09.06.2011 - 09.06.2011 22 °C
that guy in the middle plays the trumpet on every hour
We started the morning headed to Prague Castle. We needed to get some food on the way however, so we stopped at a market for some strawberries. Of course what is a picnic without carbs? So we detoured at a bakery where we bought some bread and couldn’t resist the trdelnik they had spinning. It is dough wrapped around a metal bar and spun over an open flame until cooked. It’s doused in sugar and cinnamon and piping hot when you eat it. Delicious!
We walked over Charles Bridge with thousands of other tourists just like ourselves. We heard a few bands play and saw awful people (cough...ameri...cough...cans...excuse me) take pictures of the homeless people groveling with their faces down. Charles Bridge has over 30 statues, which although they have been systematically replaced by replicas since 1965, still look very old. The plaque of one statue in particular is very shiny and well polished in one spot. This is on the statue of St. John of Nepomuk who was thrown off the bridge for not telling what the Queen told during Confession. Touching this is supposed to be good luck, but we didn’t know this. It’s full of vendors and those people who do caricatures and portraits. There was also a group of children(presumably from an art class) scattered around the bridge doing sketches of the bridge and other nearby buildings We walked to the other side and caught a tram to the top of the hill. From here we bought tickets for the Palace.
First we saw the enormous St. Vitus Cathedral. It’s huge and loud but we still enjoyed it. We then ate our lunch and went back for round two with the school groups. We toured the small part of the palace we were allowed to see. Here, in Prague’s history, there are a lot of true stories about people throwing other people out windows. They even have name for it, defenestration. Now this may exist other places but we’ve first heard about it here. The word was even made up after the event that took place in Prague. One of the stories we heard happened in a room we were allowed into in the palace. Kinda cool! There is a painting done of the defenestration in the palace and it’s the same room we were standing in! We could even see where the men fell (not to their deaths mind you, they landed in a pile of manure and survived, which means of course that it was an act of god and they were protected by angels...insert eye roll here.)
We ventured down the Golden Lane, where the many of the castle’s servants once lived. In later days these incredibly small ‘homes’ were rented out until as late as the 1950’s. It was historical but clearly quite romanticized. Cool anyway. The upper floors are where they have a display of early guns, swords, gun-swords and amour on display, which Shane nearly fainted over. Lastly we ventured into the prison where you could see the torture devices used during a person’s imprisonment. Prison wasn’t just prison then, it was brutal, savage and disgusting.
the middle two center windows are where they chucked them out
It took a long time to find some, (that wasn’t priced at 90 crowns a piece!) but our hunt for medovnik (honey cake) was successful! We ate it at a bakery across the street from our room for 25 crowns, or 1 euro. And it was delicious! Once again I am sad to know that I’ll never be able to make it and probably never taste it. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try!!
just about died he was so happy!
There is a underpass close to our place that has two flights of stairs to cross. This has proved to be an issue for many people. The first day we were here Shane carried an old ladies' bags up the stairs so she would manage better with her cane and this day he helped carry a baby stroller down one flight and up another. What an awesome guy I married! We went home and showered before heading out again. We took the tram across the river, to eat dinner at a brewery. The food proved to be very good and the beer even better!
After dinner we took the tram to Charles Bridge. A few people told us that the bridge at night would have hardly anyone one it. I would beg to differ! There were nearly as many people on it after dark as in the morning! We enjoyed some more music as we cross over to the other side. That was it for our night and for the time we would spend in Prague.