Published: August 9th 2011August 9th 2011
Our first impression of Prague was disappointing based on the bus station and, the fact that nobody, including the Information Center, knew of our hotel or how to get there. We were told that it would probably take two or three buses to get near. We then asked the English speaking info desk how to call the hotel's number using the borrowed handy, which was all in German, and we were told to start the number with a + character!? But that was not right, so we found out. When we finally called the hotel, they said they would send a shuttle which turned out to be at a cost of 250 Cz Crowns or about $15. Finally, we took a 25 minute ride to the Na Zumecka Hotel way to the East of old town. That hotel was suppose to be only .5 minutes from city central. But they obviously weren't referring to Prague.
We negotiated a free taxi ride back to Prague City Old Town and no charges for the Na Zumecka where we were dropped off at the very center of old town. All we can say is "WOW" it is the oldest, most breathtaking architecture preserved we have ever seen. One could stand in the center of the square and take pictures while turning around in a circle each view being just as impressive as the last!
We literally walked 100 yards and found the Grand Hotel Praha (Prague) and took a room that looked out onto the square and the famous astronomical clock on one of the square's highest towers. The clock, built before the time of Christopher Columbus, not only chimes, it blows a horn and out pops miniature Apostles. Well, unfortunately, our room looked right out at the clock with the sound very clear and all night.
We finally had much better luck with hotels when we found the fabulous Grand Hotel Bohemia for our last night's stay. A great air-conditioned, clean, and newer hotel near everything.
We took a walk from one end of old town (Powder Gate) to the St. Charles Bridge that passes over the Vltava River. The tower there is called the Old Town Bridge Tower and both once represented edges of ancient Prague before the 12th century. We plan to visit the ancient Jewish cemetery.
More tomorrow, and pictures in a couple of days.
Peter and Linda