Fortunately for us, Tereza is very nice and patient and not at all discomfited by our weird comments or odd behavior. She says she has seen it all and I believe her. She will be our tour guide for several of the trips and tours we will be taking during the next week.
Our first stop was the Royal Garden and Belvedere. The well-kept Royal Garden includes a gymnasium building whose exterior is decorated with incised plaster with contrasting color plaster underneath. After admiring the cathedral and its flying buttresses from ever closer vantage points it was time to go inside St. Vitus' Cathedral where we admired the stained glass (including one designed by Alfons Mucha) and the chapel of St. Wenceslas with its huge gemstones mounted on the lower walls. Back outside, we next visited the Royal Palace with its unusual vaulted ceiling in the main hall and the famous "defenestration" window (long story but don't worry the people who were thrown out of the window survived. Note to self: 16 meters may not be high enough!) We also visited the Romanesque-style St. George's Basilica which predates St. Vitus' Cathedral and sits upon many tombs of early Czech royals.
We then walked to a viewing point and along the way unexpectedly happened upon a military band playing Strauss. That was fun but our energy was beginning to lag a little so Tereza wisely suggested a coffee break, an idea that was quickly embraced by both Russell and I. We walked around the neighborhood surrounding the castle complex (the Prague Castle really is more of a village behind walls than a typical palace type building). This area of Prague has not changed much and is still relatively undiscovered. We saw the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, another outstanding viewpoint over the city and two libraries located within the Strahov Monastery. These libraries were quite striking, complete with gorgeous wood bookcases, frescoed ceilings and a collection of antique globes (just one of which I would love to own).
Now it was time for us to part ways with Tereza. Russell and I had a tasty lunch of ribs (for Russell) and goulash with bread dumplings (for me). When we got home -- after negotiating an afternoon shower and the tram/subway systems -- I was kaput. I am glad that we had nothing further scheduled for the day because I was able to take it easy and even do some laundry.
I loved being in Prague! I also stayed near the Castle and loved wandering around. I liked a funky restaurant called Lokal http://lokal-dlouha.ambi.cz/en/ReplyDelete
Also, check out the Cubist museum in the House of the Black Madonna