We arrived in Prague by bus from Nuremberg around 7 PM and was driven to our hotel, the Intercontinental right on the waterfront, by the driver that I had arranged prior to our visit through the hotel.
The hotel has the appearance of a Soviet era building, very unattractive and sterile on the outside but was very modern on the inside. As we were being checked in we were told that we had been upgraded to a Junior Executive Suite since I was Platinum Elite. No, I don’t stay in hotels very often but having the IHG credit card gives me automatic platinum status. Our room was very nice and large, especially by European standards.
We dropped off our luggage and headed out to follow our driver’s recommendation of where we should have our dinner. We went to VKolkovne which seemed to be a gathering place for after work drinks and dinner for residents of Prague. Our hotel was unable to make reservations for us but we decided to walk over and see if we could get seated which we did with no wait! Food was delicious and the beer was even better. I became a beer drinker on this trip when I quickly realized that beer was less expensive than wine and even water!
After dinner we went exploring. We walked over to Old Town Square. The historic center of Prague is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of many that I was sure that we would visit during this trip. Many people where many people were waiting in the dark for the Prague Astronomical Clock to strike on the hour. This clock was installed on a wall on the Old Town City Hall in 1410. When the clock strikes on the hour there is a Walk of the Apostles showing the figures of the Apostles and other figures including Death. Once all the figures came out, the crowd around it seemed to disburse though the square remained lively.
Food vendors were around the square with an array of food included a version of fried dough slathered with garlic butter and topped with a generous amount of shredded cheese. My other favorite street food was chimney stacks which is like having dough wrapped in strips around a metal cylinder and then cooked over coals. It is topped with cinnamon sugar and you can peel off the strips one layer at a time.
For our first full morning we headed over to Old Town Hall Square to take a Free Walking Tour. They seem to all advertise themselves by holding up an umbrella – different colors for different tour companies. There are several companies that do this and you need to find the one that you are comfortable with. My recommendation is to talk to the person who is actually going to be doing your tour. Blogger Hubby found that some guides had a heavier accent than others did and he wanted a guide that he could have an easier time hearing and understanding. We found a tour guide holding a Green Umbrella and he was from Seattle, Washington. We determined that he was the “perfect” guide for us. We were very happy with our decision, the amount of information he passed on to us and our entire tour. It was shorter than some of the other umbrella companies but that is only because we took a shorter break than others did. If you look at his umbrella it shows the countries where English is the primary language.
We needed to get back to our hotel by 1:30 since we had booked a Czech cooking lesson for the afternoon and evening in our hostess’ home. My next blog will tell you all about our experience.
Fun Fact: Many South Korean bridal catalogs shoot their photographs for the catalogs in Prague. We saw many “fake” weddings in the square and in front of the astronomical clock. Who knew!
A few more pictures from Prague featuring some of their more beautiful buildings: