© 2011 Aaron The 5 children on the Charles Bridge

Second Day in Praha, Czech Republic

Our second day was very, very full and relaxing. We had a great breakfast at our Residence Monestary, then caught the #22 tram down to the heart of the city where we enjoyed walks in the old streets, across the Charles Bridge and into the astronomical clock plaza. The Charles Bridge is lined with sculpture – mostly Roman Catholic personas. The bridge is so named as its construction began in 1357 under King Charles IV. At the top of each hour the astronomical clock chimes, the 12 apostles parade past two windows atop the clock, a skeleton reminds everyone that we will all die one day, and, at least during the morning and midday, a trumpeter sounds at the top of the tower.

The crowd was thick with tourists and pocket-pickers. Jarrod spotted a theft wherein a rather well-built guy ripped open a buttoned back pocket to take the contents, then quickly walked off into the crowd as the victim looked behind and around. Word to the wise – always place money in a front pocket, put your hand in that front pocket when in such crowds and split funds between spouses. So far, we’ve had a very safe time in this interesting city.

We stopped in a “Finest Bohemian Chocolate” shop to watch them roll the rock candy, tasted some free samples of white rock candy with a heart center, then purchased a little for enjoyment back home. We wandered the huge plaza surrounded by sculpture of Jan Hus (early reformer), steeples, and an open-air market with the scent of roasting ham hock and potatoes rising with the wood fire smoke.

We had a fantastic, genuine Bohemian lunch at Kolkovna in the lower level, surrounded by brick arches as we chatted with our friends. We tasted Gulášovka (goulash), Moravský Vrabec (Moravian Sparrow –  – roasted pork, gravy with onions, red and tan pickled cabbage and bacon dumplings), Salát Cesar Kuřecím (Caesar salad with chicken), Kuřecí Rizoto (Chicken Risotto) and other rich, hearty foods. All this for only 2273.00 korona!

Horse-drawn carriages awaited along the plaza so we hopped on board from a clippity clop ride around the streets surrounding the plaza, past the Jewish quarter and flowered avenues.

After a little gelato, we walked around the corner to the Wallenstein Garden to see the dripstone wall up close and enjoy the grounds. It started to rain and it was time to head back to freshen up for our evening concert at St. George’s Basilica in the Prague Castle.

The Prague Royal Chamber Orchestra treated us to Pachelbel, Mozart and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (I’ll post video and audio later for you to enjoy). The little ones got a little sleep, but caught a few notes. The teens and adults were pleasantly surprised by the quality and the ambiance of the venue – built in 920AD. The lead violinist was expert and won over the audience. It was a performance that soothed and made several of us want to close your eyes and dive into the sounds.

After the concert we took advantage of a quiet castle plaza with only a few people wandering and enjoying dusk. We made our way down to a restaurant overlooking the city lights and had some fruit dumplings, apple strudel and cake of the day.

A full, filling day that delighted all our senses.

Comments

  1. Janalee
    Posted August 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm | #

    Sounds like a PERFECT day!

    pic #3: How badly do you want your ball back? 😛 pic #34: You two are keepers! pic #37 I love shots like this! 🙂 Who got it right in the end? pic #39: Katelyn received a proposal!?! pics 53&57: And with matching shirts! These shots are PRICELESS! <3LOVE<3 pic #83: Is that legal? 🙂

    What an awesome vacation. You sure know how to make a person hungry with all those food shots! Especially a pregnant one!

    Can't wait to see the rest!

  2. Aaron
    Posted August 15, 2011 at 8:07 pm | #

    Pic #3: Yuck, right? Really, Prague is exceptionally clean in the Castle and Old Town districts. Kim just reminded me that this was really one of the only places where we noted such dirt. It actually makes me appreciate the clean rivers of Switzerland even more!

    Pic #34: Yes, they are!

    Pick #39: Dave knew his way around really well – he has traveled to Prague on business, so he used his previous experience with great effect! Beth was always there to lend some help and a word to prompt us all onward!

    Katelyn was rather adamant that, if they were going to match, they had to go all the way. Kim began the day in slacks, but changed to denim to make sure they matched.

    pick #83: No worries. Just Ginger Ale.

    More pics soon – just need to get some rest after a fantastic long weekend, now that we’ve had our dinner of pretzel sandwiches from the Bahnhof and Kim has gotten her back scratch.

    Thanks for writing!

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