one stop to my stop to I.P. Pavlova (my hotel just around the corner).
Sat. 4 June – because I was too late yesterday (although Castle ticket is good for 2 days, but not to revisit attractions within it) today was to be it! Not much earlier than yesterday but the full tour supposedly takes 3 hours – I spent 3 ½ hrs there and did not get to 2 things, but I took a lot of time taking pix in St Vitus Cathedral which dominates the site (the biggest castle site in the world LP says). The picture gallery was a pretty boring bunch of pictures of centuries past, a lot of them Czech not surprisingly. The Cathedral itself is not necessarily magnificent but there is plenty of detail there to snap. Then the Old Royal Palace and the little Basilica of St George. Golden Lane is a little street of small shops etc which was a tradesman quarter in the 16th cent. Fortunately all this was open until 6pm
vintage car tours
might be made of wood?!
– I was expecting only 5pm, so got to see most of it and will pay a quick catchup on Sunday. It must be hard to get people out of there, but a guy was slowly locking up the doors along Golden Lane which is way easier to control.
I wandered around back to Mala Strana and finally found a place to eat. One place I went into only seemed to have tables for 4 and did not even seem to cater for couples/singles at all – they normally split the tables if they can etc. The perils of lonesome travel – hardly a problem in the US or Oz where tables for 2 seem to equal/outnumber tables for 4. Anyway dinner here was a fairly nice pate – wondered whether it was a sweet almost as came submerged under a pile of cherry style sauce, but pickled little yellow chanterelles also on top gave away its savoury nature. Main was some wild boar medallions, which were a little chewy and a little on the rare side, with some rather violently yellow little (potato?) gnocchi style things. They made much of how their wild game was hunted in the
St Vitus view
from Mala Strana Sqr
forests where Charles IV himself used to hunt etc etc. And did I say a tankard of beer? (of course). After that I had some cream cheese dumplings (which seemed to ooze chocolatey filling) on top of cherry sour cream. All of which cost around $28. Annoying that most places here seem not to be able to add tip to credit card so you have to leave cash. Maybe its easier for the waitstaff to split that way?
Wandered back to Charles bridge and then into Stare Mesto and saw the astronomical clock for the first time – then headed up Wenceslas Square to Museum and then to my hotel. This walk took only about 20 mins so you almost do not need the metro and can waste more time waiting for the A-C line connection at Museum.
There are more photos below