Our second morning in Prague was spent in a fury of packing. We were fortunate enough that the caretaker was willing to store our luggage while we saw the city. The picture below was taken as we walked from our apartment to the castle.
As our tour guide had assured us that the castle was, indeed, worth a return trip, we headed straight there. We hiked up the hill again and heard a small band playing festively. When we crested the hill we realized it was the very band we had watched on the free mini-episode of Rick Steves’ tour of Prague. The boys each put a few coins in their hat.
Below is a picture taken within St. George’s Basilica At Prague Castle
The houses pictured below were super tiny. They are along the Golden Lane within the castle. I went into about half of them and read some info about those I entered but wanted to learn more about them later. This website has some interior pictures. No kidding. Some of these “houses” were smaller than my kitchen. None had bathrooms for many years, with one of them finally installing one in 1945. This was an interesting part of the castle.
Within the Castle Palace we found ourselves quite unimpressed. We had no guide telling us what was neat about this room and so just looked at this huge, empty room and walked through. We did see a breathtaking view of Prague from one of its balconies, and then wandered right back out. In this picture you can see Charles Bridge. We were not allowed to take any pictures in the room without first purchasing a filming license, which were conveniently sold before you enter. As a rebel I decided I didn’t want to pay more to take pictures of a building I had ALREADY paid to enter, so just didn’t take any pictures. The most impressive thing I saw online about it was that it used to house indoor jousting matches. For more information the castle, visit the official Prague Castle website. I highly recommend checking this site out, especially if you plan to visit. And, pay the “free tour” people for a guided tour (that means, you pay in advance and you can even do that online). Otherwise you’ll be looking at a lot of stuff and have no clue what you’re seeing.
After touring the castle we walked back down the hill and ate at a restaurant that served the traditional Czech meal we had tried to get for lunch yesterday. The place was decorated with black and white images of Czech nationals from many years before. They had also set up mannequins dressed in time-period clothing to match the printed pictures. Food was good, but over priced. That’s what we get for eating along the beaten path. We were okay with that since we were on a mission: find Czech food and get back to the apartment by 2:00 to retrieve our luggage.
After we ate, mom, C,B, P & I headed back to the hotel while Dad, Matt and H went back to the market one last time. They were searching for souvenirs to take back to friends/family in the states. The caretaker was cleaning our apartment so he opened another one, on the ground floor, so we could rest comfortably while waiting on the men to return. This was especially gracious as Parker was completely asleep in his stroller. We just rolled him right into the ground-floor apartment and into a bedroom. Carson and Bailey killed time by playing in iPods, mom checked Facebook while I took a nap on the couch. I highly recommend this apartment to stay in as the owner has selected a true gentleman to care for his apartments. While we rested he brought every piece of luggage down two flights of stairs and placed it in the apartment we waited in. He refused my offers of help saying that he has a wife and two children and and wouldn’t want her carrying all that luggage. “And you… with FOUR!”
When the men returned they loaded up the van, tipped the caretaker and we were off! Matt drove us for a few hours until we stopped for a picnic dinner. See, the trick is to pack enough sandwich stuff to stop for picnics both on the way to and from our destination. We had a freezer in the apartment so it kept our freezer packs frozen for the return trip. We did have to purchase bread for the return picnic, but other than that, we had all we needed. The sun was setting as we ate, and this dinner was a great way to end our mini-vacation-within-a-vacation.
And one final note: My husband came up with the title of the first post in this series and I must give him a proper shout-out. Thanks, Babe! “Czech you out!”