A Day in Prague: Orloj


I loved my time in Prague. There was great shopping, a lovely apartment, and one of the most dramatic train rides I've ever experienced. It was one of my first ventures into Old World eastern Europe.




Getting to Prague:

It should have been a typical day on the train, filled with sudoku, iPads, and countryside naps. The week we travelled, however, the rail workers were on strike. We rode our normal train until the border...and then it stopped. We were dropped off in the middle of the woods at a "train stop" called Furth im Wald. We were told to walk (about .5 km) down the tracks and there would be a "train" to take us into the city.

The "train" was more like a single trolley car with narrow wooden benches (think 1950's street car). When we got to it, the car was packed with what seemed like an entire fraternity . We crammed our luggage on and tried to find spots to sit anywhere. After a very long (and bumpy) ride we made it into Prague late at night.

Where we stayed: 

This was one of our first attempts at staying in an apartment rental. We tried it first in Barcelona and loved it. Now it is our first choice when we have an extended trip with the family. AIRBNB.COM is a great place to look for apartment rentals and is very reliable. Our apartment was a beautiful 4th floor walkup in the old part of Prague with beautiful views. It was a short walk to our hot spot destinations, had delicious eateries and shopping nearby.

When looking for an apartment (or any place to stay) we look for a few things: cleanliness, proximity to landmarks/hot spots, proximity to public transportation, wifi, and a fridge. If we can find a place that meets those requirements, we're generally happy with our stay.

What we saw: 

     The Astronomical Clock:
   
     If this landmark isn't on your list when you visit Prague, you need to make yourself a new list. This timepiece, built in 1410, aside from being beautiful, is the third oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still in operation. Every hour the chimes, music, and figurines fill the square with their centuries-old fanfare. It feels like something out of a storybook to stand and watch the clock chime and imagine hundreds of years worth of people doing the exact same thing. (You can read more about it here.)

     Open-air markets:

     Prague had one of the largest and most diverse open-air markets that I've had the chance to visit. We found watercolors, textiles, puppets, marionettes, and just about every handicraft imaginable. We came away with more than a few treasures. It was different than visiting the open-air markets in Heidelberg, Rome, or other places we had been to; it had a different variety of crafts and an altogether different atmosphere.

     Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour:

     Laugh all you like at the tourist-y nature of the hop-on-hop-off rides, but they are a great way to see a lot of the city quickly. I like to take my bus tour towards the beginning of my visit. I can scout out hot spots I would like to see later in the trip. Not to mention, that you can hop off at any hot spot that you're dying to see, and who doesn't love that? I love that.

Honorable Mention: The Zoo. I always love stopping at the zoo anyplace I visit. This zoo has a ski lift you can ride up the hillside, which is terribly fun.

Overall

Prague is a beautiful city and well worth the visit. It is filled with beautiful art and architecture and a rich history. Our trip home wasn't at dramatic as our "train ride" there (we were bused to the border where the train workers weren't on strike), but we came away with a new batch of happy memories.



1 comment:

  1. I loved Prague too....I only spent one night there, it seems you saw more than me. I love your tradition of going to the Zoo! How fun. Next time I go I will have to get one of those cute marionettes! You are adorable!

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