Last month I spent ten days in Europe and the last country I visited was the Czech Republic. After the beer tour I slept in on my second day in Prague. I had booked off the entire day for the city’s most famous attraction, the castle. To get there you do not need Google Maps to locate Prague Castle, although I did have great WiFi the entire trip based on my TepWireless, you simply locate it on the hill and walk towards it. On the two mile journey I stopped at every spot there were bright blue telescopes because if the city charges a Euro for two minutes of gazing there must be something worth taking a photo of.
Once I crossed the bridge to the castle side of the city I had to make a detour. I am proud to say I made it to day eight of my Eurotrip until I frequented a U.S. establishment, and only then only because I was in desperate need of coffee and my European friends don’t do to-go-cups, they want you to sit down and enjoy it. So thank you McD’s.
Once I found my way into the castle it was 20 minutes before the noon changing of the guards and tons of people were already lined up. While waiting for the event to begin people just kept coming – at ten of noon there were hundreds of people who had queued for more than hour and were four deep leaning against red ropes holding them back.
I did not want to shoot my photos straight into the sun so I went around the ropes and stood flush to the building. I did not think the very serious guards would let me stand there but I figured I might as well try. And the guards said nothing. Okay then, one point for the good guys. I am glad I got in place early, as the event actually began at 11:55am and the main actions were timed perfectly to the noon Church bells. The whole changing of the guards was a bit difficult to understand but the church bells and orchestra perfectly complement the Czech commands barked by the officers.
After the procession was over I purchased the audio guide from the ticket office and scanned my premiere ticket and went to see all of the sites including the cathedral and the old palace. After an hour and a half of touring I took a break in the castle courtyard and got a traditional sausage for lunch and ate it by a beautiful fountain. Then the audio guide tour continued with a small church, the Golden Lane, a cool armor collection (one of my favorite parts of The Met), and the deer moat.
There were two things at Prague Castle that weren’t included in the my premiere ticket, the Crown Jewels and the Tower Tour, so I paid extra to do those. Did I spend extra money? Yes. But my motto on this trip was go see all of the things and pay extra if necessary. I am not sure the next time I be back in Prague and I was there in the castle so let’s do it! #WhenInRome I am so glad I paid extra for both of the special attractions as the Crown Jewels were beautiful and the view from the top of the tallest tower was amazing.
The entire complex of Prague Castle was beautiful and I am glad I listened to the guide book and planned on a full day to explore, it is needed! Right outside of the castle were a dozen stalls set up selling local Czech cuisine and I decided it was time to try two local specialties, delicious, bramborove platky se syrem, potato slices with cheese, and bramborak, traditional potato pancakes, which I ordered with pickled cabbage on top because that is what everyone was ordering cabbage.
As I made my way down from the castle I passed many famous sites including churches and shops and then took a detour to see the John Lennon Wall. I was surprised this massive graffitied wall in memory to the late Beatle had two people spray painting it – I thought it was a fixed attraction, not something that was constantly evolving. And as a fun tid-bit the woman who took the photo below of me and the wall saw the Beatles all three times they came to the US in the 1960’s, talk about a throwback.
After the Lennon Wall I headed back to the main part of the city and while I had seen the Charles Bridge the day before on my walking tour but I made sure to walk over it. I saw all of the statues you are supposed to see and rubbed bronze plaque on the statue of John of Nepomuk for good luck.
Afterwards I took a long stroll around, dropped off some thing at the hotel, and went in search of dinner. It was one of the very few meals I did not have planned out and instead wandered through a new part of the city, exploring and looking places up on TripAdivsor as I passed. I ended up at Fish & Chips and went totally off the mark and ordered octopus which was quite good. After dinner I took a long leisurely stroll around the city covering a new two mile loop and admiring some of the most famous sites at night.
A very full and very wonderful day in the Czech capital!