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Published: June 23rd 2010
......literally. On a Friday night, shortly after I returned from Mexico we flew Hungarian based Wizz Air
to Prague and spent a weekend enjoying the sunshine and the sights of the charming capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most famous Eastern European cities, known for its old world charm and its nightlife. It also has a reputation for being host to numerous stags parties and tour groups, and while we found this to be true, Prague was big enough to get away from both these groups during our time here.
We only had a weekend to spend in Prague and being Al’s first visit we realised that this would give us the opportunity to see a few of the highlights and soak up the atmosphere without being able to delve any deeper. But we managed to see much of the centre and wander away from the crowds to see a glimpse of life in Prague away from the tourist hoards.
The most famous of Prague's sights are all within easy walking distance of each other. Highlights include the lovely Old Town Square, a large open area surrounded by (expensive) outdoor cafes and restaurants and dominated
by the fourteenth century Tyn Church and the Old Town Hall Clock Tower. The Clock Tower houses the Astronomical Clock which attracts crowds hourly to watch it chime and is usually followed by comments such as "Was that it?" The Clock Tower also gives lovely views over the city.
Charles Bridge is another place popular with the crowds and it’s worth getting down there relatively early in the morning to be able to see anything apart from the umbrellas being held by tour guides. The Charles Bridge is one of a few bridges that cross the River Vlatva and has numerous stalls selling paintings and jewellery amongst the statues along its length.
From Charles Bridge there is a view up the hill to Prague Castle which is the largest castle complex in the world and has a popular changing of the guards every hour. There are further beautiful views over the red roof tiles and more cafes and beers to enjoy another beer.
Also worth noting is the Jewish Quarter, which is home of the Old Jewish Cemetery and a synagogue filled with the names of all the Jewish people in the Prague area who died during
World War II. Despite the huge number of people, both the synagogue and the cemetery are extremely moving
We spent our weekend walking everywhere, through the old parts of town, to the Castle, across Charles' Bridge, to the Jewish Quarter, around in circles a few times, across different bridges, to restaurants and bars, back across bridges, notching up more than 20 kilometres on Saturday and close to 15 on Sunday according to Al’s gadgets. We stopped only to sample the Czech beer, eat hearty Czech meals complete with dumplings, and give our thonged-feet a break.
It was a lovely sun-drenched weekend but definitely not enough time to do more than see the sights of a beautiful city….if only we didn’t have to work!
….Russia and the Baltic states are on the agenda for July.
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