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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Prague On

 The idea was to take the tram to the castle and cathedral today and do a little less walking. Here's a shot of the first stop where we got off the tram realizing we were going past where we wanted to go. We got to the next stop to transfer to the 22 tram line. We did see the tram, but it went up the hill near us then down the street from where we were standing.
  Matthew said we should cross the street (again) and stand over on the side of the hill, though I said it wasn't a tram stop, He apparently had faith he could flag down the we waited for about 15 minutes or more for another 22 tram to fly by. Back to the real stop where there were only trams with other numbers. Finally as I shrugged at one tram driver, he opened the door and asked where we were trying to go. He said to get to the 22, we had to walk back over to the hill where we'd been and walk up to the station from there. But then we'd only be one stop from where the castle was. So much for not walking much today.
 We decided to enter through the first castle opening we came to and walk through the gardens, They were lovely and provided a nice first view of the enormous cathedral built by Charles in the 14 C. Once inside, the cathedral is breathtakingly huge with high Gothic architecture and brilliant, vibrant stained glass. We made our way around the many tour groups in all languages. The place is seriously crawling with tourists.
 My iPhone camera doesn't take the best photos of far-away details, but the pictures do show the vibrancy of color.
 We didn't see much of the castle because it was hot, stuffy, and crowded with mooooo..oh, I mean tours.

After seeing some of the castle and the cathedral, we made our way to a place Rick Steves recommends for lunch with a view of the valley. We actually ended up sitting in the upper terrace, but it was nice out there and the food was very good. I had tomato soup followed by an orzo salad with pine nuts, goat cheese, and tiny fava beans and the best lemon tart I've ever had. Matthew had chicken schnitzel. I don't like schnitzel, but this was delicious. Even his beer was dressed up in a fancy glass.

 We found the correct tram returning us to the closest stop to our neighborhood and made our way back. We'd been out over 6 hours and were tired. We have a nice apartment for relaxing...I generally read, play a game, or write the blog; Matthew reads for a minute or two then sleeps.
 We did another famous walk (which means we took a longer route than necessary and ended up spending more time on cobblestones than necessary) to dinner. We were back across from the Spanish Synagogue. We got a table right near an open window...good if no one is smoking outside, but they can also be smoking near you inside as well,
 This was a typical Czech dinner, so we shared a green salad (not the easiest thing to find here) and a traditional Bohemian platter. And our table looked like this for about 45 minutes more:
  Salad had fresh greens and lots of goat cheese. No dressing, but spray bottles of oil and vinegar on the side.
  Where to start? Quarter of a large duck, sausage, ham, Bohemian sparrows (pork), two kinds/colors of cooked braised cabbage, and those white things are bread dumplings in 3 shapes and types. The littlest ones were gummy. We SHARED's not necessarily ordered for 2 people.

 Today we vegged at the apartment over coffee and breakfast, then discovered we had no hot water, I emailed management and they had someone here within 5 min. to reset it. I have been very happy with Prague City Apartments and will recommend them as well as use them again if we/I return. 
These for-hire cars are everywhere tourists are. They have double seats facing each other and today when it started raining, they put the tops up, otherwise, they're open. I thought it would have been fun to ride in one, but apparently only I thought so and didn't insist. We never even asked how much they charge...instead walking everywhere. Yeah, better for us, I know. And hey, it doesn't cost anything.   

We shopped around today then went to see the 3-bedroom apartment this company has in another building in the Jewish quarter. The building was built in the 19th century and is beautiful. The apartment was also beautiful and extremely spacious. I checked prices for that and a 2-bedroom, so we'll see how serious I am about leading a group back here next year.
 When we were out today, I saw finished jewelry pieces for sale made by the same factory where I bought all those lampwork beads. It was cool to see the work elsewhere.
 Time to figure out how in the world I'm getting all those beads into my suitcase and carry-on.              Onward to Krakow tomorrow morning. 
It's supposed to rain.

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