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Prague, Czech Republic 2009

Slide show

The thought of a 'cold' break away just before Christmas sounded ideal and as it turned out proved a 'warm up' to the exceptional winter upon our return. Wizzair provided us with the Transport to get to Prague Ruzyne Airport, which is about 8 miles NW of Prague itself. From the airport we took the 119 bus to the terminus at Dejvicka which only cost a 30Kc ticket from the driver (or 26 Kc from the machine in the stop). From here (and using the same ticket) we took a metro (green line) to Malostranska and walked a short distance and checked into our fab hotel, The Archibald (at the Charles Bridge)

That evening we headed out into the 'Little Quarter' and ended up in U Costella bar and pizzeria. Well wacky decor (see slideshow below) and as it turned out not the best food we had during or stay but it set us up for the walk across the Charles bridge, along side its cordoned off repairs (spoilt some of the pictures it did! :< ), and into the 'Old Town'. Popped into a really nice bar Restaurant U Cervenehoraka for some hot drinks before having a look around the Christmas market in the square.

Early next day we get woken up by the early morning call we never asked for. Nice. Still got us shifted into action and after a very tasty buffet breakfast in the hotel headed out up past the Metro station and up toward the Palace in 'Prague Castle and Hradcany' area. It was perishing cold so as soon as we got there went to Lobkowicz palace cafe, the soup was delish! The snow started falling whilst the changing of the guard, which was really interestingly formal, took place (one looked like Bill off breakfast tv!). So too was seeing THE Wenceslas crypt in the cathedral.. yes that song was being played in our heads for a while after!

In the afternoon we set off to Petrin Hill to see the observation tower, having a Grog (hot water and rum) en route. The tower afforded great views of the now snow covered city, the walk up the outside staircase in the freezing cold wind was well worth it.. As was the hot wine and cake we had when we got down in their cafe. The evening meal in Cervena Sedma, in the square at Na Kampe virtually opposite the hotel, is well recommended.

Thursday and we decided to do a tour of the statues on the Charles Bridge using our Guide book.. As the cold bit into us, our tour accelerated until we found ourselves at the Lavka for elevenses which almost cost us that for two coffees! Nice to know we now have shares in the business. After warming up we took in the 'Jewish Quarter' and re enacted the INXS song in the cemetery.. Well outside anyway as we never went in. Instead we checked out the lunch special at Klub Architektu of soup, chicken & veg and fries and a cake. Lisa had soup, strawberry dumplings and sweet cheese! Top value as well as a great atmosphere. Made a reservation for Friday whilst there as a lot of the restaurants get booked up really quickly we found. After checking out the ding dongs of the astronomical clock and another drink in Restaurant U Cervenehoraka on Karlova, we had a shufters at the Orange Moon restaurant menu, a possibility for later on that evening. After a swifty in the Bombay bar nearby we indeed established the place was fab that night.

More snow and a chance to retake some shots from the first day which didn't have any snow on them was the plan for the start of Thursday. Quite a few taken in the Palace before heading back towards the river and stopping at the very ornate U Cerneho Orla restaurant. A mulled wine and fish soup was taken but not the recommended brandy and coffee to start which miffed the waiter no end. Anyway his miserable mug was well forgotten when we set out for our mini river tour without the aid of a boat! We walked along the western side of the river Vltava passing the weir, lock and old water tower before crossing Jiraskov bridge, into the 'New Town' to have a look at the 'Dancing building' otherwise known as the Ginger and Fred. The weather had become so cold, minus 12, and even though the thermals, gloves and hats were doing their job our faces were starting to crack! A warming Algerian coffee in the handily placed Na Rybarne helped out on that.

That afternoon we spent time, and kept warm, in the gorgeous marble structure of the National Museum. Its staircase is magnificent as was the carrot cake as a well deserved treat after exploring the fascinating exhibitions including natural history, geology (nice gems!) and cave exploration (speleologists).

We took up our reservation at Klub Architktu for our evening meal and the fare was as good as the lunch we'd had there, the place was vibrant and full. I had lamb (pork for Lisa) and shared some veg and lashings of wine. One thing we did notice was the small portions in a lot of the places we ate. We managed to get back to the hotel bar for a snifter before it shut (previous days it had been closing really early :< ). An early night was needed as we had a plane to catch early the next day. Good job as the early morning call we actually asked for this time round never came but we'd already got up packed and fed before the easy and efficient Tram/bus journey back to the airport and onward journey home.

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