A Tale of Four Cities : Part 2 Prague and more Dresden


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August 8th 2019
Published: September 8th 2019
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Prague National Museum Prague National Museum Prague National Museum

View from our balcony
By now we had sussed out the trains so we anticipated a bit of a melee getting our seats , but this time it was a far more luxurious train and although the seats weren't all together we were in an open carriage so could easily move between our allotted seats. We discovered Dresden to Prague is a very scenic train ride, most of the time the tracks follow the river Elbe and through some very scenic gorges , with some great cliff and rock formations.

This was my first visit to Prague but Chris had been a few times and as our Airbnb apartment was not too far from the station we walked and were greeted by our host to find that we were in a great location right behind the newly renovated National Museum at the end of Wenceslas Square. On the third floor (thankfully there was a lift ) we had a small balcony with the most amazing view of the Museum. We were happy. Also so close to the Metro we bought a 24 hr pass and along with metro, trams and lots of walking ( well done Maya!) we set out to explore the city . Yes it was crowded with many other tourists but these days that's the norm in these iconic beautiful places so you just have to get on with it. We wandered the streets admiring the fabulous architecture .... around every corner as you look up there was another building to wonder at. And if you like Art Nouveau there is plenty of that. Across the Charles Bridge there were of course crowds whatever time of day we went , but a great atmosphere with craft stalls and musicians adding to the buzz. As evening fell the blue blue sky silhouetted the spires in the Old Town Square and though it was almost impossible to get near the Astronomical Clock I managed a few photos.

Jenny arrived the day the rest of the family left and we then had 2 days to explore the Prague Palace , its gardens , the cathedral, art gallery which had an exhibition of Czech and Slovenian Impressionists ( exceptionally well curated and not many people in the gallery ). We loved the little Golden Street which has tiny house tucked between the castle walls. There were more fabulous street scenes wherever we walked. Of course we also had to do a concert and in the most beautiful old chapel. The Palace is on top of a very steep hill so we found a good way to save my knees was to get a tram to the top and then after exploring it was fine to walk down. Whilst exploring the Palace gardens we came across an exhibition about the end of the Cold War which was very informative as it put into perspective all the different Communist Countries and how the Soviet Empire ended. We enjoyed sampling the Czech food and even tried the bread dumplings and the beer helped to swill it down. At the end of a busy day we could sit on our balcony and enjoy the National Museum all lit up.So many photos of beautiful Prague so I won't say more but let you see the pics.

Train again back to Dresden and along the beautiful River Elbe and I have to say it was very easy to book train tickets on the Deutsche Bahn web site and you could just show your confirmation on your phone. So now Jenny was with me in Dresden I had saved any museum and art gallery visits for this week. Once again we walked everywhere back and forth across the bridge to the city centre we bought a combined ticket for several museums as the collections are so vast they are in various buildings and first port of call was to a Rembrandt Exhibition. It was superb and not that many people there , if this had been in London you would not have got close but there we were right up close to his paintings and sketches and etchings ...MARVELOUS! Jenny was over the moon. Then there was more to ooh and aaah at in the Turkish Room of the Palace with incredible huge tents, knights in armour on horseback , fabulous costumes , the huge ceramic collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, a Meissen porcelain collection which was unbelievable ...full size depictions of animals, bears lions , monkeys, exotic birds lining the walls..... and then the Treasury Vault ...rooms of more than fabulous items collected by these Saxony Princes, especially Augustus the Strong. We had had so much of the richest treasures that we could not face going to the second Vault of treasure suppose to be even richer ...enough was enough.

On one of her early morning walks Jenny ( yes she gets up early and explores while i am still in bed and brings me a cuppa when she gets back- that's what i call a good friend) discovered a beautiful Rose Garden so we had walks along our side of the river along by the meadows there. One evening out for a stroll to see the city lit up we came across a free concert behind the Japanese Palace, and another time enjoyed a concert in the Martin Luther Church , a baritone and organ recital

A little train ride out of town ( trains not running on time again) to Meissen one day was enjoyed as we wandered through the cobbled streets , wound our way up to the castle and church and I got some pics of lovely old doors. Then a visit to the Meissen factory where skilled artisans showed us the process of producing this phenomenally expensive porcelain. Even the smallest little cup or tiny plate cost 100s euros.

When we planned this part of the trip we decided we would not fly back to UK but take the train through the Channel Tunnel , so we planned a stop in Amsterdam and how would we get there from Dresden, by train of course. Now this is what I meant when I said we were wrong to think German trains were always going to be efficient . Our first train was delayed which put us out at our change in Berlin, but aha the incoming train was delayed to Hannover so we might catch it but no after running to the platform ..it was now cancelled ...waiting waiting then along comes a train and we get to Hannover but of course we have missed that connection.... wait now 2 hours in the not so nice vicinity of Hannover station sitting on a concrete step. Along comes a train ... not the one we have booked seats on , its a bit of a tatty train carriage but we've got seats. And finally we get to Amsterdam , very efficiently( thanks Jenny you come up trumps on this leg of the journey) get tickets for the public transport and the correct tram and wind our way to our hotel which we find is in nice quiet street with lots of trees. So now to explore our City number 4.

Oh goodness me ....I tried to whittle them down but there's just over 100 photos...I hope you have time to look at them.


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Streets of Prague with old cars Streets of Prague with old cars
Streets of Prague with old cars

There were several of these old cars giving rides.
John Lennon WallJohn Lennon Wall
John Lennon Wall

Used by students especially in Communist era to express dissatisfaction


8th September 2019

Memories
What a great trip that was!! Brought back lots of lovely memories for me. Berlin is one of my favourite places to visit. So much to see and do there!! Keep travelling Lynne.
15th September 2019

Train travel
We love the romance of train travel and have only been disappointed a couple of times. Thanks for sharing your impressions.

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