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Published: November 2nd 2008
Are We Lost? No Not Yet.
Saturdays are free days. The library is closed and no classes are in session. We can do whatever we want to do, within reason of course. At breakfast we decided to go early, early being before the hordes of tour groups arrive, to the St. Vitus Cathedral so we could see the beautiful stained glass windows. They are awesome, especially when the sun is shining through into the sanctuary. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men .....
We rode the city bus from IBTS to Dejvicka and then caught the first tram that came our way. We really did not care which tram we rode, though they go different directions at the top of the hill. We knew that we could get off at one of the early stops, in either direction, and walk to the St. Vitus Cathedral. As it happened the first tram was the No. 18, one we seldom ride because it does not go to the downtown section of Prague which is our usual destination. When we got near the top of the hill, I asked Nancy where to get off. She
said she knew and told me, "This is it". I wasn't sure so we didn't get off. As the train turned and headed further up the hill, I realized we would soon be WAY off our expected track. So we exited the tram and realized, "We've never been here before." But we were not lost because we knew which direction we needed to walk.
We had walked about two blocks when we neared one of the entrance gates to the Stahof Monastery which houses a stunningly beautiful old library. As we neared the entrance, Nancy noticed a doorway through the old defensive wall that surrounds Petrin Hill. She wandered through to try to get a picture of the old wall with her new camera she is learning to use. As quickly as that, our plans changed. She noticed a sign point up the hill which said "Petrin". So we walked to the top of Petrin Hill via a narrow street between two VERY ancient defensive walls. It was a lovely walk all the way and we found several places to look through the wall on our right into parts of Petrin hill itself.
It is a much easier
Looking Up the Hill
There are two walls here. One on each side of the street.
climb than the one from the palace and cathedral area of Prague. We started out at a much higher elevation and the climb was gradual. The climb from the cathedral area has some places that are quite steep and there are some narrow stairs to climb. Our mutual thought was, this is a much better way to the top of Petrin Hill.
There are wonderful views of Prague from the top of Petrin Hill and on a clear day it is as if you can see forever.
What? The Funicular Is Closed!
We visited our favorite places on top of Petrin Hill, including the small walled garden that we call "The Secert Garden." In fact, we posted an entry on this beautifully secluded garden last spring. The new plan was to ride down the funicular and have lunch at a restaurant that we have enjoyed before. They make a really great vegetable soup. Our plans changed again when we found the funicular closed for fall maintenance.
"Let's walk down," Nancy said, "and have a bowl of soup for lunch. I ate there in September and it was excellent and served with good bread."
And that is exactly what we did. (The soup was good as before. I will never eat what is called Minestrone soup in the USA without feeling contempt. This surely is the real stuf. It is full of fresh perfectly cooked vegetables and the broth tastes wonderful. The meal is very reasonable but I managed to make it unreasonably priced by getting fresh squeezed orange juice which cost more than two bowls of soup, bread and Bill's water all put together! But, hey, I had a cold and it tasted wonderful and I had a half liter too! Boy was I stuffed!
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