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Five days in Prague Saturday, 13 August 2016

Posted by Ian Cole in Europe 2016, Ian C, The Ians on Tour.

Here we are on the second stop of The Ians On Tour – Europe 2016, Prague (Praha locally) in the Czech Republic.

We arrived by train from Budapest on Tuesday, thankfully with our luggage. Staying at the Hotel Hastel Prague Old Town, a charming old hotel centrally located, but away from the tourist mill.

Our friends Raffe and Stefan from Malmö in Sweden decided to join us in Prague, which coincided with Raffe’s birthday

On Wednesday, our first full day, we wandered into Staroměstské náméstí, the old square in the centre of Staré Město (Old Town), and then on to Karlův most, the Charles Bridge spanning the Vltava river to Malá Strana (Little Village). Two of the city’s main attractions quickly ticked off the list.

Meeting up with Raffe and Stefan later, they took us to one of their favourite restaurants, Jídelní Listek, known to them as Olga’s, named after the hostess. After a lovely lunch, we walked to Petřínská rozhledna (Petrin Tower), an observation tower inspired by the Eiffel Tower, for spectacular views. 300 steps up, 300 back down.

Unfortunately, rain hit us just then, and we had to rush to the funicular back down the hill  and then to shelter. A short tram ride found us at Králoství želenic, an enormous model train museum, based on sites in the Czech Republic. Though maybe not as good as the Miniversum in Budapest.

Thursday it was time for our obligatory bus tour around the city. A long circuit took us to the major sites, with a long stop at Pražsky hrad (Prague Castle) which happened to coincide with the changing of the guard. Followed by the obligatory trip to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch, t-shirt and bear.

Thursday night was Raffe’s birthday, so we joined them for dinner at Restaurace U Pinkasů for Czech cuisine, followed by wine back at the hotel.

Friday was another day of walking around. First we went with Raffe and Stefan to Tančicí dům, the so-called Dancing House, as it looks like a couple dancing. It’s often called Fred and Ginger, which is now the name of the restaurant inside. In the gallery inside was a very funky Retro exhibition of life in Czechoslovakia during the 70s and 80s.

We left Raffe and Stefan, and headed off to visit the Museum of Communism. It was very interesting, and had one clear message: communism is bad.

Another wander over Charles Bridge took us to the Lennon Wall, a graffiti wall that started as a spontaneous tribute in December 1980 and remains to this day. Just down the street was the John Lennon Pub, where we stopped for lunch with a Beatles soundtrack.

Friday night we joined Raffe and Stefan and some of their local friends at the James Joyce Pub, just around he corner from the hotel. No readings of Ulysses, but much beer and Czech spirit was drunk.

Today was Prague Pride, the annual gay celebration which started out in Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square), where coincidentally (or not) we had decided to meet up with Raffe and Stefan for lunch at Vytopna train restaurant, where your drinks are sent to the table on model trains. Very cute and fun. Our table afforded us a great view of the Pride parade.

After lunch we went to Vinični Atlan winery and vineyard for a few afternoon wines.

Back to the hotel. Then one last Czech dinner before we leave for Berlin tomorrow. Prague is a lovely city, easy to walk though it’s not hard to get lost in the maze of streets. It looks like we have another city we’d like to visit again.



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