Day One in Prague, Czech Republic
After a 3:00AM wake-up call, we were off to a rather groggy but excited start. Having packed beforehand, we got dressed quickly and set out of the flat by ten minutes to 4:00AM to catch the N38 bus near Holborn to Victoria station. As luck would have it, we made it in the nick of time… this would be a fortunate pattern for the day ahead. After making it to Victoria Station, we jumped on the Gatwick Express and rode to Gatwick Airport to make our 6:10AM flight. Eek. I can confidently say that my choice in booking a flight that early in the morning did not make me the most popular person.
Despite the lines, unhelpful staff, and the overall stress of early morning airport runs, we made it aboard the plane and landed in Prague by 9:30AM. We quickly secured a ride to our hotel in Central Prague for £15 and were hitting the streets shortly after.
We all enjoyed the novelty of running around with hundreds and hundreds of Czech koruna in our pockets… with the exchange rate, it really only equated to roughly $75 – $100. By the time we wandered into Old Town, we were enthralled with the architecture and the palpable differences between Western and Eastern Europe. There’s a noticeable difference being in this part of Europe and it’s a nice change for our mostly Western European focused trip.
We stumbled upon a fun German-style market in the middle of Old Town Square near Tyn Church while wandering. After seeing the Astronomical Clock at Town Hall and a number of other sites, we perused the market. One of my favorite things when traveling is to experience local markets, whether they’re a special set up for the holidays or a more local meeting ground. I grabbed a crepe while Tiff snacked on Czech fare and dad focused his sights on sipping a couple of beers from the stands. Though I’m not a beer drinker, his five beers from the afternoon would lead me to believe that Prague is home to some good beer. Plus, when beer costs the same as water (seriously), it’s not a hard sell.
We made our way to Prague Castle by way of Charles Bridge next to get a glimpse of St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy the spectacular view from the top. The castle and St. Vitus’ are stunning and absolute musts for visitors to the city. The structures are huge and ornate and represent a type of architecture that you don’t see often in Western Europe. The sculptures in the cathedral were pretty remarkable and the stained glass was unparalleled. Even after all of the gorgeous stained glass in British churches, this place left us in awe.
After viewing the cathedral and glimpsing the views from the castle, we headed back down through the market so my sister and dad could enjoy some Czech beer before we had dinner in the Prague sunshine. A perfect day.
We wandered the streets for a while and found our way home fairly early after a long, long day. We relaxed for a few hours before heading out for late night drinks at a local eatery. As a testament to Prague’s affordability, get this: four drinks, a coffee and two delicious desserts: $20. A nice change of pace from London prices.
Check back as we make our way to Kutna Hora tomorrow to check out the famous ossuary, a church made of bones, before coming back to Prague. Catch up with you soon!
Love from Prague,