I came to Prague to break this song, for reasons that I am not going to explain to you, on the banks of the Vltava the waves were pushing me To leave you for being right.
On the Charles Bridge I learned to rhyme scar with epidemic, losing manners: if you have to step on crystals,that are bohemian, heart.
Oh! Prague, Prague Prague where love is shipwrecked on an accordion Oh! Prague, darling, Prague the damned pay face your renunciation.
Oh, Prague, Prague, Prague, two fingers on the sore and a saint in the loft. Oh! Prague, darling, Prague, the moon is a dagger tar stained.
I came to Prague to found a city one night at ten in the morning, going up to Mala Strana, burning your flag on the border of loneliness.
Again turning upside down, To forget you again in every corner dancing among the ruins out of love for art to give you the soles of your feet ...
It is early when we put "feet in dusty", and after a quick breakfast in the Cloister Inn (ALL THE ACCOMMODATION INFORMATION HERE), we approach two streets below to take the famous Tram 22 which will take us near the main visit of the day, Prague Castle.
The "operation", in principle simple, complicates us a bit by "not having" the "kiosk" in front of the ticket stop for the tram (in theory there are in subway machines, kiosks and several other sites), with which we have to go back one stop and take them out in the subway (32 CZK each). !! EYE !! You have to have the money in coins, no tickets are worth (we got the hair).
There are two or three stops to get off the tram near the Castle. We decided to do it in Pohodelec, where down the street we reach the famous Loreto Church (Loreta in Czech), one of the most important pilgrimage centers from the city. It dates from 1626.
Water-snow begins to fall (which has not just set) and it is a cold that peels! Without a route too defined we go through the narrow streets adjacent to the fortress really picturesque
Cobblestone streets, colorful houses, lanterns and cobbled sidewalks accompany us to the main gate of our day's goal
We arrived at the gates of the Castle but, among a lively little square where musicians cheer up the morning while hundreds of tourists are crowded, we can't help seeing first rays of the sun rising over the rooftops of Prague. A beautiful sight
We can also observe Petrin in the distance. Petrin will possibly be one of those sacrificed on our visit to the city and together with some nearby recommended population, it will "force" us to return one day (sooner than later and in summer, to enjoy it at another time of the year, when the gardens have more explendor).
It's time to go through the front door, with statues copies of the Battle of the Titans, and protecting two stiffer guards than the day
To buy the ticket from Prague Castle, once past the first patio, we find a second patio and several queues. Between this new patio and a passageway that goes to the Cathedral of San Vito we see a souvenir shop that delights Paula (345 CZK), and that gives access to a room where they also sell tickets !! without tails !! (There are two types of tickets, we take the short one for 550 CZK both and permission to take photos - today the student card did not slip -)
After some "small gifts" it is time to visit the main attraction of the site, the San Vito Cathedral
We must recognize that it is a true work of art (dating from 1344, commissioned by Carlos IV). The main rosette is impressive, as well as its engravings, gargoyles, bell tower, golden door and the impressive Gothic vaults
On its left side (in the forward direction) we can also reach the Powder Tower, former warehouse of this one and at the moment a museum.
Behind the Cathedral, we can continue observing beautiful details of it, set with a beautiful Christmas tree.
The enclosure is immense. It is true everything we have read that the most meticulous can spend a whole day here perfectly.
We are in the largest Gothic Castle in the world, that despite the multiple fires, harassment, demolitions and invasions, it is still one of the greatest legacies of the capital of the heart of Europe, after the passage of the Kings of Bohemia, the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, the president of Czechoslovakia and the presidents of the Czech R.
ONE OF CASTLES: If we talk about impressive castles, there are few typologies and greatnesses observed in the different trips. Some of them…
- Larger castles: Castle of Himeji during the trip to Japan 2008 o Castle of Buddha during the Budapest getaway 2009
- Oldest castles: Aleppo during the trip to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan 2009
- Medieval castles: Castle of Bran during the Getaway to Bucharest and Transylvania 2011 or Knights Krak during also the trip to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan 2009
- Most beautiful castles: Neuschwanstein during the trip to Munich and Austrian Alps 2010
Well, the Prague Castle it meets the conditions of being one of the largest in the world (according to Record Guiness), one of the oldest and one of the most beautiful ...
The next building that stops us is the Convent of San Jorge It contains ancient Bohemian art.
The vault is decorated with paintings from the 16th century, some of the most gloomy. Of course, there are magnificent altars.
Moving to the bottom of the complex, we arrive at another area that needs a ticket for access, the so-called Golden Alley, of picturesque houses currently made by artisans built in the 16th century (Paula, where are you going through that little door?)
After several hours, and returning along the opposite side of the Cathedral, we arrive at the Royal Palace, which behind its exterior appearance hides Gothic and Renaissance rooms.
!! 11.50 !! We have made space among the people in the first courtyard of the entrance to see the changing of the guard (which we read that there was somewhere). Fast, fast ... what is said fast ... they are not. 20 protocol minutes are thrown for it, between trumpet sounds and courtesy between those who come and go. Anyway, as Joseba would say, !! WITHOUT MORE!
In the area of Hradcany, where the Church of Loreto, Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral are located, there are also a couple of outstanding visits such as the Strahov Monastery and the Sternberg Palace, but it squeezes us plus hunger and improvised route on this getaway and we decided to start the descent of one of the most picturesque streets of Malastrana, Nerudova, passing through the famous House of the Three Violins (today a restaurant)
!! To eat !! Almost already in the area of the Church of San Nicolás and after looking at a couple more places, we decided to enter one of the successes of the day, the U Mecenase Restaurant.
Why do I succeed? We are in a kind of Czech food house, decorated in the purest style of an old-fashioned house living room, with stoves on all sides, warmth and a wide range of typical products of the country.
In fact, we start to ask for everything ... beer from here, a Goulash soup (served in a bread crumbs of crumb), a kind of battered and gratin potatoes, a real goulash (the most famous dish and exquisite of the R. Czech) and a kind of stuffed duck. And although it was not the cheapest (1200 CZK with tip), we didn't find it that much for everything we asked for.
The afternoon route takes us all over the Mala Strana area, with the following points of interest:
The Mala Strana Square It is the equivalent of the Plaza de Stare Mesto but in the ancient city of Mala Strana. Although it does not work as a purely pedestrian square, we must recognize that we have found a square full of contrasts, with the dome of the Church of St. Nicholas and the bell tower from afar, the row of yellow taxis waiting while the picturesque red trams traverse it , leaving the town hall behind their backs.
On the back façade, the one we saw before entering "meet the stomach", there is a much more traditional atmosphere. The entrance of the St. Nicholas Church, a baroque church, is taken care of to the last detail.
Following this course of Iglesias, and leaving aside the Vrtba and Vojan gardens (which will enjoy better health at another time of the year), we reach the Church of Our Lady Victoria, another baroque church that houses the famous image of the Infant Jesus of Prague.
We lose ourselves again in the streets (these days we barely take out the map, we are guided by the improvisation that sometimes plays a trick on us with some dead street) and, again without wanting, we arrive at the John Lennon's Wall, which is a graffiti wall that represents peace and love
Yesterday from the Charles IV Bridge we saw a curious water mill illuminated in the distance. Today we have reached its back and we can see that it is about the praying of the mill of the Grand Priory completely restored, and we are on a romantic bridge where lovers hang their locks as a sign of love to your partner. !! We are without locks! Is it worth a hair paste?
We have entered the Kampa Island, one of the most pleasant and peaceful walks in all of Prague. By the way, at this point we remember that we have already 30 CZK in public toilets. They charge you here! in all the laos to piss !!
The afternoon has been intense, so it's time to return by the Charles IV Bridge to leave the bags and something else in the hotel and rest a few minutes before the surprise that awaits us at night.
If last night we commented that we were in one of the icons (or THE ICON) of the city, today with many more people, we can observe its statues, some macabre. San Alberto, San Juan de Mata, San Vicente Ferrer, Santa Lutgarda, ... causes us special attention to that of San Juan Nepomuceno where people touch their worn relief that represents the martyrdom of this to ask good luck. A little later, he prays on his cross (and wristbands are bought for 140 CZK, haha).
It may sound repetitive, but Prague is not for tours, excursions or programs. Prague is to enjoy, and this is done enjoying its streets, its musicians, its life. Life that does not leave us in the whole bridge arriving at the Bridge Tower of the Old City, Gothic, really taken from a movie of the Lord of the Rings
!! Isaac !! They are almost o'clock. A stop on the astronomical clock? (and more gifts for 490 CZK). We will have to see the "bagpipe" is moving. There we are, surrounded by hundreds of tourists watching two windows open to the sound of a music and the 12 apostles appear "dancing" after the hourglass was reversed. In the end the rooster, or raven, or whatever, the horn and the hour sounds and, from the tower, the little man we saw yesterday playing the trumpet does it again although this time a few meters above our heads
And what was the surprise that awaited us? We are fond of the traditional cruise rides of the main European cities. It could not be otherwise to spend a romantic and quiet night here too. To do this, after a new pass through the Charles Bridge, we have approached the jetty (two bridges above) from where "our gift"
Going down some stairs there are several boats prepared with small tables inside, and that of Pier 1 is ours. It looks good
A walk through the Vltava can be disappointing if what you are looking for are views. They are not more than 600 meters that they hold.
And maybe that's why what we are looking for was a dinner set in the heat of good stoves. There, in our corner where we were well received with a traditional liquor and a few beers (250 CZK), we dined in the light of the main monuments of the city, and enjoyed a beautiful evening that would never disappoint anywhere on the planet for the company
Like never disappoint the city of Prague at night, its lights, its icons, its environment, its life, ... its cold.
The rest is for us. Family, friends, readers, Tomorrow is December 31 and a New Year's Eve in Prague promises. We have already decided that we will not go to dinner anywhere in particular, but that we will get lost in the narrow streets, the main square and we will do it with the grapes that we bring from Spain (thanks Loly). The worst thing that can happen to us is that we step on crystals, which will be from Bohemia, as the song says… !! see you tomorrow !! and… HAPPY 2012 if we don't read before
Isaac and Paula, from Prague (Czech Republic)
EXPENSES DAY 2: 2044 CZK (approx. 81.76 EUR) and GIFTS: 975 CZK (approx. 39 EUR)