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Prague For Two

Freedom!!!

France and I abandoned the kids for four days and headed off to Praha (Prague) in the Czech Republic for some time to ourselves. We left them some open cereal boxes and a big dish of water, so I’m sure they’ll be just fine without us.

DSC_3335A train ride would have taken 12 hours or more so we elected to splurge on a 1-hour flight instead. We arrived, collected our luggage, and got a 3-day transit pass, but elected to take a taxi to the hotel.

After dropping off our things, we ate a late, light lunch at the hotel cafe and headed out to explore the city by Metro. Did you know that not all entrances to the Metro stations have boxes for validating transit tickets? We didn’t, but the transit cop who stopped us half-way along our journey took pity on the foolish tourists and let us by with un-validated tickets and a suggestion to get that taken care of in the station below. Oops.

From Clock TowerWe wandered around the east side of the river until dinner, seeing the old town square, the astronomical clock, the powder tower, and others. After a very nice, slow, relaxing dinner at the Radisson Hotel, we meandered back to the Metro station, our own hotel, and a quiet evening without kids, TV, computers, and other distractions.

On our second day, we enjoyed the nice buffet breakfast and then a tour of the city with a live guide. We passed a couple of the things we’d seen the day before but most of it was elsewhere, including a nice walk around the palace grounds. After a late lunch, we went back to the hotel for a swim on the top floor with a nice view of the city and then headed off for a riverboat dinner cruise.

The tour up the river was nice but not anything special.  It included a buffet dinner and a “guide” who I don’t think addressed the group as a whole even once.  But the scenery was nice.

St. Nicholas' ChurchFor our third day, we walked over the Charles Bridge (largely under restoration), up to St. Nicholas’ Church (where we bought tickets for a concert later that day), past the Palace, and over to the Loreta. We didn’t, however, actually go inside to see the dress with 6000 diamonds on it.

After that, we dozed on the grass of a nice park and then toured the cathedral of Prazsky Hrad before heading back to St. Nicholas for an hour of organ/brass/soprano music. It was really nice, though the hard seating meant that one hour was about all we wanted to hear.

From Charles BridgeThat night, I went out to do some night photography and spent another three hours wandering around the old town on both sides of the river.  There were still many people around, but one of the nice things about long-exposure photography is that anything moving tends to disappear from the final image or be just faint shadows. Of course, if you have a couple necking in front of some historic scene, it can be a bit frustrating waiting for them to move on.

For our last day, France went for a pedicure at the hotel spa and then we went back to the Old Town Square to buy a watercolor painting we’d liked. Unfortunately, the shop turned out to be only a temporary display in a little alleyway and it was no longer there. We had bought a small painting at one of the vendors on the Charles Bridge, though, so at least we had that.

Oh… Just in case you haven’t guessed (or are in law enforcement) and are concerned for the well-being of our children, Grandmother was also in the house along with the serial boxes and water dish.

???Budweiser is Czech???

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