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Published: October 3rd 2006
Old Town Square, Prague
We were a little aprehensive as to what our flight over to PRAGUE would be like, however we were pleasantly surprised. The SAS Dash-8 was well maintained ( A. casting a critical eye over the outside of the engine cowls as we stood on the tarmac) didn't appear to be too much oil dripping from them.......
The pilots and cabin crew seemed very professional, all doing the 'right' things!!
After take off from CPH we flew low out over Sweden and observed lots of small sail boats out enjoying Sunday arvo sailing on the Baltic Sea.
The flight was exceptionally smooth over Germany into Prague where we touched down spot on sched. The meal and wine served inflight was lovely......no complaints.
We passed thru Czech customs in about 2 mins flat, bearly having time to get our passports stamped. No immigration checks or bags searched since leaving Oz.....great!
We changed to some Czech Korona (called 'crowns') and immediately became instant "millionairs". This stuff is really micky mouse money, and tends to shock you at first when you look at a menu and see a beer and burger costs about 400 Kc. (crowns). You are constantly flashing 1000 Kc notes which
Us in the old town square
is about 50 bucks Aus.
We got a taxi into town to our B & B and had been warned about all the horror stories of tourists being ripped off by rouge taxi drivers. So we rang our landlady (who spoke very good English) and she said to expect about 300 or so crowns. At the taxi rank we got into a brand new Skoda (don't laugh) all the old jokes about Ruskie bombs are long gone here. The driver was in immaculate uniform and tie and was super polite but didnt speak english. He lifted our heavy bags in and gave us a swift and comfortable trip right to the front door of our B & B.
Then he carried our bags in and charged us 290 crowns! Big hearted Adrian let him keep the change, 10 crowns = .60 cents Aus. The driver then saluted and smiled and wished us a pleasant holiday in German.
The place we are staying at here in Prague is called "Hana's", run (surprisingly) by a nice lady called Hana Selflova. (Why do all Czech women sound like tennis players?)
It is her own home and is in a really nice
Rooftop dining, Prague
leafy suburb, a bit like Nedlands really. We have the whole top floor with our own double bedroom, bath/shower/wc, kitchen and TV lounge,.
Hana brings us up a continental B,fast each morning, although we are by now getting a bit used to the same b'fast every morning. In Europe you get sliced ham, salami, cheeses, heaps of different bread rolls, butter and jam. Not bad you say? well, not EVERY morning!! We are going to shout ourselves a real bacon & eggs one soon.
Prague is SO different from CPH. It takes a little while to get into the swing of things here but in trying to describe it to anyone who hasn't been here is impossible. We thought Copenhagen would be hard to top.........BUT.....where to start!!
Prague has simply BLOWN US AWAY!
For starters, it is so much cheaper than Denmark. The shops are fantastic, the only thing that is keeping us in check (no pun intended) is that if we make any serious purchases, we are going to have to carry it from here on.
Then theres the buildings. Mind numbing stuff. We went for a stroll thru the Stare Mesto (Old Town ) today.
Overlooking old town
Small, narrow cobblestone streets, no cars or trams. Beautiful , seriously old shops and beer cafes. The highlight today was lunch at the 6th floor top of one of the most ornate and elaborate cafes we have ever eaten in. Looking down on the Old Town Square were the crowds gather every hour to see the little wooden figures coming out of the magnificent Astranomical Clock.
Our lunch table had views out over the unbeliveable rooftops of Prage and excellent views of Prage Castle.
The local Czeck food is great. We loved the pork goulash and dumplings and last night has a terrific dish of meatsausage and potato rissole thing with lovely paprica sauce and sour cream on a bed of green vegs. All this washed down with huge jugs of the best Czech Pilsner.
Just back to prices, our lunch was served in a top restaurant by waiters and we had French cusine, a classic dish of flame grilled chicken breast and sauce with vegs, bottle of French red and it all cost about under 50 bucks Aus for both of us.
Just finishing off now - as usual not nearly enough hours in the day
Backstreet old town
or days in this lovely city. We'll try to get home without getting lost tonight - caught the right tram (no. 20) just on dusk in the city last night but as it got darker outside and the rain got heavier we realised NOTHING looked familiar out the tram window. About half an hour out of the city in pitch darkness we went up a steep hill and into a space-age tram station which we DEFINTELY didn't recognise. Anyway we knew it was time to jump off and retrace our steps. Of course nobody speaks English away from the city block and the signs were all in Czech but we finally got the ticket machine to work and went back almost to the city still not recognising anything. Tried to get a taxi (we had a copy of Hana's address for emergencies) but the driver had no idea where we meant however as he pulled out his map and pointed to a few things we realised we'd caught the right tram but going the wrong way!! We'll know better tonight - starting to really get the hang of Prague's public transport system which is cheap and efficient.
Hana's B & B
Our digs in Prague
we went up to Prague Castle (biggest in the world according to Guiness B.O.R) - it dominates the city skyline and just defies description. St Vitus Cathedral within the castle grounds has to be experienced in person, cant begin to describe it or show pics that do justice.
There are some stunning shops here - the Foto shop opposite this cafe extends through about half a block on 3 levels with an amazing museum of photgraphy as well as sections selling every aspect of cameras & photography. (Gordon from ABC Collectors would have a field day here). Jock would just love the clock shops & museums; the kids would go for the toy and marionette shops and I'm sure the jewellery places (specialties garnets & Bohemian crystal) would appeal! Adrian loves the antique shops - thank heaven we're weight-limited on luggage.
Must finish off so we can pack again - booked our train tickets for Vienna this morning and we leave on the 4.5 hour trip about 10am.
Thanks for all your comments, we've loved hearing from you and will try to fit in another message from Austria.
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