Prague, Day 2

On the top of the agenda today, if you can believe we had one while on holiday, was walking.  Touring the city.  A plan of the sights we wanted to see.  Our intent was to experience the real Prague, not tourist traps or shiny places.  Although there were a few shiny places on the list as well.

We woke early, exercised, grabbed breakfast at a cafe and made our way into the Old Town square.  First stop, the Astronomical clock.  Offering a breathtaking view of the city is the tower, we climbed our way to the top and had a view of Prague in it's entirety.  Wow.  Steeples rose above Baroque styled buildings high into the sky.  As if each one was trying to reach higher.  Gold filigree littered the facades, glowing in the sunlight.  And beneath it all cobblestone streets with scads of people taking it all in.  Every which way you turned a different language being spoken and church bells ringing.

 Astronomical Clock 
From the clock we made our way to the St. Charles bridge which crosses the Vlatava River.  Bedecking each side of the bridge our statues honoring patron saints, important events and the history of the city.  Even a crucifixion cross with Hebrew writing strewn around.  Interestingly enough, a Jewish citizen from was forced to pay for this piece as his punishment for blasphemy.

 A view of the city
The bridge lead us into the Little Quarter where we stopped to rest our weary legs and enjoyed a warming cup of hot wine.  There were windy streets leading up to the castle entrance and we climbed each one of them in hopes of the beauty that awaited us.  After climbing umpteen stairs two guards stood stone faced at the entrance and I decided to pose with one. Not quite as entertaining as I had anticipated.  We wandered through the castle grounds until we found St. Vitus Cathedral.  There is a rose shaped stained glass window surrounded by gothic ceilings and intricate carvings in each and every niche.

 Inside the castle walls, Little Quarter below us (self portrait)
 Inside the castle walls
 St. Vitus Cathedral
Leaving the castle walls took us once again through Little Quarter and into yet another authentic Czech dining establishment.  Actually, I think it was a "biker" eatery.  Nonetheless, the food was fantastic and the beer cold.  There were picnic benches lining the walls and we played cards and watched the locals.  Husband Jared took a business call and then we were on our way once again.

This time we traveled over a different bridge into the Jewish quarter.  Our destination was the Jewish cemetery.  This particular site was founded in 1478 and has been added to over the years.  There are currently about 12,000 tombstones but it is said that the number buried here is much larger than that and the bodies are many layers deep.  It was quite an eery feeling walking through the graveyard.

Logging more kilometers we meandered over to Wencenslas square, the sight of the beginning to the Velvet revolution in 1989 and ending at the National Museum.  What a sight.  While the square wasn't quite what I expected to say that some history was lived there would be an understatement.  The street which is not really a square is lined with retail shops and hotels, leaving the consumer lacking for nothing.  Wow, I might have been reading too many guide books lately.  My apologies for the shift in writing styles.  Back to myself now.

A day of touring left both Husband Jared and I famished, so a hearty dinner was what we were looking for.  Little did we know we would cross paths with a Hard Rock and surprisingly enough we were both wanting to dine there.  To boot there was a benefit concert for the victims in Japan and we willingly paid our fees.  A British cover band played on stage with a playlist that simulated "Guitar Hero".  Too loud, and us too particular about our music we left with one place in mind.  The Golden Tiger.  The Golden Tiger is a pub, or rather Czech beer hall.  They serve only Pilsner Urquell, which translates to the original pilsner.  Literally.  They mark your consumption on a white card and when you are finished you pay up.  You sit with strangers.  There is smoking allowed and all around us were locals.  Perfect.  This was just what we were looking for.  After we soaked up the atmosphere we headed in the direction of our hotel only to stop for a quick coffee and dessert and more people  watching.  My favorite.

The night ended like a fairytale just as our day was.

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