Friday, July 5, 2013

Picturesque Prague: Sights

Warning: This is gonna be a long picture-filled post. There’s so much to share - in words and in pictures- about Prague. But I don’t want to spoil your trip. So this is the condensed version of my Prague adventure.  

For the itinerary, please check days 2-4 of my EU II Itinerary.

Day 2
AM - Arrival in Prague. Explore Old Town Square, Charles Square and Wenceslas Square
Day 3
Prague Castle. Watched music concert.
Prague Food Festival outside Prague Castle
Day 4
Petrin Hill and Jewish Quarters.
Old Town Again. Souvenir Shopping. Fred and Ginger Dancing House.

Getting Around
The hostel is in Melounouva 3, one tram ride away from the hostel. Riding the tram was no hassle at all, it was very convenient. We bought the 72-hour pass upon arrival inRuzyne airport – CZK 310.

It was a gloomy day. Prague’s weather wasn’t smiling with us.

Practicing the smiles and poses

We navigated the cobblestoned roads of the Old City until we reached the center. Hello Prague. Out comes our umbrellas.

Some payong shots.

It was a lot to take in: old and new. There were loads of people (tourists and locals) even though it was raining. The Old Town was easy to navigate using the tourist map we got from the hostel. There are lots of side streets, but all corners seem to filled with tourists, you'll know you're still in the city center.

With our wet toes, we navigated our way to the Charles Bridge. Just follow the map, or the crowd. The weather let up a bit from here.

May singit sa likod!
Against the light shots
At the other end of the bridge.
We were looking for a restaurant at the other side... which we didn't find. We just went back to the Old Town; the weather was much nicer. No-payong shots.

Astronomical Clock 

I climbed the tower - CZK 100. I had to line up for a bit in the elevator. The view on top shows the magnificence of the city.

Prague Castle

*Theme song: Don’t Rain In My Parade*

Lots of tourists here. Glad that we were able walk ahead of them, it definitely saved us some time in the lines. We each got the short visit ticket (CZK 250) and the photo ticket (CZK 50).

We took tram 22 going up to Prague Castle. It wasn’t that hard to find, the crowd was going there anyway. There were lots of crowds.

On impulse, we bought ticket to the concert costing CZK 390. It was recommended by Tripadvisor  - according to the sign. We had time to go around the souvenir shop and some bathroom break before the concert started. The concert was pretty pleasant. They had two performers only - they played classical pieces. They played the usual piano recital pieces (Minuet, Musette) and other notably classical ones. It reminded me a lot about my piano recital days.

More walking in the gardens.

Takpan ang trash can and then smile!

Luckily, the Prague Food Festival was held in the Castle Gardens. We bought tickets (CZK 450), and got some coupons that we can use to buy food inside. There are booths of famous (or we think are famous) Prague restaurants.

Petrin Hill
Take a tram to Ujezd (trams 12, 20, 22, 57). Then follow the map going to the funicular, and be guided by the signs. Or follow the crowd. You can always ask the locals, if you get lost.

This reminded me a lot of Tagaytay Highlands.

We rode with this grandpa-ish guy from Ireland.

Him: *telling a story*... I landed in Amsterdam airport. Schiphol airport is the European hub for lots of lights. Do you girls know what “hub” is?
Us: Yes
Him: My nephew went to ____. Do you know what “nephew” is?
Us: Yes *exerting maximum effort NOT to roll our eyes* 
It was irritating and amusing at the same time that he was so considerate on our English comprehension.

It was raining when we got up there. The tower was still closed - we were too early. The rain made us impatient. We didn't bother going up, we just took a couple of photos and left to explore the rest of Prague instead.

Lesser Town/Mala Strana

We got lost trying to find the Lennon Wall. A couple of locals and tourists pointed us to the right way. I eavesdropped on the tale of a tour guide of another group (o di ba, free tour na rin?). This was once a normal wall. When John Lennon died, the locals filled the wall with Lennon/Beatles inspired graffiti. The government painted over this. Then the locals painted again. Then the government painted over that again. The locals kept on painting graffiti. The locals prevailed. 

Me against the Lennon Wall. MMDA Art? Not.

Fred and Ginger Dancing House
This will be your favorite building. We found the Fred and Ginger Building/ Dancing House, just a couple of blocks away from our hostel. This is a refreshing and intriguing view, different from all the Gothic/Baroque/classic picturesque buildings in Prague. 

Prague at Night
Marj didn't feel like wandering around town at night. The introvert in me actually looked forward to some solo time. Time to practice that "Can you take my photo?" phrase?

Prague is, dare I say, the most picturesque city I've been to. Such prettiness, and this was our first city! Charge your batteries!

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