Published: February 25th 2010February 21st 2010
It has been a mostly easy 4 days in the Czech Republic. Catherine (work collegue from Bannockburn Primary and now trusted english friend) and I planned a leisurely mid week trek to fit in with another mid term break from school. A smooth sailing one and a half hour flight landed us in Prague and finding our way to the hostel was soooooo easy. We had to meet the guy from the hostel at another hostel.... not sure why, but we were nicely entertained while we waited to be collected by a load of cute men (or should I say boys) walking around in tiny towels and Calvin Klien underwear. If this was Prague I was going to be a very happy girl!!
As we were peeled away from our midday entertainment I soon discovered that we were in for something even better. A cheap hostel with a million dollar view! Our hostel was right on the Vltava River and 5 minutes from Pragues famous Charles bridge. The building looked run down and delapitated from the outside but inside were huge rooms with high ceilings and large french windows that opened out to balconies overlooking the heart of Prague. Keen to
explore and really hungry we headed out. Rick Steeves once again guided me to the Beerhall u Medvidku and we absolutley stuffed our faces with pork knuckle, snitzchel, cabbage salad and potatoes...... a ridiculous amount of Carbs and the best bread ever. They do something with their bread that I really like. It is layered with salt and full of grains. Thankgod there was not a butter option otherwise my heart would have been crying. All that eating meant a walk was needed. We made our way to the iconic Charles Bridge. It is a historical bridge that crosses the Vltava river and was built in 1357. Lining the bridge are 30 mostly baroque statues and statuaries which gaurd the bridge and czech people from misfortunes such as flooding. The most intriguing statue is that of St. John of Nepomuk, a Czech martyr saint who was executed during the reign of Wenceslas IV by being thrown into the Vltava from the bridge. The plaque on the Charles Bridge is popular with local artists and the statue has been polished to a shine by countless people having touched it over the centuries. Touching the statue is supposed to bring good luck
and ensure your return to Prague, of course I took no chances but can not reveal my wish.
On the other side of the bridge is the Prague Castle where the Czech president resides. It has very beautiful views of Prague and very serious gaurds standing watch. There is probably lots to see there but we opted for a quick look around the grounds and inside St Vitas Cathedral. For more than 600 years, the roofs of Prague Castle have been overlooked by the towers of the Cathedral, whose original name is St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedral. It's the biggest and the most important church in the Czech Republic. It’s the seat of the Archbishop of Prague and the place where saints, kings, princes and emperors of Bohemia are buried. The coronations of the kings of Bohemia were held there until 1836. It’s one of the best examples of Gothic architecture....... but above all it is FREEZING! I think I exhausted myself just with all my layers and shivering.
Exhaustion called for a nap and then it was off the the Opera at the Estates Theatre but not before a quick stop for some soup and beer.
The opera was a modern peice called Con Van Tutti. The story of two friends who test their womens faithfulness while they are supposedly at war. I was very grateful for the english words above the stage and followed the performance nicely. I must admit that after an early 4am flight and loads of walking I struggled after intermission. They had about 5 or 6 curtain calls which just became annoying and when I think of the site of Catherine and myself rushing to the hostel in the freezing cold I have a little giggle.
We took a half day trip the following day to Terezin which I will write about in my next blog and made it back in time for a nap. Only we slept for about 2 hours and just made it out for dinner (more carbs) and another night at the Theatre to watch the ballet. LOL we thought we had brought tickets to Goldilocks but what we soon discovered was an adaptation of stories for children. It wasn't bad but I was more amused by the gentlemen and lady in front who had begun an argument because the man had requested that the women keep
her child still. Eventually the husband was pointing the finger and the gentlemen sat there smuggly smiling. IT WAS ALL HAPPENING! he he he he Rain, hail or shine we were determine to sample the beer and other tasteful drinking delights so we headed to the Propoganda Bar around the corner from the hostel. Whether we had 'tourist' plasted all over our faces or a secret admirer the barman was certainly keen to get us drunk and started giving us absinthe shots followed by beer, spirits and more shots. Now for those of you who do not know what absinthe is a typical dictionary meaning would be along the lines of a distilled, highly alcoholic (45-74% ABV) beverage. Absinthe is not bottled with added sugar and is therefore classified as a spirit. It is unusual among spirits in that it is bottled at a very high proof but is normally diluted with water when consumed. We diluted ours with Khalua and madori!
There are more photos below