What a beautiful city! I had a great view from the Prague Castle this morning, which was my first stop. I can’t wait for you to see photos (if I can EVER upload them… seriously annoyed tonight!). It was a great view! But in order to get it, I had to walk up a large hill that had steps interspersed throughout just for fun! Needless to say, I was happy to take a break and enjoy the view! I took the short tour of the Castle, hitting the Old Royal Palace (unfortunately several of the rooms/exhibitions were closed), St. George’s Basilica, The Golden Lane, and, finally, St. Fits’ Cathedral. The Palace was ok. If more rooms had been open, it may have been better. I did get to a see a portrait of Marie Antoinette’s mother, though. Apparently she was royalty here. The Basilica was nice and Golden Lane was basically gift shops with some interesting exhibits. But the kicker was St. Vitus’ Cathedral. It was stunning. Just really took my breath away. The stained glass was incredible, the vaulted ceilings were dramatic, and the chapels were very pretty as well. I think it can rival any of the large Cathedral’s in Europe. It was definitely my favorite! I was hoping to see the Changing of the Guard at noon, but it didn’t happen. Bummer.
I then walked down to the Charles Bridge, which is the famous bridge over the Vltava River. It was quite beautiful, if a little hot by the end! Construction started in 1357 and until 1841 it was the only way to cross the river in Prague. And I did touch the famous statue of St. John Nepomuk and made a wish… here’s hoping it comes true! From the bridge I made my way into Old Town Square. This one ranks third on my list so far. Krakow being first and Warsaw second. But this one has the Astronomical Clock. I got there 9 minutes to 1pm and got to see it chime. Not only does it have the astronomical aspect to it, but at the top it parades all 12 disciples by open windows. I hope my video turned out! Additionally, the clock has four figures on it: Vanity, Usury/Greed, Death, and Entertainment (or Turks, pick your choice). It is a beautiful clock and I’m glad I got to see it chime!
I then had lunch, which was unremarkable, with the exception of my beverage. I don’t like beer. Not a beer drinker. Give me a cider and I’m happy. But I know the Czech Republic is known for their pilsner, so I gave it a try. I think I had 4 drinks of it. Gross. I just couldn’t do it. We’ll see what happens in Oktoberfest, but it doesn’t look good! But hey, at least I tried it!
I then went into St. Nicholas Church, which is also on the square. I had been there last night, where I attended a concert by the Mozart Trio. They performed Mozart (Duh), Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, and Handl. It was great! The mezzosoprano was excellent during her arias as well. But I couldn’t take photos and look around at that time. It was a small church, but gorgeous. The chandelier is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I think it’s just incredible. And hopefully at some point, I’ll be able to show you!
I then made my way back to Wenceslas Square (seriously have been singing that song as sung in Love Actually for the past two days) to look for the Museum of Communism. Never found it yesterday. It said it was above McDonald’s, but there are literally 5 of them in the area. And there are always signs hanging on street poles to how many meters to the nearest McD’s. Some BKs, Subways, and KFCs as well, but McD’s is by far the most popular! This time I found it. It was very interesting. I had hoped there would be more, but I liked that it was arranged as “the dream, the reality, and the nightmare” that is/was communism. I’m glad I went!
I decided to get a fountain pop at McD’s before calling it a day and I realized that they sold beer there. WHAT? I’ve never seen that before. I can’t show you a picture because I got yelled at. I was told I couldn’t take photos. What the H? I’ve taken photos at fast food establishments (including McD’s) in both Ireland and London and never got chastised. I asked why and she had no answer. I then ordered my pop and she asked me if it was for here or to go. So I’ll leave it at that.
Off to Vienna in the morning… probably v. early in the morning. I think I’m taking the 6:39am train. It’s a 5-hour trip, so I guess I can sleep then. I’d rather get into Vienna at 11:30 than 1:30, so…