Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hello Prague, so nice to meet you

Day 5:  Early train to Prague, Old Town, La Degustation

The train left at 7am.  We got up early, walked to the subway station at Karlsplatz, bought some pastries and coffee, and make it to the Hauftbanhof without problems.

I bought the tickets in advance and first class was pretty cheap.  We settled into our big seats and relaxed for the 4 hour journey to Prague. I spent some time practicing my Czech. :)

We arrived at the Prague station and had to find the ATM for CZKs and buy tickets for the trams.  It's a big, modern station but it took us a few minutes to get our bearings.  It's also kind of a sketchy looking area, and we didn't have a great map.  We finally got money and tickets, walked ourselves to the tram stop, and asked locals to point us in the right direction for our stop.  We decided against getting off at Malostranska Namesti (which we had settled on before leaving home) and exited at Hellichova instead.

This took us on a meandering walk through very pretty streets to our hotel on Kampa Island.  We somehow walked right by the Lennon Wall on the way, so we didn't have to search it out again.  Win! (But we'd be using the Malostranska Namesti stop in the future)

We finally arrived at the Archibald at the Charles Bridge hotel. It is ideally situated right next to the Charles Bridge on a quiet street.  Dropped off our luggage--the rooms weren't quite ready.

We made our way over the Charles Bridge.  I find it incredible that it's been there since the 1400's! It's gorgeous.  And the views were spectacular.  It was a really pretty day.

We were hungry and walked to a couple of places listed in our guidebooks.  They were both busy or  unappealing.  Husband and G went off exploring and found The Pub.  They have beer taps at each table.  I repeat, they have beer taps at each table!  The Pilsner Urkel was the most best beer I had the entire trip.  Fresh, crisp, and delicious.  We had burgers and chicken wings and fries.  It was a great lunch!  It would have been easy to just hang there and get really drunk but we settled up and headed to the hotel to check in.

We had a really nice room
View from our room
It was still early and I wasn't ready to stay in the room.  I wanted to see the Crawling Babies and the Memorial to the Victims of Communism before the day was over.

The Crawling Babies are soooo cute!

Courtyard of  Museum Kampa

Yellow Penguins

Memorial to the Victims of Communism

On our way back to the hotel, we happened upon an open church and of course I had to go in.  It was the Church of Our Lady Victorious which is a pilgrimage church because of its smartly dressed Baby Jesus, aka Infant Jesus of Prague.  It was filled with tourists--one of whom picked up and kept my favorite winter cap that I momentarily forgot on the offering box.  :(

Baby Jesus in his red outfit

After shopping for a replacement hat, we went back to the hotel (so very conveniently located!) to change for dinner at La Degustation, a 1 Michelin star restaurant.  A short tram ride later, we were sitting down in this swanky, cool place ready for a great meal.

I really enjoyed this restaurant and appreciated that they worked to accommodate my picky palate. The food was inventive and delicious and the staff were professional and efficient.  We all liked this place very much.

We walked from La Degustation through Prague's quiet, pretty streets to Old Town Square.  The Christmas market was long closed but the tree was gleaming with thousands of lights.  It was spectacular!

We didn't wait for the impressive Astronomical clock to do its thing.  We went to Black Angels Bar for a nightcap instead.

We sat in the Piano Bar and I impressed everyone by busting out my extremely limited Czech to order red wine.  It was boss! :)

A short stroll through town and over the Bridge, we were back at the hotel for the night.  Except for having a hard time walking on her cobblestone streets, I was loving Prague!

1.  My favorite type of hotel is a quiet one in a convenient location, close to transportation for a reasonable price.  The Archibald at the Charles Bridge was this and much more.
2.  Prague's train station is modern and clean.  But figuring out how to buy tickets for the trams was confusing.
3.  Prague is filled with spectacular public art.
4.  La Degustation truly deserves its Michelin star.
5.  Old Town Square's Christmas tree may be the prettiest I've ever seen.
6.  Being able to speak a little Czech was fun!

Next:  Secrets of Prague tour, Mucha's Slav epic, Lobkowitz palace, and the Nutcracker

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back home

Day 9:  Early flight Our flight departed from Prague at 650am and we wanted at least 1.5 hours to get through check-in and security.  I bo...