Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Prague - Day 2

After the fun night that was Vicky's birthday party, we were all up bright and early so that we could meet up for a half day tour of Prague. A nice full hotel breakfast and then off we go for hours of walking through this amazingly beautiful city.
Our guide met us at the hotel, she's the young one in the center of the above photo, the one in red, and off we went; our hotel is in the Staré Město, or the old town, so it was just a quick walk down to the Old Town Square.

One of the nice things about writing about Prague is that people much more informed than I have already written all sorts of nice things about all the sights in Wikipedia, so out of respect for giving you bad information, or more likely just plain laziness, I'll just add a lot of links to this post instead of trying to provide information.

View of the Týn Cathedral from the Old Town Square
Old Town City Hall Tower with Astonomical Clock
Astronimical Dial

The astronimical Clock in the town hall tower is something amazing, or at least that is what we were told. This one I would reccomend that you read the wikipedia article, but I'll at least tell you that it was started aroudn 1410, and went through years of refinements and upgrades. Our guide explain how the dial worked, what they meant, what signified dusk and dawn and something about using an old time method so that it wouldn't look right to us becasue the sun set at midnight. We all just looked in amazement and nodded and said something like "Ah, Okay. Yeah, I see it..." when she pointed something out. But even without being able to read the clock, it's still pretty cool.
Leaving the Old Town Square
Heading to the Charles Bridge
Looking across the Vltava river at Prague Castle

We crossed the Charles Bridge, wandered by the Lennon wall, and headed up to the Prague Castle. We have a lot of photos of both of those, but none for you today. If you want to scroll down, or follow the link, to yesterday's post, there are three photos of St. Vitus Cathederal, which is located in the castle, and then two photos from the Charles bridge. We figure that we will get around to loading those photos up to our Flickr account sometime in the next 2-3 months. Wait for it.

One thing that we found funny, and maybe this is only us, but even being a quarter of the world away from our home in China - we still manage to run into a Chinese couple that is out getting their wedding photos taken. Maybe we saw this in Chicago too and just never paid any attention to it.
After all that fun we walked back down to towards the Charles Bridge to finish our tour. We all stopped for a quick lunch, and then headed off. Tina and I want back off wandering the streets, and the other girls all took off for shopping or whatever.
We did actually take this tram up to the Prague Castle, but our guide made us walk back down. "For the view." she said, and I think we would all agree that at points it was worth it.

On the way back, Tina want in to some small shops and I took the chance to climb up the tower on the Charles Bridge and get a few nice shots of the city. Again in the interest of time, you only get one photo now.From there back past the Astronominical Clock and the Old Town Square. When we walked by the clock this time it was right at the top of the hour, and although a huge croud had gathered to watch the show we still managed to get a sight. Some moving statues and bell and what-not, good to have been able to see it.
That evening we met up with everyone to head out for dinner. Several of the girls decided to go someplace closer to the hotel, and to someplace that carried lighter food then your standard Eastern European meals. Barb, Vicky, Tina and I went to a local place that was listed in our guide book. Or we tried to, our guide book is old and the place was closed, so we decided to try another place. Luckly, fairly close, was U Krkavcu, which turned out to be a perfect dinner.
Ah, dining in a relaxing cavern atmsophere. The food was excellent, as this place apparently had been around for quite some time. It was a great dinner for the two birthday girls to end their trip with...

From there we wandered back to the hotel bar where we met up with the other girls for some drinks before calling it a night. The next day Tina and I have a full day of trains down to see her family in Tettnang, and all the girls were on the first flight back to Canada.

When everyone went into the bar, I wandered out to the Vltava river to get a few night shots of the Prage Castle and the Charles Bridge.

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