A trip of many steps and music – Prague part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve posted….that’s because I’ll been making life changing decisions. I’ve recently left my permanent position in a good company to pursue I don’t know what…. Hahaha or what the BF is dubbing my third life crisis. Maybe he’s right, I just needed some changes!!! In facts other than quitting my job, I’ve also dyed my hair pink (natural black hair) and contemplating a 3rd, 4th….tattoo….actually that will be happening!!! Anyway watch this space and I’ll sure be updating you about it all.

Right, back to Prague, so this trip happened literally the next day after I left my job. I have to say I wasn’t in the best mood or head space as I was missing my work friends etc… However…upon landing in 30 degree C heat, my mood was lifting!!!

After much researching we decided to stay at Deminka Palace, it was a nice hotel, it wasn’t bang in the middle of the Old Town but for what we wanted it was a good thing…even though on some nights we wished we were staying closer!!! Lol! We were really surprised with our room as we were just expecting a standard size room but we actually had a hallway, living room and kitchen! All were very spacious but the worst thing was that there was no aircon!!! I nearly fell off my chair but with the fan running constantly it was fine.

Day 1

There were a few options to get from the airport to city centre, this page have all the info you’ll need and this page is more specifically about taxis. We originally wanted to go for the cheapest option, going by local bus then metro costing approx £1 per person. Yet after seeing that the Airport Express bus is only £2 per person to Prague central station (Praha Hlavni Nadrazi) and the hotel was only 10mins walk, we decided to go for that instead. It was a more direct and easy option taking only 40mins. 

After we checked in and freshened up, we started walking towards the old town to find some food. On route we stumbled across the Astronomical Clock and since it was 10mins until the show we hung around to check it out…. Let’s just say it was one of the most underwhelming attraction I’ve ever seen….especially since I was in Munich earlier this year and saw the Glockenspiel show which was pretty cool! 

We carried on in our search for lunch, unfortunately in the Old Town area it’s pretty hard to find any non touristy restaurant so in our hunger we went for a little deli place which filled a gap is all I’m gonna say.

We then headed off for a river cruise, we kinda just grab the 1st one we saw. It cost about £7 for an hour cruise and was pretty cool as you get some brilliant view of both sides of the river and the bridges. There are a few different options you can choose from and the biggest company is Prague Boats. A handy tip for you is that do not buy water from the cafes on the bank as they are rip offs!!! Nearly £4 for a tiny bottle, you’re better off buying a drink on the cruise! 

We worked on our tan on the cruise then figured we needed to work on it some more and as we saw a little island earlier that looked inviting we headed that way, later found out this place was called Shooter’s Island (Střelecký ostrov). It was a cute little place with lots of sitting areas and playgrounds for kids. We settled down in the nearest bench and lazed the day away making the best of the long sunny day (9pm sunset)

Once we felt that we could not sweat anymore we headed back to the hotel. We found that we had spent the majority of our money on drinks that day so thought we should stock up at the supermarket. What we found was a particular familiar one round the corner from our hotel – Tesco!!! How bizarre, in facts Prague has pretty much every brand/shops you’d see in Europe!

Feeling the effect of our 3am alarm, we thought it best to grab dinner nearby and make it an early night. Luckily as I mentioned before there’s a pub that’s attached to the hotel so that’s dinner settled. The first thing I have to say was that the beers in Prague are amazing!!! Especially out of the tap!!! The price was insane, cheaper than water is what you probably know and it’s no lie!!! I went for a dark beer/stout and it was soooo sweet, complimented my gigantic portion of duck legs perfectly!!! (Seriously who needs that much food???) After we had our fill, unfortunately in my case that was a really poor effort… our thoughts turned to a nice shower and bed!!!

 

Our beautiful bed
  
The disappointing Astronomical Clock, even though the show wasn’t great, the clock itself it’s really beautiful so please do go and have a look when the whole world is not waiting for the show!!!
  
Interesting sculpture…in fact Prague is full of cool sculptures in random places!
  
View of Prague Castle from the river
 
View of Charles bridge from the river
  
There were lots of other water activities available including Water Zorbing…
  
and “boats” for hired!!!
  
Can you spot the blue sculptures?
    
Cheap, sweet and refreshing, what else can you ask for?
  
Braised duck legs, red and white canbages and several kind of bread dumplings!!! The taste was pretty good but a bit too salty! oh and did i mention the massive portion?
  
This is the after photo and as you can see, I didn’t even make a dent!

 
He had the pork fillet which was a little dry and his favourite – chips were pretty floppy!!!
  

Day 2

We were far too tired to get up for the hotel breakfast so we slept in then headed straight out to Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) by tram 22 (this seems to be the official tram for getting there and actually go past a lot of the other sights on this side of the river. Tip here, make sure you validate your ticket once you get onto the tram. We were planning to head straight to the castle but we ended up getting off far too early lol!!! It wasn’t too bad as there were lots to see on routes and we ended up going to St. Nicholas Cathedral (Chram sv.Mikulase). Well actually we didn’t really see the church as we climbed the tower first for the view (as you can see it was not a clear sky day but it was still worth going up) when we go back down and realised we had to pay more for the church itself, we decided against it!

For those of you that didn’t know Prague Castle is not really a castle as such. It’s a castle complex consisting of various different buildings and squares. There are 3 different Circuit you can do which covers the main attractions and you can add the extra areas individually. You can find more info from here. We decided on Circuit B as we didn’t feel like we needed to visit everything! Tip here again, if you’re interested in getting an audio guide then go early, especially in the Summer months. We arrived at around 1 o’clock and they were out! 😭 There are also tour guides available which you can book in advance. One more thing to note, either we were really lucky or this is overhyped but we didn’t really encountered massive queues?! But I guess it pays to be prepared!

Ok, off on our visit, most people aim for St. Vitus Cathedral and we did the same too. The cathedral was amazing!!! Sometimes when you visit a church/cathedral you’d feel like it’s just another one that looks like the last 50 you’ve visited!!! This however was not one of those times! I was in awe as soon as I walked in as the 1st thing I saw was the spectacular stained glass windows!!! There were just pure pleasures to look at!!! The colours were enticing and every windows were different!!! Anyway I can go on for ages but I won’t!!! You just need to see it for yourselves!!!

Then we went off to the Old Royal Palace, which I have to say was not that great, basically do not expect any grandeur and anything big at all. The whole place is only a few rooms and you’re not allowed to take pics unless you get a photo license (which I didn’t…shhhhh). Next on the list was Basilica of St. George, again was not that impressed…

Our next stop was Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, I was not that looking forward to this especially after the last 2 and I didn’t really know much about it. Yet I really loved this attraction! Initially I just saw the little street full of shops and thought that we paid to come in to shop??!! Not true!!! As soon as we went through the barriers we went into the Daliborka Tower, where they have armours and weapons on display. This was displayed in a long corridor and really give a feeling that you’re walking around someone’s armoury (as we all have one of those right?) The armour you cannot touch but the weapons you can and of course these have been filed down. The best thing in here is that you can experience firing a crossbow!!! I was so tempted but then chickened out lol!!! They have cornered off the area but left windows so that you can follow the arrows!!! It was exhilarating just to watch!!! The shops below were also interesting and actually not all ships, most are display of workshops and living quarters from medieval time.

It was then lunch time and after our heavy dinner we wanted something a bit different so when we spotted a vegan restaurant – Loveg, we quickly trotted up those stairs! I really enjoyed my Czech classic done the vegan way, the BF’s Nasi Goreng was pretty good too if a tad salty. One of the thing I’ve noticed in Prague is that they love their homemade lemonade and these can be found in almost every restaurant!!! Try it as there were so refreshing that I can pretty much drink the whole glass in one gulp!!!

The next sight for the day was Petřín Park and lookout Tower (aka mini Effiel Tower). This park was an absolute minefield but at least by this point the weather had clear up a bit!!! It was so big with not very good signage!!! In fact we ran into some Welsh tourists who were also lost! We made it at the end, at this stage of the day we had climb soooo many stairs that our legs were like jelly!!! There was an option to use the lift at £2 but after thinking about it we decided to take the plunge! It was definitely worth it for the view and achievement but I did get a bit of vertigo especially on the way down! The people who build the tower was so considerate that they’ve offered sitting area along the climb so I took advantage of that! After our climb we had to have a sit to relax lol!!!

Our last stop of the day was the Lennon Wall, this wall is covered with John Lennon inspired graffiti as well as symbolism of love and peace. Around the corner it’s the very tongue in cheeks John Lennon pub, full of Beatles memorabilia and I’m sure good fun but we didn’t go in, just took some pics of the outside. 

After that excitement we needed another sit down lol. Prague is full of benches to sit so no worries there! Another observation is that Segway tour are very very popular and they are everywhere!!! Gangs and gangs of them circulate the city centre!!! Back to sitting, which we actually need a lot on this holiday so that we can watch people going pass and make up stories about them! On this particular session it was great as there was a jazz trio who were playing 2 benches down from us! The weather was warm but breezy, music in the air and we were in one of the most beautiful city in the world!!!

Then our stomachs started to rumble!!! Lol!!! Off in search for food once again. This time via the not oversold at all Charles Bridge (Karlův most). I was a little sceptical about this in case it was another one of those places that people rave about but then disappoints. It wasn’t, I really loved the bridge despite the throngs of tourists!!! There were a “Mumford & sons” inspired band playing under the bridge and a string quartet playing cinematic score on the bridge. Yes there was lots of standard tourists stalls (portrait artists, paintings and souvenirs for sell) but it actually added to the bustle. When you can find your own little corner on the bridge then you can really enjoy it. Especially at the golden hour of the day!

Do not under any circumstances walk through the street that’s Karlova….if you can help it!!! I was given this advice but unfortunately from where we were to where we needed to be it was unavoidable and it was not the only time we had to do it neither. It is just one of those streets where you’d feel like you’re in souvenir shops hell!!! You would start to really hate tourists and yourself who’s also a tourist!!!! 

Once we made it out there alive we started hunting for food. Now I don’t normally do this on holiday but….when it comes to food…the Czech classics leave something to be desired. The BF was especially not keen on it so we found a nice Thai restaurant – Modry Zub on route back to the hotel. We were very pleasantly surprised as the taste were quite authentic, although the Thai green curry udon was an interesting fusion but had good flavour. The other dishes were also up to standards and the service was brilliant! The waitress was more than friendly and went out of her way to make sure we were ok!!! Would definitely recommend this if you needed a break from the local cuisine!

Ok that concludes day 2 and this post, please check back for the 2nd part of our Prague trip!   

The day might have been grey but the orange roofs still helped to make an impressive view!
  
Trdelník – dough drilled on an iron rode, filled with nutella and topped woth cinammon sugar!!! The perfect snack!
  
There were many of these shops around the city, so tempted to try the ice-cream but not sure milk and alcohol mixes well in my stomach!!!
  
A bit of funfair music on a grey rainy day!
  
How can you not find beauty in this window? St Vitus Cathedral!
   

Painted ceiling inside the Old Royal Palace!
   
Many different types of armour, shield and weapons on show!
  
The cute street of the Golden Lane.
  
A little detour into a well kept garden and we met a peacock!
  
Refreshing homemade lemonade
  
Even in the Vegan version, the bread dumplings are still present. The “meat” i believe were nut roast. Pretty tasty!!!
  
Effiel Tower!!! Not quite!
  
Blue and orange always trump grey and orange!!!
  
Lennon Wall, where you see “War is over” it used to read “Wall is over”!!!
  
  
Charles Brodge at the Golden Hour
   
Band under the bridge!
  
String Quartet on the bridge
  
Beef green curry udon, this is a new one on me but not bad at all
  

Som Tam salad – this packs quite a punch!!!
  
Duck rice noodle, aromatic broth and very generous on the meat!
 

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