Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Castle Quarter

The good news is I can update the blog, the bad news is there will be no pictures or videos until I get into Vienna a few days from now.

Prague is every bit as amazing as I hoped it would be. The day started with a wonderful breakfast at our B&B. We told the man that we would be arriving around 11pm, and didn't show up until 12:40am. He cheerfully came down to great us before we'd even knocked on the gate, which means he'd been waiting all that ime.. After my first day here, I can say the Czech Republic is giving Tanzania and Scotland a run for their money in terms of the friendliest people in the world.

Today started with a tram ride around the city to get our bearings. We rode it up to a monastery sitting on one of the highest points in the country. We then took a gentile stroll down into the Castle Quarter. Prague used to be four separate cities, and the quarters still retain their unique flavors. The one happens to contain the largest castle in the world.

After walking by a few palaces tossed here and there, we made our way up to Prague Castle. Czech leaders have ruled the country from here for more than 1,000 years, and the President still works here. Within the walls, we spent awhile shuffling around in St. Vitus Cathedral, which was beyond words. Construction began in 1344, and when you see a picture of Prague, you see this cathedral (sitting high up in the hills). Sarah and I decided it contained the greatest stained glass windows we had ever seen. Oh, how I wish I could upload the pictures right now.

Leaving the cathedral, we headed into the Old Royal Palace (still within the castle walls). This palace was built in the 12th century and was the seat of Bohemian princes. It is big enough to hold jousts inside, and the staircases were all designed to be big enough to let knights gallop in.

We finished up the day with a stroll through the Little Quarter, and a tram right up to the highest point in Prague for still more pictures. There was an Eiffel Tower clone up there (minus the elevator). I was going to make the 400 step climb to the top for pictures, but it is only open on weekends. We still had great views though, and a nice walk back down the mountain through winding footpaths.

I'm most excited about tomorrow, when we tour Old Town. It's funny to me that they even draw a distinction between old and new, though. "New" Town was built in the 1300s.

1 comment:

tales_from_the_crib said...

hope you guys are having a great time!