Saturday, August 08, 2009

Day Friday 2 : Touring Prague

Due to my laziness I will not post a shot by shot photos of Prague. I have uploaded all Prague photos already so please check it out. I have added the link and preview in the left column.

So, each morning I started the day by having breakfast in the hotel. They have buffet breakfast, one of the reason I chose this hotel. They have the staple menus of scramble egg, several kinds of breads, cereals, cheeses, and yogurts. With alternate menus of mini sausages, bacon, bean soup, mushrooms, fruits, etc. Overall the breakfasts were very nice, it usually early evening by the time I got hungry again.

I began sightseeing by walking to the Astronomical clock in the old town square. Along the way I saw many many souvenir shops. I must have passed by 20-30s shops by the time I reach Prague Castle. All the shops seems to follow a couple of patterns and looks almost identical. This reminded me a lot of the souvenir shops I saw in Camden market. I did not buy anything from these shops though. Although the glassware looked nice, I did not want to worry if my purchases will still be in one piece by the time I got back home. After all, I still have Amsterdam to go to next.

Once I arrived at the Astronomical clock, it was nice but wasn't much to look at, I start wandering around. I had gone through a street through the main square and finally arrived at Powder Gate and then I walked further toward Charles Bridge. But once I couldn't find it I look at my map and realize that I went the wrong way. I walked back and ended up at Palladium Plaza, a big shopping mall. So I did a bit of pit stop before asking their information desk for direction. I ended up using the subway to get back to Mustek station so I can start over from the old town square. Eventually I did made it to the bridge :) A few parts of the bridge were in renovation and maintenance, but other than that it was nice. There are numerous souvenirs stands on the bridge as well selling paintings and some accessories for women. After the bridge I began walking toward the castle.

Along the way I noticed a walk tour group. I decided to follow one of them for a while. This lead me into a building with the path that I would never choose to go by myself. After going through a small gate I ventured into a large garden of sort with something about senate in the name sign. I am not sure what the place is for but it was unusual looking. The most amazing thing about this place, however, is that as I was about to leave a peacock glide out of nowhere and landed in the garden area :O. It was the most peculiar squawk I have ever heard. I cannot really describe it, only that the sound that came out did not match the appearance, at least to me. After finish seeing the garden and gawking at the peacock, I left the building and continue to the castle.

It was an uphill climb, literally. My feet began to hurt from the pressing spots with my sneakers. I tried to wiggle my feet around but it didn't help much. Eventually I have to loosen the strings all over. I did have to ask for direction once though. I passes an uphill path with amazing view overlook the city. I took several photos of course :)

Finally I reach the top of the hill. I rested at the near by statue and survey the surrounding. Then I headed into the castle. I walked through the big gate, through an archway and saw a steel steps leading to the ticket office with rubble underneath, it seems that they are renovating the stairs. I went into the ticket office and found that there are a range of ticket prices with recommended audio guide to listen to the history of each location and artifacts as well as allow you to get right into one of the cathedral without waiting in line. However, the audio guide was 350 Ckz. I am not going to spring for that amount of money just to get the audio and minor priviledge. While I was browsing the room, I noticed a brochure of Free Walk Tour. I picked up, read through, and found that I was already late for both times that they offer the tour. I planned, in my mind, to do this free tour tomorrow.

I left the ticket office and tentatively walked further into the area. I found out that I can enter through the main gate without ticket. So I walk through another archway and was greet by the sight of St. Vitus Cathedral. Then I walked pass it a large widen plaza area. I noticed WC sign and went in a building which also has a museum shop. The toilet here look modern and very nice. I took a pit stop there and rest up a bit. It was pretty windy and chilly. It was quite calming sitting quietly in a nice clean toilet :P

After the rest in the restroom, I walked out and walk further. It was a bit of downhill path with a few fence erected for construction crew to work in. They were fixing the cobble stone walkpath. I did saw how they make cobble stone street. They literally arrange the stone and then pound it with hammer one by one. This way they ensure that the stones will be put in order and make a nice path. Then I passed some more shops, then an entrance way into the famed Golden Lane. Ticket is required for entry so I did not went in. I continued onward and passed a section with house an Inca gold exhibit, Toy Museum and a blacksmith. Yeap, a real blacksmith doing metal works and selling his wares at near by stand.

I surveyed the area, looking for a place to eat but they either too expensive or written in Czech which I can't read. so I headed toward the exit. There is another city overview spot right outside the exit. After taking a few looks I continue down the path. I soon encounter a fork in the road. I take the right path as it is a gorgeous hill side path with small vineyard and a restaurant with great garden. I continued down the path, eventually off the hilly area and onto the street. The subway station near the area is not hard to find but surprisingly the entrance is located in a medium size park. The entrance building itself also have a restaurant which I find rather odd :P

I took the metro back to Muztek station to get back to my hotel.

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