On our first night in Prague we did a short walk doing a little shopping but didn’t get a chance to see too much. On the following morning we had a walking tour with Viking and they took us on a bus to see some of the sights and then dropped us off at the old city where we were told some of the history of the city. We walked through the Jewish quarter and then went into the city square where there is the beautiful Tyn church with its double spirals and a unique clock at the old city hall. This is an astronomical clock that is over 600 years old and at every hour you can see the procession of the Apostles on the clock. We even saw a simulation of the clock made out of chocolate at one of the chocolate shops. From the old town city square we walked to the Charles Bridge which is one of the largest pedestrian only bridges we have ever seen. It was built in 1357 and is lined with 28 statues of different saints. The views from the bridge are really great and it is amazing to see how many sightseeing boats are off taking tourists around the bridge and down the river. After walking across the bridge and looking at a few more sights we boarded back on the bus which took us to the Prague Castle. This is a very large castle that overlooks the city and has a beautiful cathedral (St Vitas) in the center of the castle square. You can see this castle from almost any place in the city. This concluded our Viking city tour. It was one of the best tours we had on our trip and the guide was especially good.
We elected to go off and visit the old town on our own. As we walked there we came across a small outside market that primarily sold food and drinks. Sharon sampled some hot mulled spice wine while Greg tried some Czech beer. Sharon had seen this hot wine throughout the day and really wanted to try it. She loved it and had to have a second glass. We also tried a “toastie” which was a cheese sandwich grilled with onions and oil. It tasted great and we were sorry we didn’t get two of them. We walked around the square and visited a few shops. Sharon picked up a custom embroidered apron for Bella that had her name on it along with “Mama’s Helper”. We are looking forward to seeing some Grandma and Granddaughter baking times. We stopped at one candy shop for a half hour and watched a demonstration of them making candy. We could not figure out what they were making but it looked like the taffy you see being made in Gatlinburg. It turned out it was hard rock candy that had these intricate designs in the center of this rolled candy. It was amazing to watch them make it and how they were able to create these designs from just rolls of candy that looked like taffy. As we headed back to the hotel we had to have one more snack. We had seen these rolled pastries called Trdelniks that looked really good all day. You could have them just sugar coated or filled with chocolate or filled with ice cream. We each had one filled with chocolate and they were really good. These snacks were all the dinner we needed that night.
Our next day in Prague was filled with Viking tours. We wish we hadn’t scheduled two tours which filled up the entire day and night so that we could have toured the city a little more. The first tour went to Kutna Hora where the famous “bone church” was located. This was one of the most fascinating churches we had ever seen. It is actually the Sedlec Ossuary and is a chapel which was built at a cemetery by monks in the 13th century. The cemetery was popular with royalty and other people and in the 17th century there were so many bodies buried there that they started to exhume the old bodies and put the bones in the church. It is estimated today that there are bones from over 40,000 people in this church and some are shown as decorations throughout the church. It is really an amazing sight. From there we went to St Barbara’s Cathedral in Kutna Hora which is a very impressive church with some nice views of the country side on the outside of the church. We had a nice Czech meal in the town before doing a little shopping and heading back to Prague.
In the evening we went to a local place that had Czech folklore singing, dancing and music while we ate a very traditional Czech dinner. The dinner was served with local beers and wines. This was a very participative event where the dancers got most of the people out on the dance floor to participate in the Czech style dancing. It was a very enjoyable evening and a great way to end our stay in Prague.
The next morning we boarded our flight to Paris which connected on to Atlanta. After almost 3 weeks of different cities and having a great time with some our Georgia friends it was time to close this chapter of our journey and look forward to the next one.
Sharon and Greg