Seeing as how Prague is less than 4 hours from Munich, it was high time that PC and I paid it a visit. So, we jumped in the mini and spent an amazing couple of days in the Czech Republic.
side note: The trip to Prague took a little longer than 4 hours due to a certain male counterpart realizing that he had forgotten his passport an hour into the drive. silly silly.
Arriving in Bohemia, we checked into our floating hotel on the Vlatva river, and marveled at this beautiful city.
Prague has been called the “City of a Thousand Spires”, and from above you are certainly dazzled by it’s graceful skyline. However, from street level, you are similarly stunned by the beautiful art nouveau architecture adorning an astonishing number of its buildings. You can easily forget that this place was brutally conquered by Nazis, oppressed under Communism and is still asserting itself as an independent nation.
After a quick pick me up from Starbucks, we walked to the Old Towne Center to see the famous Astrological Clock.
We then strolled on down to Wenceslas Square. Good Ol’ King Wenceslas of Christmas Carol fame is the patron saint of Prague. This square has hosted demonstrations, gatherings, meetings and revolutions for Czechs. By the way, the Czechs definitely win for the coolest revolution name. The Velvet Revolution. sexy.
Whilst walking around Prague, this bank caught PC’s eye. Really? Is that the best title they could come up with? MoneyBank…nice.
Speaking of money, even though Prague is a member of the EU, they still use their own currency. We could not recall the name of their money, so PC dubbed it “Prahgees”. I think it’s sounds better than Koruna.
After our walking tour, we decided to spend a few Prahgees on a nice dinner on our botel.
We also had to investigate the original Budweiser. I’m not informed regarding the Czech Budweiser vs. US Budweiser dispute, but I will rule in favor of Budweiser Budvar on the count of taste. At night, the city uses strategically placed spotlights on its most important buildings. It’s such a small thing, but it makes a beautiful and dramatic difference. The city remains serene and romantic to casual dawdlers, while it also accommodates wild party-goers seeking out Absinth and five-story clubs.
The next morning, we wanted to tour the massive Prague Castle complex.
We decided to cross the tourist laden Charles Bridge.
trying to avoid the loud Americans
First stop inside the castle was St. Vitus Cathedral.
Needing sustenance, we searched for a restaurant with a view. We were not disappointed.
For dessert, we indulged in Trdelník, a traditional, cylindrical pastry.
We toured the Lobkowicz Palace. This was incredible, and I cannot recommend it more vigorously. Entry includes a fantastic and essential audio tour. Basically, this palace belongs to the Lobkowicz family, a royal Czech family dating back to the 14th Century.
Anyways, the family has twice had to flee and forfeit possession of it’s incredible collections and property. First with the Nazis, and second with the Communists. The Lobkowicz’s fled to America in 1948, but returned in 1990 when the Communist rule had ended.
At this point, William Lobkowicz, this guy who was born and bred in Massachusetts suddenly finds himself filing paperwork and launching legal proceedings to reclaim over ten castles and palaces, among the thousands of incredible collections his illustrious family had owned. This includes original manuscripts from Beethoven and Mozart, paintings, weapons and lots of other cool stuff.
Obviously, the family has long since possessed the kind of income that the Princes of Bohemia had in the past, so the restitution of the family’s treasures is an ongoing and costly struggle. The collection was astounding, and the family story is fascinating. I could go on and on, but if you’d like to know more about the Lobkowicz family you can visit this site.
On our last day, we saw a few other cool sites like the Fred and Ginger building.
We also made time for some pedal boat action on the river. PC’s long frame made pedaling a little difficult without massive shin bruising. However, it was still a relaxing and tranquil break from the cobblestones.
It was difficult to say goodbye to this city.
Easter break is over, sending me back to the classroom, but I’ll be reminiscing about this trip for awhile.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend!