I would love to say that the journey to Prague in the Czech Republic from Nuremberg, Germany went without a hitch but nothing is that simple when travelling. I believe in travelling light which is just as well when the person you are travelling with has an excuse for bringing the kitchen sink and needs help to carry it (see first picture waiting for bus at station).
Once on the bus the journey was fun as we were entertained in German by a group of young lads one of which had consumed much too much alcohol for that time of day but seemed to be saying things that got everybody around him laughing ( note to self - learn German).
On arrival in Prague in the rain we followed the directions given that took us 45 minutes to do the 20 minute journey and arrived wet and miserable but soon cheered up as we had a Ginormous room to ourselves and for only 30€ a night - Result.
As the weather cleared up we walked to the main square to see the Astronomical Clock chime 21 times at 9 pm and wandered the street markets with the obligatory glass or two of Gluwien where there was a street musician playing tunes on glasses filled to varying levels with liquid and an orthodox Piano Player playing carols beside a nativity play with live animals including a donkey.
A good first afternoon / evening that was rounded off with a shared Salad followed by a meal of Duck for me and Pork for Denise
and we only got lost the once ( okay, so it was for 30 minutes but only once) on the way back to Hostel.
Up with the larks (did you know larks get up at 10.30 am in Prague, lazy Devils) and a hearty breakfast in a local cafe of eggs and coffee set us up for a day of typical sightseeing. From the Hostel we walked through the streets of Prague taking in the architecture ( I'm not sure what Sherlock Holmes had to do with this city but they seem to have adopted him) and made our way to Wenceslas Square.
First we wandered into Wenceslas Square where there are tourist shops on either side of the road and food stalls down the middle selling sumptuous food and of course the obligatory Gluwein with a choice of five different flavours - Heaven, I'm in Heaven
On through the main square to Charles bridge a must to see just head to the corner from the clock and there are always crowds to fight your way through to the narrow cobble streets swarming with Christmas revellers. Take note of the bar on the riverside for later.
On the other side of the bridge lies a complex at the top of the hill reached either on foot or as we plumped for, a number 200 tram which takes you to The Old Palace, St Vitus Cathedral, The Basilica and the Golden Lane for which there is a combined ticket.
Don't miss the Golden lane running along the top a great collection of armour and weapons going back century's and what do you make of the item in picture 4 ? A chastity belt for the Knight as in whats good for the Goose is good for the gander.
The grounds are all done out Christmassy and food sold in the grounds was reasonable and tasty as was the ever present Gluwein.
Don't forget to take in the panoramic view of Prague from the top it is a truly magnificent sight even without the Christmas decorations.
From the castle we walked back via a stop at a pub on the river, remember the one viewed crossing the bridge. It is accessed via a quaint little alley that is so narrow there are traffic lights to control pedestrians going up and down and the view at night very romantic.
After a quick beer and a shared conversation with a couple from Ipswich we were on our way again to the Christmas market under the Charles bridge where a group were playing and it was a festival night where women were dressed up as angels and children as little devils, even a dog got in on the act.
We finished off the night with a hot meal and took a bottle of wine back to finish off a good day - looking forward to tomorrow when I shall be meeting up with Cristina a lovely lady I met in Gdansk in Poland.
When it's your last day somewhere there is usually a tinge of regret but not today as it is time to meet Cristina Pascucci, my friend from Travels in Gdansk and so at 12.15 after a glass of obligatory Gluwien in the market we met under the astronomical clock and despite the crowds had no problem finding her.
Prague is her home town and off we went to a well hidden lunch place to catch up and try local food. A girl who appreciates the finer beers in life and still single c'mon guys snap this one up - what a cracker !
Even the weather was good the sun was out and although temperatures were down we set off on a walk that took in the old Jewish sector and the graveyard with the ten foot high wall to the right in picture 2.
The explanation of the high wall is that it was the only place in Prague where the Jewish people were allowed to be buried and when room was exhausted they went up one on top of another - never again eh
Always with a mind on making a buck off of the tourists note all the souvenir shops along the wall. and a glimpse inside the cemetery now.
Onward, over the Charles Bridge and as it was the 30th Anniversary of Johns death we visited the John Lennon Wall and Pub
before continuing a walk along the river taking in the sights and watching the sun go down over the castle on the river bank with some ( yes, you guessed it) hot Gluwein.
In the evening we visited a local bar in Kino Lucerna Mall known to locals as a go to place where there is a fabulous cinema if you are in Prague it is a place I highly recommend even if you don't go in the cinema the Art in the Mall is awesome.
We spent the rest of the evening trying a variety of beers, cheeses and pastries in establishments around town finishing up in a student bar near our lodgings with some final memories of the lights of Prague to round up our fabulous visit to their Christmas Market.
A big thank you Cristina and there is an open invitation to you any time you want to visit and see the local sights where I live.
Tomorrow it's off to Berlin in Germany for me to take in some history as well as the local markets and you can bet all washed down with some Gluwien.