|Main Square with the Astronomical Clock and Cathedral|
After Krakow, we took a bus to Prague which was about an 8 hour journey and whilst Flixbus are very nice coaches, it was not the most comfortable of journeys. When we got into Prague city centre we had the trouble of actually locating our hostel. It took us ages and we were both beginning to loose the will to live! It transpired that it was inside a shopping mall- a little bizarre. Anyway after the long check in procedure we dumped our things in our room which was quite small with bunk beds. After the Krakow apartment we had really been spoilt and so the Prague hostel was a little crash down to earth. Anyway we headed out for something quick and easy to eat since it was so late. I had a Czech hotdog with a really nice spicy, smoked sausage from a street food vendor. It was really delicious and just what I needed after the long bus journey.
|St Vitrus' Cathedral|
Molly had actually been to Prague before and so knew a little of the sights but was still really open to me exploring which was good. On the first day we had a walking tour of the city which was really useful to get our bearing and understand a little of the history. I couldn't recommend free walking tours more they're really good value for money and you learn such a lot whilst seeing the sights! Apart from our tour guide being a little overenthusiastic about the beer (the Czech Republic drinks more beer per capita than anywhere else in the world) I thought it was really good and we were introduced o some things we hadn't thought to look at ourselves such as a huge, central market and some of the synagogues. As well as our walking tour we also looked at:
- Prague Castle: we actually had a separate walking tour on another day just for the castle because the grounds are so extensive. I thoroughly enjoyed this walking tour. Our guide was really knowledgeable about the history of Prague as well as the different sections of the castle complex and gave us time to properly look at things as well rather than just whisking us off. After the tour had ended, and we'd had lunch, me and Molly went back and bought a ticket to go inside some of the other areas. The tickets are on a sliding scale of price depending on what you want to see. It was quite late in the day so we went for a medium priced one and really charged around trying to fit it in before they shut. We ended up seeing the cathedral complete with beautiful stained glass windows and one by the artist Alphonse Mucha; the basilica, inside the old palace which was very bare and a little disappointing and the Golden Lane, a row of tiny medieval shops- very quaint. I would highly recommend having a tour and then going back and filling in the gaps. It takes a whole day but you won't be disappointed.
|The Powder Tower|
Prague Astronomical Clock: a 600 year old astronomical clock, perfectly accurate and very intricate with a jolly little performance every hour which gathers humongous crowds. I really enjoyed it but many people think it's an anti-climax.
- St Nicholas Church: is a huge, Gothic church set behind what is now the front of an Italian restaurant. Quite arresting from the outside but filled with marvellous colour and vibrancy inside.
- The Powder Towers: 3 remaining towers from the old fortifications around Prague which stopped being used around the 17th century. Very impressive landmarks but more interesting when you know some of the history.
- Strahov Monastery: Molly knew of this from her last visit and we went there for lunch after our guided tour of the castle. It's quite a large monastery set atop the same hill as the castle but slightly further over. we didn't look a great deal at the monastery but there was a restaurant nearby with the most beautiful views over the city. This was certainly one of my favourite experiences.
- Museum of Communism: Molly didn't come with me to visit this but I think it's one of the best museums I've ever been to! It's rather large but full of detailed information and attention grabbing displays detailing the rise and fall of communism in the Czech Republic. It was much bigger and better than I was expecting and taught me a great deal.
|Me and Molly in front of the |
John Lennon Wall
- The Municipal House: is a pillar of art nouveau architecture. I was however, disappointed as we couldn't really go in because inside was a concert hall and restaurant. Nevertheless the outside porch was very art nouveau and worth a quick look.
- Jewish Museums: Me and Molly bought a combination ticket and had a look at 3 out of the 5 Jewish synagogues and museums around the city. the first contained an exhibition of children's pictures, drawn during their incarceration in the Holocaust and was quite moving. Another included the Jewish cemetery with thousands of gravestones all leaning one way or another and partially overgown-quite peaceful really. The last thing we visited was a museum dedicated to the story if the Czech Jewish community pre-WWI which was a refreshingly new narrative on something I knew next to nothing about.
- Charles Bridge: the first stone built bridge in Prague. Now its filled with statues and street artists. Nothing spectacular and always crowded with tourists.
- John Lennon Wall: A wall which used to feature a large John Lennon and Beatles inspired mural but is now covered up with artist tags and other scribbles. Quite disappointing, especially as it took us so long to find!