Wednesday, September 29, 2010

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague

It only rained for two days while we were in Prague, so we took advantage of it and visited St. Vitus Cathedral! According to many guidebooks and Wikipedia, St. Vitus is 'located within Prague Castle and contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. It is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country.' 
The stained glass windows were mesmerizing.
 We were so enchanted with the cathedral that we came back the next day to climb the Bell Tower!
We also stopped in St. George's Basilica (Bazilika Sv. Jiří), the oldest church building within Prague Castle. The ceiling was amazing!



The Rain in Prague on September 14th

We wandered all around Lesser Tower (Mala Strana), on September 14th, appreciating the tiny, windy streets, and colorful houses!  I really enjoyed taking pictures of neat door frames and door knobs! In the afternoon, it started drizzling, so I brought along the hotel umbrella.
When it started pouring later, we ducked into a few museums and a pub! I ordered Kozel, a dark, smooth beer. One of the first phrases I learned, after "prosim" or "please/may I have?", was pivo cerny, prosim.
It's a must try while in Prague. It's a favorite of the locals! Who knew I'd even like beer?

Monday, September 27, 2010

My favorite photos from our third day in Prague


We got up early on Monday, September 13th to beat the crush of tourists on the Charles Bridge. We got some great shots of the castle before breakfast! When the in-laws woke up, we set off for the Troja Palace, but wandered around Letna Park lost for a hour or two.  Fortunately there were great views of Prague from the park.  Eventually, we found our way into the Hradcany neighborhood and saw the castle! 
This is the entrance to the Royal Palace! We were so impressed with St. Vitus Cathedral in all it's glory too! (We had to come back several more times to appreciate it inside and out.)   
Some of my favorite views of Prague were from the Golden Lane (Zlata Ulicka). It's a charming cobblestone walk between colorful houses and it has a wonderful Harry Potter-esque legend behind it. [Golden Lane got its name from the story of alchymists living in the street during the reign of Rudolf II who tried to make not only the philosopher stone or the elixir of youth, but also to transform metals into gold.]

After lunch, we met Mr. F's maternal Great Aunt Lida. She gave us a tour around Wallenstein Garden (Valdstejnska zahrada), which is probably the first palace garden in Prague!  There was a stunning wall with artificial stalactites imitating a limestone cave, complete with an aviary with exotic birds (mostly owls). 
Afterwards, we took the 22 tram up to the Summer Palace in Hradcany.

Aunt Lida told us "In front of the Royal Summer Palace you can see the bronze Singing Fountain from 1568. The fountain got its name because of the sound it makes, when the water drops on the metal fountain bowls. The best way to hear it is to crouch under the lower bowl."

Aunt Lida showed us around the castle and pointed out her favorite features, like the story behind the prisoner's tower. 
The Daliborka Tower (Daliborka) was named after a prisoner, as legend has it, who learned to play the violin in the tower and his playing could be heard throughout the castle. This legend was used by Bedřich Smetana in his opera "Dalibor". 
Aunt Lida also showed us the church where her sister (Mr. F's maternal grandmother) was married! The Basilica of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary was closed for the day but a few days later we were able to see the amazing frescos inside! 

My favorite part of the day was discovering my favorite views of Prague. After all that walking we relaxed in our hotel room with our feet up drinking the original (and superior) Budweiser, which is better known as Budvar. Next up, the windy, romantic cobblestone streets of Mala Strana.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our second day in Prague

On our first morning in Prague, we had breakfast at our hotel with Mr. F's parents. During the day, we wandered around our Old Town neighborhood. I was constantly amazed by Prague's architecture, in particular, the Princess Libuse statue on the way to Old Town Square.Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) is even more stunning in person. It was very crowded, but it didn't detract from its charm. My favorite building was in Wenceslas Square! It has bees and a beehive! By 3pm, we were tired from walking, so after a trip to the grocery store and a river side pivo, we relaxed in our hotel room. After a cat nap, Mr. F and I went to a pub for dinner and had delicious Svíčková and knedlíky (beef and dumplings). [source]   Next up, we got lost last Saturday, (September 13th,) looking for the Troja Palace but found the Summer Palace instead!

Friday, September 24, 2010

My favorite pictures from our first day in Prague

We arrived in Prague from Seattle via Amsterdam as the sun was setting on September 11th. We fortunately had the foresight to arrange transportation through the hotel so it was a quick trip from the airport. The Mamaison Suite Hotel, Pachtuv Palace completely amazed me and exceeded my expectations!

This is our view from to the West through our roof top window! We could look towards Mala Strana and some of Hradcany. We could see the fake Eiffel tower and the Prague castle to the far right (to the North). 
 This is our view to the East towards Old Town Square and Stare Mesto at sunset. I adore all the red roofs in Prague. 
I'm still editing my 1300 photos and it's taking FOREVER. I'll post more from September 12th in Prague tomorrow!


Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm coming home!

I'm returning from Prague late tonight!Image found on Lavender & Lilies

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ahoj!

Today, Prague's weather was rather reminescent of Seattle. We got metro passes yesterday so we are taking full advantage of them in the rain!! This morning, we took the tram to St. Vitus Cathedral and viewed the stunning stained glass windows. I'll post the best photos next week.

This afternoon we took the tram and metro to Prague 4, Hodkovicky. Mr. F's Great Aunt Ivana still lives in the ancestral home. We had delicious cakes and the Czech drink, Bechorovka. It is a very intensely herbal liquor. Fortunately, Great Aunt Lida spoke English and suggested I add tonic water to make it more palatable.

We're going to Klub Architeku for dinner tonight because we hear they have sunkove knedliky. I loved the fruit dumplings my mother-in-law made a few years ago, so I can't wait to try them in Prague!

We only have four more full days here, what would you suggest we do and see?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hello from Prague!

I didn't realize I could post from my husband's iPad! Although I won't be able to post pictures. :(

We got into Prague via Amsterdam in what seemed like a short time, since we slept most of the way. On Sunday, our first full day here, we walked around Old Town Square. We had amazing svickova and knedlicky for dinner, which is roast beef and bread dumplings with delicious gravy. We were quite tired and went to bed at 10pm.

Yesterday, we wandered around the Prague castle with Aunt Lida. She showed us her favorite views from the castle and took us to a charming chaj/tea room! We even saw the church where Mr. F's maternal grandparents were married!

This morning we took pictures from the Charles Bridge before it got too late in the morning. There are too many tourists out after 9am. We wound our way around Mala Strana through the windy streets near all the embassies. It started raining so the in-laws, Mr. F and I got lunch at a pub and then went to the Mucha Museum. The artwork reminds me of L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz illustrations. The women in particular remind me if Ozma of Oz!

I've taken 500 pictures since Saturday and it's only Tuesday! Thankfully I bought an 8GB SD photo card, so I take up to 2000 photos. I will post just a few of my favorite photos after I get a chance to edit them.
Dobry den!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good morning, Prague!

This is what I'm waking up to in Prague!
Mamaison Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace Prague
View from the Suite - Mamaison Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace Prague
Uploaded on July 13, 2010 by Mamaison Hotels and Residences

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My reading list for the plane to and from Prague

Hello from above the Atlantic Ocean! Guess what time it is in Prague?



Here's what I'm reading on the plane, in order of preference:
I can't wait to read The Romantics by Galt Niederhoffer. The Romantics [I am intrigued by the story of college buddies reuniting for a wedding, plus I want to read the book before the movie comes out this fall.]
Noli me Tangere by Jose Rizal (translated by Soledad Locsin)  Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) [This was a pivotal book for my Mom when she lived in the Philippines. She suggested the family read it since my middle sister is going to live in the Philippines for two months.]

The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis by Tara Austen Weaver The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis[This was suggested to me after reading, Cleaving, by Julie Powell. Julie & Julia365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen I loved Julie & Julia but I do NOT recommend reading her sophomore effort. I was disturbed by reading about her infidelities.] 
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down [A coworker recommended this book.]
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time[I love the cover of this book and apparently it has received rave reviews.]

Any other suggestions?

Today and for the next 9 days, I'll be wandering these romantic cobblestone streets!!!
Hradcany, the other side of Prague
Doesn't this town just look magical?
prague skyline

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