Prague Czech Republic 27 to 28 May 2013
Wow! Prague, the capital of the ‘new’ Czech Republic is spectacular, full of contrasts, history, food, wine/beer, cheap shopping (but those who know me, I tried hard to be interested), with the Elbe River (which also flowed through Dresden) winding through the city, with many bridges. We did 11 hours of walking, with coffee, lunch and dinner stops sprinkled through the time. After a rocky history, the country is in good shape, great roads, great transport system
In 1993, Czechoslovakia ceased to exist creating the new Czech Republic. In 2004 the country joined the EU but has retained its Czech Crown (about 22 Kc to $1 AUD). It is divided into 2 states, Bohemia & Moravia. The country is known for its silver (although after supplying all of Europe with 85%!o(MISSING)f its silvers, many mines have closed), crystal, beer and Skoda cars.
Prince Wenceslas, a patron saint & Bohemian, came from Czech. He was killed by his brother in 935. One of the main squares in Prague is Wenceslas Square. The country was originally settled by Celtic Tribes who were later joined by Germanic people. The 1st
Slavs who became the Czech people arrived in 500 AD.
We arrived at the Caravan Park (it had been a wet day) at about 5.00pm and was met by an English-speaking Czech who was a wealth of knowledge. She helped us with our plans to go into Prague tomorrow, by train. We ended up going to the Van-park’s restaurant and we met up with fellow-Australians from Sydney. They have done a lot of travelling too so over dinner and 2 large glasses of local red wine, we swapped stories and experiences over the next few hours. They were travelling north and were going to be away for 2 months.
The next day we woke to sunshine…beautiful! We had breakfast sitting in the sun. Pauline & Philip who we met last night had their big rented motor home parked opposite us so they joined us.
After a bit more research, we caught a train into Prague.
Prague, the Capital is also the commerce centre and has withstood 2 World Wars but has retained/restored amazing architecture. The hours we walked around, plus a bit of tram hopping, we saw what only the photos will tell you. There was
so much to see and absorb. There are a massive number of Museums so they are preserving their history and culture. We found a lot of English-speaking Czechs so ordering in restaurants, and asking directing was OK.
In the 16th
Century the Austrian Habsbergs took over and built many of the Baroque palaces and gardens that we saw today….beautiful.
We came across several markets so we tried new food at the stalls. Tom found a sausage or 2 and I tried several bakery delights and marzipan. For dinner we found a restaurant on the River and watched the sunset. We shared a goulash soup in a large bread roll and a chicken creaser salad, washed down with a Czech beer and local red wine.
We went up in the countries 2nd
ugliest building which was a TV Tower. Wow, what a view (see photos). We also spent a couple of hours walking around the Prague Castle which was mostly built in the 9th
Century and includes churches, chapels, halls and towers. We saw the changing of the guards.
It was 7.00pm by the time we got to the large Jewish area, so the cemetery was closed.
After the sun set we walked through the main square and there was a high school jazz band playing with a big crowd of people milling around as well as people in restaurants which were on the perimeter of the square. The city looks different at night with many of the buildings lit up. However we realized that we had reached our limit. It was time to catch the train back ‘home’. Heck, we slept well that night.
The photos will give you an idea (or a reminder) of how beautiful Prague is.
The next morning we got away by 10.00am.
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