Golden Lane – Prague Castle

Golden Lane can be found in Prague Castle.  It consists of small houses that have been compared to doll’s houses.  Franz Kafka lived here with his sister between 1916-17.  When the communists took over Czechoslovakia they nationalised the Golden Lane.  They restored the buildings.  Today the Golden Lane forms part of the Prague Castle complex.  Which ever visit option you chose will get to visit the Golden Lane.  However, you cannot visit the Lane on its own.  It is a welcome change to all the castles and churches though it does get packed during peak times.

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There is many sites to see on the Golden Lane.  Just take your time and enjoy.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Charles Bridge – Prague

The Charles Bridge or Karluv Most lies at the heart of Prague.  It connects the old city to the castle and is considered to be the most important bridge in Prague.

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The bridge itself measures 621 metres long with its width coming in at 10 metres wide.  It stands on 16 arches.  There are three bridge  towers that stand at either end of the bridge.  One of which stands on the Old Town side.  The other two stand on what is known as the Lesser Quarter.  The bridge tower that stands on the Old Town is considered to be one of greatest examples of gothic style buildings in Europe.

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Lining the bridge there are thirty baroque style statues.  These are now mostly replicas.  Also lining the bridge you will find plenty of artists and arts and crafts traders trying to tempt you to part with your money.  Also there will also be beggars though they ply their trade quietly.

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It has been said the best time to see the bridge is at night time when there are less crowds.  I must admit my favourite was early morning as the traders were setting up for the day.  Whenever you visit Charles Bridge is a must experience when you visit Prague.

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Until the next post, stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

St. Vitus Cathedral – Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral is the Roman Catholic cathedral in Prague.  It is part of the Prague Castle complex.

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Dating from the 10th century the cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture.  It is also the most important religious building in the city.

Whichever tour Prague Castle option you choose St. Vitus is always included.  However, I must warn you that it is extremely popular and you will find yourself being swept along with the crowds and tour parties.  Despite that there is always a hush inside the building.  It is only broken with sound of the staff warning you not to take photos with flash.  This is the perfect opportunity for you not to use the automatic setting on your camera.

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Inside the cathedral there is St. Wenceslas’s Chapel where the remains of the saint are kept.  Sadly you will not be able to enter the chapel itself but can be viewed via a side window.  There are plenty of statues and monuments to view that reflect the history of Prague.

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It is important to take your time to explore the cathedral in order to take everything in.  Otherwise if you allow yourself to be swept up in the crowds you may end up on missing out on a lot on what the cathedral has to offer.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

Photo of the Week – View Along Charles Bridge, Prague

This week’s photo was taken in Prague.  It is of the view along Charles Bridge.

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This was taken from one of the towers at the end of the bridge.  I was lucky that the photo was taken around 10am and I avoided the crowds that can plague the cit.  The surrounding buildings along with the bridge sum up for me the beauty of Prague.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Prague – A Reflection

What can I say about the city of Prague.  It is beautiful, historic, full of fun and crowded.  It was always a city that I wanted to visit for a long time.  Twenty three years since the full of Communism would Prague fail to live up to expectations.  The answer was that I fell in love with the city.  There is something for everybody be it culture vulture or party animal.

Everything in Prague is compact and easy to reach by foot.  However, I recommend that you start your day early if wish to avoid the crowds particularly if you are looking to cross the Charles Bridge.  I was in Prague during September and there were a lot of visitors.  Suffice to say it would be best to avoid Prague during July and August.

The best way of gaining your bearings is to go on a walking tour.  Once you see the landmarks it is easy to remember where you are going.  Plenty of companies organise walking tours.  I was lucky the my hostel operated a free one.  As a solo traveller I found it a great way of meeting people.  Walking is not the only way of seeing Prague.  There were carriage tour and even a Segway tour too.

Here are a list of must see attractions in Prague:-

  • Prague Castle
  • Charles Bridge
  • The Astronomical Clock
  • Old Town Square
  • Wenceslas Square

All of these attractions can be visited in a day, something I managed to achieve.  Admittedly it meant crossing the Charles Bridge at 09:30.

As I mentioned earlier Prague has a reputation of being a party town.  Starting with organised pub crawl from the hostel I explored the bars and clubs the city had to offer.  What I liked about the nightlife in Prague was how relaxed they were about the house rules concerning attire.  I was wearing casual clothes with black training shoes and had no problem in gaining entrance.  This is so different to the UK.  I ended up at Karlovy Lazne (5 Story Club) apparently Europe’s tallest nightclub.  A tip is the further you climb the cheesier the music becomes.  This is pleasing for an old fart like me.

Then there is always the beer.  It is true that it is cheaper than buying soft drinks.  However, the reputation of beer’s quality is such that it represents real value for money.  There was a bar on spirits over 20% proof while I was in Prague.  This was due to poisoned alcohol being sold in the street which had claimed lives.  There are plenty of small bars that sell absinthe the strong aniseed flavoured spirit.  If that sounds too much for you then you can try the absinthe flavoured ice cream.

I was made extremely welcome in Prague.  It is a safe city to walk around.  Whatever you choose to do I am sure that you will have a good time.

Until the next post, stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the Week – Memorial to Jan Palach & Jan Zajíc

This week’s photo is of the memorial plaque to Jan Palach & Jan Zajíc.  It is located in Wenceslas Square in Prague.

As a protest to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 both set fire to themselves.  Palach happened on the 16 January 1969.  He died on 19 January.  Zajíc set himself alight and died on 25 February.  A third person Evźen Plocek died on 9 April after trying the same feat.  All three men died wanting freedom for their country.

Until the next post, stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

St. Christopher’s at the Mosaic House, Prague – A Review

During my recent trip to Prague I stayed at the St. Christopher’s at the Mosaic House.  How does it rate?

As a hostel it was different to what I expected.  It is a large building and it gives off a look of an expensive hotel.  It is located near the centre of Prague.  It is about fifteen minute walk towards Charles Bridge.

Checking in was initially difficult as the receptionist was unable to find my booking.  The booking was found eventually and I was checked in.

Entry to the dorm was by key card and there is an 150CZK deposit to pay but you get a free map of Prague.  It is refunded when you check out of the hostel.  My dorm was on the second floor.  You can either get the lift or use the stairs.  Once I entered the dorm I was pleasantly surprised.

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There were three bunks in the dorm.  There was a security box to put your rucksack in.  You would need to bring your own padlock. You can purchase one from reception. On each bed there was storage, a charging point and reading lamp.  I found this to be very useful especially when returning late at night.

The bathroom was excellent.  It was modern, in fact it could have come straight out of the Ikea catalogue.

There is no kitchen area for you to cook in.  The hostel does have a big bar area where they serve hot food.  You get a discount of 20% when you order your first meal.  However, if you are staying for a few days it can get expensive for you.  The food is of excellent standard.  I particularly recommend the Bar-b-q ribs and chicken wings, very sticky and tasty.

A buffet breakfast is also available from 7-10am.  At weekends it is available for longer.  It costs 150CZK.

There is a large bar which is always busy.  There are plenty of local beers and spirits available.  There are plenty of television screen which show various show especially sport from around Europe.  It is a good place to chill out and speak to people over a beer.  There is live music on every Thursday evening.

The hostel has plenty of activities which it organises.  As a solo traveller I would recommend the free walking tour and the pub crawl.  It is a great way of seeing the city and meeting people at the same time.

Overall, I enjoyed my stay at St. Christopher’s.  The staff were friendly and helpful and the atmosphere was excellent.  If you are looking for a hostel that is in the centre of Prague than I would recommend this one.

I booked through HostelBookers.com.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve