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Pretty Prague

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Day 11
Today we took the train to Prague. Shortly after boarding, they announced that the train would eventually split, with some cars going to Prague and others going onto another city in Germany. When we boarded, we thought that we were in a car going to Prague.

Turns out we weren’t.

The personnel on the train were helpful. They had us get off at the next stop, go back to where the split happened, and catch the next train to Prague from there. You can bet we triple-checked that we were in the right car this time!

All’s well that ends well, but we did arrive in Prague about 2 hours later than we thought we would, plus it was pouring outside. Then DH had trouble using his debit card at an ATM at the train station. We learned that we could buy tram tickets with card instead of cash, so fortunately we could use another card for that. The rain let up a bit, too.

We settled in at the hotel, ate dinner nearby, and called it a night.

Day 12
This morning we set off for Prague Castle, which really is a complex that has a castle as well as other buildings. It was another day with an excessive heat warning, so we paced ourselves and found shady spots to take breaks. We enjoyed the castle itself,

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but I thought St. Vitus Cathedral was even more impressive.

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The castle sits on a hill, so you also get great views of the city.

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DH is a WWII history buff, so after lunch he had us go to the church of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Two Czech Army-in-Exile soldiers assassinated Heydrich, the notorious Nazi who was in charge of occupied Czechoslovakia. The soldiers, along with some of their fellow fighters, hid in the church. The Nazis found them, so there was fighting there. A memorial outside commemorates the Czech soldiers.

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Just above, there are bullet holes near the window into the crypt.

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The basement of the church has a museum devoted to Operation Anthropoid (the mission to assassinate Heydrich). It is small, but informative. Toward the back, there is what looks like a v-shaped dent in the wall with the word “crypt” overhead. At first I thought it was just indicating that the crypt was on the other side. Then DD2 and I spotted a placard on the wall and learned that the “dent” was really a butterfly door that takes you into the crypt. There you can see more evidence of the fighting

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and memorials to the Czech soldiers who lost their lives in it.

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(photo credit DH)

I had known very little about this event, but I felt like I learned a lot visiting the museum.

The church is just a few blocks away from “Fred and Ginger”, the famous “Dancing House” designed by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić. Even better, the café at ground level sold gelato so we could cool off!

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Our next idea was to ride tram 22 to see some of the sights as recommended by Rick Steves. We got on a newer tram that looked air conditioned: all of its windows were closed. It was not, and it was hotter than the old trams that have the windows down! We gave up on that idea fast. We found a place for dinner and returned to the hotel.

Day 13
Finally, the temperature dropped! Today we explored the Old Town. We took the tram in and walked to the main square.

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Adjoining the main square is the Astronomical Clock. We checked it out on the hour, when Death (the skeleton) rings his bell and the apostles parade around above the clock face. DD2 and I were so focused on the lower part that we missed the apostles!

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Right after the clock struck the hour, a newly married couple exited the town hall and the bride tossed her bouquet into the crowd of tourists.

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We also walked across the Charles Bridge.

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As we walked the old town, we found a cool macaron display (photo credit DD2) and a store devoted entirely to rubber duckies!

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Prague is really one of the prettiest cities I’ve ever seen. It seems like there is always some cool building to photograph.

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After dinner, it was back to the hotel to pack. I’m glad that we visited Prague and wished we had more time there. I guess we will just have to come back!

Posted by amikulski 01:56 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged bridges children prague castle czech families

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