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Published: June 23rd 2015
Magda, Dalibor, their two gorgeous girls, Kev & Michelle
Sunday lunch at Libocky Dvur Restaurant which is within walking distance of our apartment
We arrived at Prague airport very late in the evening so were very pleased to be met by Magda and Dalibor - the couple who stayed at our house with their two children earlier this year as part of a Home Exchange site we both belong to. Thanks Magda and Dalibor, it was greatly appreciated and very sweet of you both.
Magda, Dalibor and their two gorgeous daughters arrived the next day to give us the run down on the apartment which was very helpful. Practicalities over we all walked to a local restaurant for lunch which was full of other families doing the same thing, lunch being the main meal here.
After Magda, Dalibor and the girls left Kev and I decided to go for a walk, which Dalibor had told Kev about, encompassing parklands surrounding a lake and a rocky hill Not far from where we were staying. Of course when you don't know an area you have no idea where such walks will take you. Initially thinking that we'd climb up the hill, which from the road didn't look too much of an adventure, we ended up walking around it instead. Being Sunday afternoon, lots of
other family groups were doing the same thing but gradually, as we continued on the path, we were in the company of fewer and fewer people except for the occasional bike riders. But on we walked, past a swimming pool and what appeared to be an artisan's house, until finally we'd walked all around the hill so that by the time we arrived back at the apartment we must have walked at least 10 kms. Definitely our excercise for the day!
Monday saw us taking a bus and metro into the centre of town where we walked into the beautiful Old Town Square which is part of the mediavel settlement of Prague whose early existence began around the 8th century. And much to Kevin's dismay (as he doesn't like crowds) the place was swarming with people, mostly tourists I imagine. Still we battled on, eventually reaching the famous Charles Birdge which we walked along with many others, then made our way to Prague Castle for the changing of the guard which was quite a climb up numerous steps. We reached the courtyard in front of Prague Castle just in time for the start of the ceremony together with many
My dear old dad used to make Elderberry wine with the berries themselves
others although I did manage to wheedle my way to the front of the barricade so had the best view possible of the marching and ceremonial display which a changing of the guard ceremony is known for. From there we went into St Vitus Cathedral which is opposite the castle. There were lots of places around there to explore, which we did as we made our way down the hill back into town. In an effort to get out of the rain, which kept re- appearing, we had more than the odd cup of coffee.
At one stage Kev went into a pub for a drink while I did a tour of the Frank Kafka Museum which he wasn't interested in. The pub itself had been built on the site of a former hangman's house from 1664. This form of capital punishment was established in the Middle Ages, and hangmen were deemed unclean and not entitled to all the civil rights the rest of their fellow citizens had. So that fascinating fact give us more food for thought!
Despite the rain which kept coming back, it wasn't worth us going back home as we were meeting Magda and
Dalibor for dinner at 'Grosseto Marina Ristorante' at 5.30pm. Built as a barge on the banks of the Vitava River it isn't actually floating but it afforded lovely views across the water. And the food was just superb. Better than that though was the wonderful company! It turned out to be a fabulous night which we really enjoyed. Thanks Magda and Dalibor for you company and the chance to get to know you both a little better.
Tuesday saw us a back in Prague's Old Town Square. I wanted to go on a walking tour which Kev wasn't keen on so he went off shopping - buying himself a new shirt and jumper in the sales - while I did the walking tour, the best part of which was around the Jewish section of the city. Two hours after parting company we met under the Astronomical Clock in that crowded Old Town Square.
Then it was off for a two hour cruise up and down the Vitava River which started as the rain came down yet again. However ten minutes into the cruise and the sun was shining So we were very lucky there.
We ate a
Jewish meal in the Kolonial Restaurant before finally topping off the day by attending a concert in the beautiful Rudolfinum which is the home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. But as their last concert for this season was on 17 June it was the Parnas Ensemble we saw; five brilliant musicians who played pieces from Mozart, Vivaldi, Pachelbel, Bach, Dvorak, Bizet and Brahms. After spending time in the Jewish quarter of Prague during which time our guide mentioned the many thousands of Czech Jews who were killed in the Holocaust I couldn't help thinking at the concert of how prisoners in those camps made musical instruments to enable them to enjoy the joy which music gives. A very fitting end to another day to remember.
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