A Travellerspoint blog

Czech Republic

Day 10

Second day of exploring Prague

semi-overcast 14 °C

Today we chose to take the tram to "Old Town" in Prague. We were able to wander around at our leisure and take some pictures of some of the things that caught our attention.

The first picture is of a parade of yellow penguins that guide boats into a lock on the Vltava River.

Yellow penguins showing the way to a lock

Yellow penguins showing the way to a lock

Our tram stop was right in front of Prague's National Theatre.

National Theatre

National Theatre

We noticed a shop selling beautiful glassware as we walked toward the Old Town Square.

Beautiful glassware for sale - got some reflection from the street

Beautiful glassware for sale - got some reflection from the street

We walked along with the crowds to the entrance to the Old Town Square. The church that is shown between the two buildings is St. Nicholas Church.

St Nicholas Church and crowds entering the Old Town Square

St Nicholas Church and crowds entering the Old Town Square

One of the beautiful buildings on the square is the Kinsky Palace. Today this palace houses the largest collection of Czech art.

Kinsky Palace

Kinsky Palace

The Jan Hus monument stands in front of the Kinsky Palace. This monument was erected in 1915 to honour Jan Hus, who was a Czech religious reformer. Jan Hus was executed in 1415 for his religious views.

Jan Hus Monument

Jan Hus Monument

There are many opportunities for tours at the Old Square. This is a horse and carriage opportunity.

Horses and carriage waiting for tourists

Horses and carriage waiting for tourists

This is an example of a building with beautiful frescoes on the square.

Building with beautiful frescoes

Building with beautiful frescoes

There were many entertainers on the square. Image 5221 was a woman telling stories to children. Image 5236 shows two men dressed up as statues - we call this street art. Image 5237 shows a man who could release numerous bubbles at one time much to the amusement of the children (and the children at heart).

Lady telling stories

Lady telling stories


Street Art

Street Art


Bubble Blower

Bubble Blower

Image 5226 is of the Municipal House which is in the Old Town area. It has a concert hall called Smetana Hall which hosts many wonderful concerts.

Municipal building

Municipal building

We also saw some toy stores. Reta thought the clown on the wall was interesting. We overhead a man explaining to his fellow tourists that this vole was a character that was a favourite of children when he was growing up.

Clown on wall

Clown on wall

Vole character from children stories

Vole character from children stories

Art commented that that vole did not look like the ones that eat our lawn during the winter.

Reta kept spotting a fountain from the tour buses we were on yesterday but the buses never slowed down enough to take a photo. We looked this fountain up on the internet last night and found the name of the square that this fountain is in. We went to the tourist information office in the Old Town Square and asked for information about where this square was. It seemed to be close by so we decided to walk there. When we got to that square we found that it was a parking lot. We were disappointed and walked on thinking we had not understood where it was. Eventually we gave up and walked back to the tourist information office. When we explained what exactly we wanted to see, they said that it was not a famous fountain but that we just needed to walk a bit further along that same street as the car park and we would find it. So, off we went and sure enough, there it was. Reta feels that this is a beautiful fountain and well worth a picture. This fountain depicts four of the most famous rivers in the world. The Mandolin represents the Indian Ganges. The Flute represents the Amazon. The violin represents the Danube and the trumpet represents the Mississippi. The fifth character which is away from the fountain shows a man trying to free himself from fetters and represents the Nile (not sure I understand that one).

Dancing fountain, Czech musicians

Dancing fountain, Czech musicians

Fifth figure separated from fountain

Fifth figure separated from fountain

We stopped for a treat at one of the restaurants on the Old Town Square. Our sister-in-law, Laurie, highly recommended such a treat. It was a little windy and colder than yesterday so we found a restaurant with outside tables that had a covering and heaters. We enjoyed a delicious piece of cake each. The cake was cream filled and topped with berries. It was a very yummy treat. Art had apple juice and Reta had Americano coffee. Our waiter was kind enough to take our photo.

Special treat

Special treat

After our treat we walked back to our tram stop and rode home. We noticed this meridian marker on the square as we walked by. We looked it up when we got back to our apartment and found that it was used in conjunction with the shadow from a near-by tower, Marian Tower, to tell time back in 1652. The shadow showed when noon was. This was used until the early 1900's.

Prague meridian

Prague meridian

On our tram trip home we noticed a more modern spire in the "City of Spires".

Modern spires

Modern spires

Tomorrow we are off to Budapest.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:54 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Day 9

Our first day of touring Prague

semi-overcast 22 °C

We left our apartment feeling assured that we would find our way back. We send along a picture of our car in front of our building.

Our car in front of our apartment building

Our car in front of our apartment building

We walked down to the closest tram station and rode to the main central train station in Prague. We were able to walk from there to a ticket booth to buy Hop On/Hop Off tickets. We had a bit of a wait for the bus to arrive so Reta took some street scene photos.

Street scene in Prague

Street scene in Prague

Our bus arrived and we took the "green route tour".

Roof line art

Roof line art


Prague city skyline with many spires

Prague city skyline with many spires

Prague is known as the city of a thousand spires. Our picture just shows a few.

We got to the Vltava River (known as the Moldau River in German) which runs through Prague. We got off the bus tour to take a river cruise. We got there too late and watched the boat leave without us so we found a nice bench and ate our lunch.

River cruise boat left without us

River cruise boat left without us

These are two views we had from our lunch spot. The first is of the Charles Bridge which is one of the famous Prague sights. The other is of the Prague Castle which sits on 45 hectares of land. This castle has been in use since 870 AD. It is made up of palaces, offices, fortifications, churches and gardens.

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

The Prague Castle

The Prague Castle

We finally got on our river cruise and learned about the history of the river and the buildings that line it. Along the way we saw a beach where people were feeding swans.

People feeding the swans along the Vltava River

People feeding the swans along the Vltava River

After our river cruise we got back on the green line tour and then got on the red line tour. It is hard to take pictures from these tours so we have little to share. The good thing about the tour company we chose is that they use smaller buses and the commentary is available in English. The bad thing is that they drive on the cobble stone streets and a person feels pretty shook up by the time you are done.

The weather was much sunnier and warmer than we anticipated. Art is sporting a new sunburned face.

We found our tram back to our tram station and walked back to our apartment.

We then got in the car and drove to a grocery store to buy supplies for tonight and tomorrow. It is interesting shopping for groceries when you do not know the Czech words on the labels. We did OK. The only misstep we made was when we thought we were buying frozen potatoes and it turned out that it was breaded Edam cheese balls. They were OK but it made for an interesting supper/dinner.

More Prague tomorrow.

Posted by A-RPoulton 12:46 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

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