Christma Vacation 2015 – Days 7, 8, & 9

PRAGUE

Prague…. I would go back tomorrow if I could… I would stay there for weeks if I could… Prague was something special. It was a fight to get there though – car broke down 25 minutes from Nuremberg, with almost 3hrs left in our drive. Found a very nice man who helped us, brought us to his friend’s garage, and fixed our car for 20euro. John gave him 30. I mean, it’s Christmas Day, here he is open for us, and actually fixed our car! Back home, anyone would have charged at least 150-200$!

After a 3 hour delay, back on the road we went. When researching Prague, every article said to find a hotel in Old Town, and not in the new area. So we did that. Finally find parking, and check-in. The receptionist told us our room was on the fifth floor, and to wait as someone would show us to our room. Weird, but whatever. When she showed us, we understood. Elevator to the second floor. Walk down two long hallways (where you need your room key to get past each door), up another elevator to the fifth floor, through a door, down a looooong hallway – room at the very end! Then to attempt this again with all our luggage. Took us about twenty minutes to find our room the second time. When we left our hotel for the evening, John asked me if I wanted to watch the movie Hostel when we got back – he got smacked, and hard! That’s exactly what our hotel reminded us of. (I actually had to look up the movie to calm my mind a little to find out it was actually in Slovenia, and not Czech Republic – phew!). Literally from our hotel room we saw the Church of Our Lady of Tyn. That view, along with the sunset was beautiful.

Again, a big thing about Prague is that the Christmas markets are open on Christmas Day. How much better can that get – going to Prague on Christmas Day, and drinking Gluhwein at a Christmas Market. On the drive (once the car was working) we stopped at McDonalds for ice cream, so at this point we were starving. We were looking for a “nice” restaurant to eat, as it is Christmas Day! Saw a Hard Rock Café, so as we are heading to it, I notice a bar next door called Coyotes – as in Coyote Ugly, the movie. Find out the kids can actually go in, so that was our Christmas Night meal – burgers and pizza at Coyote Ugly! Sounds odd, but it was exactly what we needed after the day we’d had! The bar shows only start at 10:00 at night, so nothing inappropriate for kids at all!!

After a very good sleep, we started our next day early and “wandered”. Found another market, the National Museum, and literally just “got lost”. Ended up finding the St. Charles Bridge (exactly where we wanted to end up all along)!! Prague Castle was what we wanted, but being the time it was (by now it was already 2:30, and the castle closed around 4:00), I didn’t want to rush it. We walked the long steep walk to the Petrin Tower (mini Eiffel Tower), then the steep walk to the top of the tower. Worth the admission price! The views from the top of the Tower are amazing. You see everything. Kids and I stayed away from the edges; as everyone knows, boys know no fear. Got back around 8:30, and slept very well once again.

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Next morning we started right for the castle. Walk over the St. Charles Bridge again, up another 200 or so steps, at the castle doors we arrived. Upon arrival, you notice that the castle is more like a “fort”. Inside the castle walls is almost a small village in itself. First stop, was the cathedral. Doors only opened at noon (didn’t know that), so we waited about a half an hour. Once getting inside, the place is massive! I have been in a lot of churches in my life, and have never seen so many statues in one before (at least that I remember….). Onto another church, and upon leaving, you walk outside right into a Christmas Market – that was my favorite! Wine, AGAIN (of course…) was had, and keep exploring. Found a museum which had armour, and even a torture room. John shot a bow and arrow (and did quite good!).

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Lunch.. We found a medieval looking place on the walk to the castle called U krále Brabantského. You eat in candlelight. At lunch they are not so “picky”, but for supper time you get “smacked” if you use your phone or any electronic device. This is one of the oldest pubs in Prague. Beer was excellent, but food portions were smaller than expected. Overall, totally worth it!

Another big thing in Prague at the markets is called Trdelník. It is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix. I read that this was a don’t-miss snack in Prague, and it’s true. Delicious!

Leaving Prague actually made me sad. I did not want to leave. I was not disappointed in missing anything, I just fell in love. I had not yet been to a city I “fell in love” with, but Prague I did. The atmosphere of the entire city is just something special. If someone asked me to go back, I would do whatever possible to get back ASAP!!!!

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