Europe For The Senses

Author/Photographer Vicki Liston blogs on her book and some interesting places she's traveled. "Europe for the Senses - A Photographic Journal" was published under the name 'Vicki Landes'.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Prague - Exotic and Charming

Exotic, mysterious with its Old World charm, and still hiding so many secrets, Prague enchants even the most cynical tourist. Prague’s rich history dates back thousands of years and a simple visit feels like a trip back in time. With nicknames such as ‘The Golden City’ or ‘City of a Hundred Spires’, it promises to be fascinating.

Prague is more than an interesting place to vacation, it is an experience. Make your way across the Charles Bridge, occasionally pausing to watch a street performer or observe a sketch artist at work on a tattered piece of paper. Stare into the somber faces of the stone statues which border the famous bridge, knowing somewhere beneath each distant gaze lies the soul of its carver. Beautiful and sad, they hold their vigil, oblivious of the rushing waters below. Explore the wares of the many crystal shops where the light dances off of each sparkling trinket. Pay your respects to the many residents at the Old Jewish Cemetery. Prague’s greatest Jewish scholar rests here and his grave has become a pilgrimage site for many of his faith. Examine famous ‘timepieces’ – whether the medieval Astronomical Clock mounted on the old city hall building or the modern, out-of-place metronome that tick-tocs its way through the hours where Stalin’s monument once stood. Hike up the steep Golden Lane, weaving in and out of street vendor carts and up to the castle. Take in the skyline view of crowded greenish church steeples, bridges, and an ever-freezing river while the merciless wind sends a chill up your spine. The St. Vitus Cathedral stands as the imposing giant at this hilltop castle, undaunted by the history it has witnessed from its perch above. Rest in a creaky wooden pew and gaze wide-eyed at the radiant rose window, almost exploding with color, before making the trek back down the Golden Lane and into the heart of the bustling city for some hearty goulash.

Even if you’ve never thought of visiting Prague before, you’ve probably sung about one of its favorite patron saints. Prince Wenceslas pursued a better relationship with a neighboring dynasty and was eventually assassinated by those not sharing his diplomatic views. He now sleeps forever at St. Vitus while countless sing ‘Good King Wenceslas’ during the Christmas holiday season.

Ready to visit? Here are a couple of web recommendations:

* - lots of background information!
* - very nice 3-star hotel. The staff is friendly and helpful, they've got parking, and it's perfectly located - we walked everywhere from here!
* - if you don't want to take *another* tour with a hundred other people led by a woman holding an umbrella over her head, go with native George Kuklik from Prague Master! George met us at our hotel, gave us a fantastic, customized tour of all the places we were interested in seeing, and even carried Brady when he got tired. Best of all, we had him all to ourselves! We took a few other tours with the 'big' companies while in Prague and George was by far, the very best. Book before you get to Prague to ensure you get him for as many different tours as you want! or +420 / 603 455 067


At 6:54 PM, Blogger Cassidy Jane said...

I ran across your blog whilst Googling Le Rose.... I grew up on Patch Barracks and a diet of their pizza and 4-cheese tortellin. I've been all over and have never found anything to compare to that tortellini! It is an amazing place to eat, and I miss it dearly.

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous hotel in prague said...

Prague is really interesting place.For me this is the most historical place I've ever been..Everything here is very enjoyable...

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.


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