Yesterday I was up early and en route to Prague by 5am. My trip went smoothly, and I had no problems with my flight or taking the public transport from the airport in Prague to the hotel where I met my friend Catherine. At the airport I was able to clear customs, exchange money, and buy my 3 day public transport pass all within 30 minutes. A 20 minute bus ride and 15 minute metro ride later I was standing in the middle of new town square. I will admit when I got on the bus at the airport, the area was very industrial and I was thinking the city was not going to be what I expected. Coming out of the metro on the escalator I felt like I was sent back in time and the sites around me exceeded my expectations of what I thought the city would be like. The metro station led me right to the Marriot and as soon as I walked in the door Catherine was waiting for me in the lobby. It was so exciting for me to see a familiar face form the States, and we decided to drop my bags and head for a quick lunch since she was on a break from her conference.
At the room I was greeted with a gift, 3 bags of red vines! I am addicted to these, and sicne I can't get them in the UK Catherine was kind enough to bring them over for me! I have only been here 1 and 1/2 days and I have already eaten 1/2 a bag. I am going to start rationing them out!
For lunch we headed to the old square which was full of food vendors and souvenir shops. We decided on brick oven pizza I enjoyed a nice wine over lunch. Once we were full Catherine had to head back to the conference and I headed out to tour the city. I jumped on a tram and spent the day getting lost in the city. The public transportation is excellent, and you have your option of bus, tram, or metro to get around. The city reminded me a lot of Vienna, Austria where I studied as a graduate student. I enjoyed the people watching and taking in all of the sites. The building architecture is beautiful and the river that runs through the city is very picturesque.
Later around 7pm I met Catherine and a few of her friends from the conference and went with them to Prague's communism museum. I am not one for museums, but it was nice to get out with some other young American's to explore the city. After the museum, we headed back to old square where we checked out some of the vendors and tried their version of a desert pretzle, or at least that's the only way I can describe it. You can see in the picture it was heated over a fire and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. It was delish! Some of the other vendors had polish sausage, candy, glu wine, hot cider, and spiced nuts. It reminded me of the Christmas markets they have all throughout Europe during the holidays. We decided to call it a night early because we had big plans in the morning.
At 6:30am we met in the lobby and decided to head to Charles Bridge to see the sunrise. We arrived after a brisk 20 minute walk which was totally worth it! The morning weather was ideal and the sunrise over the river and city skyline was amazing. We got some great pictures and then decided to walk to check out one of Prague's famous buildings the "Fred and Ginger House." This building is a popular tourist spot, so we wanted to check it out early since there were limited tourists out at 7:30am. After walking around for about an hour, we headed back to the hotel for breakfast and a mini nap.
Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square during one of its hourly chimes.
One of my favorite purchases today was a Hokie colored nesting doll set. Not too sure where I am going to put it, but come on, where else would I find a hokie colored set!
Kutna Hora's Bone Church. Not sure what to expect, but will make sure to blog about it on the next go around. I have really enjoyed the city and spending time with an old friend. This trip has reinforced why I moved overseas which was to see parts of Europe I had always wanted to visit. Prague is definately living up to my expectations thus far. Can't wait to see what's to come. Until next time I will see you on the internet.