Posted by: digibirder | April 26, 2009

Prague part 2

Day 2 – Sunday 29th March.

I woke with a bit of a headache – probably tiredness from the hectic day the day before – so we were later down to breakfast than we would have liked. We were also a bit shell-shocked as a result of the clocks going forward for daylight saving time, this being in addition to already putting our clocks forward for Prague being an hour in front of the UK. Also, the weather had taken a turn for the worse, having been glorious on the Saturday, so that didn’t raise our hopes for our sightseeing. However, we persevered and walked to a couple of sites not far from the hotel.

First stop was the Emmaus Monastery, which we had seen illuminated the previous evening from the river-boat trip. The building was burned down in 1945 as a result of a bombing attack by British and American forces (I did read that it was an error, as they thought they were over Germany! Not sure how true that is). The Gothic monastery church was restored in 1967 and given some very modern-looking concrete spires, which appear a little strange with the older buildings. It looked a lot more impressive illuminated.

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Looking towards the Castle and St Vitus Cathedral and Petrin Hill

Looking towards the Castle and St Vitus Cathedral and Petrin Hill

We then walked to see the unusual Dancing House, otherwise known as the ‘Fred & Ginger’ building. It’s certainly a contrast to the classical buildings surrounding it. It was difficult to get a photo without the overhead tram wires and traffic, as it was right on a busy junction.

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We then caught a tram to the Old Town and had another wander around. We crossed the Charles Bridge and explored Kampa Island, a small area of land bordered by the Vltava River on one side and a stream on the other. The stream was created in the 12th century as a mill-race, so it’s a man-made island. The weather did improve slightly, but there was more light rain on and off throughout the day.

View from Charles Bridge

View from Charles Bridge


Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge


Kampa Island from Charles Bridge

Kampa Island from Charles Bridge


Charles Bridge from Kampa Island

Charles Bridge from Kampa Island


Looking back towards the Charles Bridge

Looking back towards the Charles Bridge


Sculptures at Kampa Museum

Sculptures at Kampa Museum


Charles Bridge from the Kampa Museum

Charles Bridge from the Kampa Museum


The mill-race stream, known as the Devil's Stream

The mill-race stream, known as the Devil's Stream

On Kampa Island there are a few embassy buildings, and some of them had quite ornate doorways. I can’t remember what place this was. I didn’t hang around very long after taking the photo!

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And there were some unusual sights. This was outside a café. The gold snake on the wall signifies that this house was called the Golden Serpent House, a way of addressing a building before numbering came into being. And notice the numbers – one blue and one red. The red one is the original plot number from when the land was first built on, and the blue one is a more modern addition. Heaven help the poor postmen!

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Looking up to Kampa Square from outside the building in the previous shot

Looking up to Kampa Square from outside the building in the previous shot


A quiet back street

A quiet back street

Then it was back over to the other side of the river again to find some lunch. We decided to go into the place where we had picked up some food on the guided walk the day before. This time we sat inside and had a delicious sandwich and a piece of cake. Just around the corner was the Jewish Quarter, where the previous day we had noticed some jewellery shops. The plan was to get something made from Czech garnets for my birthday present. We managed to get a lovely necklace, and I bought myself some earrings to match. There was also lots of amber, but it was more expensive than in Poland, so I only bought a ring.

Another decorative building

Another decorative building


A restaurant in the Jewish Quarter

A restaurant in the Jewish Quarter

We then continued our walk in the area around the Old Town Square.

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We were getting a bit tired by this time, and we needed to collect some strong tape from somewhere (my case had taken a beating by the airport baggage handlers and needed some repairs before re-packing). We were told by the hotel receptionist that there was a Tesco not too far away, so we caught the tram back to the hotel, stopping off at said supermarket on the way. It was very different – more like a department store, with six floors selling many items not sold in Tescos here.

After a bit of a rest, and repairing my suitcase, we wandered down the road a short distance to Pizzeria Carlo where we had a delicious meal. We thought we would give Czech food a wide berth, going on the results of the buffet cruise on Saturday night. It seems they have dumplings of one type or another with pork dishes – not very inspiring. I suppose in a proper restaurant we might have had something a little more tasty, but we didn’t want to risk it.

Then early to bed, as VERY tired.

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Responses

  1. we didn’t want to risk it? pah!!

    liked the dancing building imparticular. nice sequence of photos though

    you are never far from a Tesco are you?

  2. Whadya mean, pah?? The cuisine was very uninspiring, to say the least. That, and the fact that hardly any of the dishes on the menus were translated into English, in most places anyway, so you never knew what you might get.

    The Dancing Building was quite impressive close up.

    Tesco do seem to be taking over the world.

  3. I’m really enjoying your visit to Prague.

    The dancing building is really fascinating! Looks as though it shouldn’t be able to stay upright!


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