PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC


(Czech Republic Flag)


(Map of Czech Republic)

MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011:

It was about a four hour drive to Prague from Rosenburg Castle in Austria.



All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

The first thing we did in Prague was check into the Intercontinental Hotel.
It was a beautiful hotel on the bank of the Vltava River.
The lower right picture was taken from the roof of the hotel looking toward Old Town Square.
Intercontinental Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic Intercontinental Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic View from Intercontinental Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic

Dinner was on our own this evening. After dinner it was time to see Prague by night.
We got a very nice view of the city at dusk from Malá Strana.
Panoramic view of Prague at dusk Panoramic view of Prague at dusk Panoramic view of Prague at dusk

We went to a pub for a drink and some music and then walked over to the Charles Bridge.
Charles Bridge is a stone Gothic bridge that connects the Old Town and Malá Strana.
Its construction was commissioned by Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and began in 1357.
Prague's Charles Bridge at sunset Prague's Castle Hill at night Prague's Castle Hill at night

After walking across the Charles Bridge we walked over to the Old Town Square.
From here it was just a couple blocks walk back to the hotel for the night.
Prague's Old Town Hall at night Prague's Tın Church at night Prague's St. Nicholas Church Old Town Square at night

The video below is 2 minutes long and is a report on my accomodations in Prague.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON JULY 25, 2011
This morning we left Vienna and headed to Rosenburg Castle which is about an hour north of Vienna.

Rosenburg Castle

When we left Vienna it was raining but by the time we reached the castle it had stopped. The weather continued to clear and it finally became a beautiful day. We were able to tour the castle on our own without any long-winded tour guides, always a big plus. After exiting the castle we gathered in the courtyard for a falconry performance. Falcons, eagles, owls, vultures and ravens were handled by their trainers and flew all around the courtyard. The birds created quite a breeze as they flew just inches over our heads.

Falconry Show at Rosenburg Castle

After the falconry show we had a delicious lunch at the restaurant adjacent to the castle. After lunch we hit the road. About an hour north of the castle we left Austria and entered the Czech Republic. It was about a four hour drive to Prague from the castle. Most of the drive was on a small two-lane highway where we passed through small villages and towns. A very scenic drive and everyone was delighted that the sun was finally shining. We got to the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague just after 5:00. As always, Princess has picked the best place in town for us to stay. Right on the river in downtown within easy walking distance of the major attractions. Below is the hotel shot from one of the bridges over the river.

Intercontinental Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic

Tonight as the sun was setting we took a tour of the city. We stopped at a scenic spot atop castle hill for a great view of the city. I didn't like Vienna all that much, but it would be hard to decide my favorite between Prague and Budapest, I love both these cities.

Panoramic view of Prague at dusk

After admiring the view for a while, Marco, our friendly bus driver, dropped us at a local pub for a beer. The Czechs are very proud of the fact that they drink more beer per person than any other country on Earth. After the leaving the pub it had just gotten dark and we finished the rest of the tour on foot. We walked by some very classy statues such as the one below. You can't tell by the picture, but the hips on these gentlemen move from side to side.



We walked to the most famous spot in the city, the Charles Bridge.

Prague's Charles Bridge at sunset

The city is nicely illuminated at night. Walking over the Charles Bridge was spectacular.

Prague's Castle Hill at night

Below is the castle that we will be visiting tomorrow.

Prague's Castle Hill at night

It was a great day. According to the forecast the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow as well. We will be spending the entire day in Prague.

Tim





TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011:

First thing Tuesday Morning we visited Prague Castle.
Prague Castle dominates the skyline all around the city. Prague Castle is where the Czech kings,
Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices
and it is still used as the work place and offical residence of the President.
The full name of the cathedral is St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral.
Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings, this cathedral is an
excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country.
Prague Castle is one of the biggest castles in the world.
Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral Prague Castle Prague Castle Gate

After spending the morning at Prague Castle we had the rest of the day to ourselves.
I had a blast walking around this beautiful city for the rest of the day.
First I walked through the Jewish Quarter over to Old Town Square.
Prague's Jewish Quarter Old New Synagogue The streets of Prague

The Old town Square is located in the centre of Prague.
Located between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge, Prague’s Old Town Square bursts at the seams with tourists.
Prague's Old Town Square Prague's Old Town Square Prague's Old Town Square

Featuring various architectural styles including the Gothic Tın Cathedral and baroque St. Nicholas Church,
the square is an oasis for travelers wearied by Prague’s narrow streets.
St. Nicholas Church Old Town Square Church of Our Lady Before Tın Buildings on Prague's Old Town Square

The first houses were built around the Old Town Square in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Old Town City Hall was built in the 14th century and the Church of Our Lady before Tın a little later.
Buildings on Prague's Old Town Square Buildings on Prague's Old Town Square Prague's Old Town Square

The medieval astronomical clock adorns the southern wall of the Old Town City Hall. It announces every hour
with 12 apostles passing by the window above the astronomical dial and with symbolic sculptures moving aside.
Prague's Old Town Hall The Astronomical Clock Prague's Old Town Hall

The tower at the Old Town Hall offers a panoramic view of city.
View of Prague from the top of the Old Town Hall Tower View of Prague from the top of the Old Town Hall Tower View of Prague from the top of the Old Town Hall Tower

After spending some considerable time around Old Town Square I walked over to Charles Bridge.
The streets of Prague The streets of Prague The streets of Prague

Charles Bridge in Czech is Karluv Most (Most being bridge in Czech) is the most famous historical bridge Prague.
Building by Charles Bridge Prague's Charles Bridge Prague's Charles Bridge

From Charles Bridge visitors enjoy fairytale views of the Prague skyline. The wide expanse of the river flows beneath it,
flanked on both sides by elegant buildings. Prague Castle towers above in its eminent position.
Vltava River from Chalres Bridge Castle Hill from Charles Bridge Vltava River from Chalres Bridge

There are 30 statues on the bridge most of them from the beginning of the 1700's.
Prague's Charles Bridge Vltava River from Chalres Bridge Castle Hill from Charles Bridge

This magnificent structure is one of the city's finest attractions,
and is the main pedestrian route connecting the Old Town with the Lesser Town (Malá Strana).
Prague's Charles Bridge Lesser Town St. Nicholas Church Lesser Town Square

Mostecka Street leads from the Charles Bridge to the Lesser Town Square.
The coronation parades of Bohemian Kings went this way in the past and they continued through the
Lesser Town Square up the Nerudova street to the Prague Castle. It is called The Royal Way.
Lesser Town Square Lesser Town Prague's Charles Bridge

I walked back across the Charles bridge after leaving Lesser Town. I then walked along the river back to the hotel.
I passed Charles University, the Rudolfinum and the Manes Bridge along the way.
I would have loved to have had more time to spend in this city.
Prague's Charles University Prague's Rudolfinum Prague's Manes Bridge

The video below is 44 minutes long and covers my 2-day stay in Prague.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON JULY 26, 2011
This morning I visited Hradcany Castle with the group.

Castle Hill from Charles Bridge

We visited the beautiful cathedral and watched the changing of the guard.

Prague Castle Gate

I had the rest of the day to myself. First of all I walked to the old town square and climbed to the top of the clock tower.

Prague's Old Town Hall

I got a nice view of Prague from the top of the clock tower.

View of Prague from the top of the Old Town Hall Tower

Below is looking down on town square.

View of Prague from the top of the Old Town Hall Tower

Below is town square from ground level.

Prague's Old Town Square

Below are some shops along the cobblestone streets of Prague.

The streets of Prague

I continued my walk over to Charles Bridge where I was last night.

Prague's Charles Bridge

The cornerstone for the bridge was laid on September 7, 1357 at 5:31 which is a pyramid of odd numbers. The pedestrian only bridge is lined with monuments and is very crowed with people. At times you can hardly move.

Prague's Charles Bridge

Below is a view of the river from the bridge.

Vltava River from Chalres Bridge

Below is a busy square on the other side of the river.

St. Nicholas Church Lesser Town Square

Tomorrow we're moving on to Germany which is the last stop on our land tour before boarding the ship in Copenhagen on Friday afternoon. Our first port on the cruise is supposed to be Oslo, Norway on Saturday. We have not heard whether the awful terrorist attack there will have any effect on our visit.

Tim


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