Thursday, August 4, 2011

Prague - the end of the trip

Today was our last day of touring, and what a beautiful place to finish in.
We arrived in Prague about 4 pm the day before after a long trip of over 500km. On the way we hd a few games of euchre with Tony and Jenny to pass the time,with a bag blanced on our knees for a table.

Playing Euchre to pass the time
We have been really  lucky that most of our hotels have been centrally located near the main attractions, or within walking distance, and in this case we are about 5 minutes' walk from the Old Town. As in all the other cities we have visited the shops are open til about 9 pm each day so it's easy to shop when you want,  There is also a big cafe culture in Prague. We walked past one place today where all the beautiful people were turned facing the Square, hardly facing their companions. It looked like they were trying to be seen.

In another cafe early this morning there were 2 girls, looked about 12 years old, sitting at a footpath cafe at about 10am, so obviously the pattern begins early.

One of the highlights in the main square is the Astronomical clock, built in the 1300s. As well as the time it shows the phases of the moon and the tides. It also shows the signs of the zodiac. The clock shows a parade of saints on the hour, a skeleton rings a bell, a rooster flaps its feathers, and a trumpeter plays. Hundreds of people jostle for the best position to capture it all. It's a favourite spot for pick-pockets I'm told.
The Astronomical Clock

This morning we met our local guide, Lucy, who gave us commentary from the bus, followed by a walking tour of various locations which included Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Castle District, the Lower town, Charles Bridge with its colection of saints.
Changing the Guard at Prague Castle

Ornate front facade of St Vitus Cathedral

Prague Castle gates

One of several modern stained glass windows in St Vitus

The Powder Gate in the old town, near our hotel

Ornate carving and decoration on a house in the Castle Area

Before street numbers houses had carved emblems to show who lived there, This one housed a violin maker. Violins are between the 2 lamps.

Saints statue on Charles Bridge

The city end of Charles Bridge

The narrowest hotel in Prague

After the tour we had a nice lunch in a cafe - Messo Cafe - where David was served the biggest Greek salad - he couldn't eat it all, then back to the hotel for a short break. Later we went back to an Art Gallery where we found a picture to purchase, and negotiated a better price. Unfortunately it is just a bit too big to fit into a suitcase, so a bit of juggling will have to occur.

Tonight we had our farewell dinner at a local restaurant, just across from the hotel. After a bit of a wander around the town we found a spot for a group photo, and found a group of young Aussie girls to take the photo as well.

The tour group in Republic Square after dinner, sporting our Bunniks luggae straps

As the tour ends it's always a bit sad, with everyone going their own way. It's been a good group with everyone getting on pretty well.

One of the strangest things to go home to will be the fact that there aren't 2 or 3 bottle shops in each block, and a complete range of alcohol in each supermarket. I thought Aussies were good drinkers, but they lag a long way behind the Europeans.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, enjoyed reading your trip report.
    You'd be needing a holiday to recover from this holiday!
    See you soon around a campfire.


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