|Prague, Czech Republic, day 2 (11.8.2015)
||[Aug. 18th, 2015|10:29 am]
|[||Tags|||||animal photography, architecture, art, books, castle, church, drink, food, food porn, holiday, photo of the day, prague, reading, selfie, shopping, travel, trip report||]|
|||||CURTISS "With White Thing"||]|
Tuesday, August 11 was our second day in Prague. The plan was to wake up at 7am to have an early enough breakfast and hopefully beat some of the heat to get to Prague castle. We had visited it before in 2011, but because the weather was so dire and the castle has plenty of cool inside areas we decided to go again. The prediction was another 36°C and upwards day, so instead of exploring parts of the city we hadn’t been to before yet, we opted for another day at the castle complex.
I woke up at 6.30 instead of 7, and because I was actually rested, I got up and showered anyway. In the end me being up half an hour early meant we got to down for breakfast half an hour early too. It was really busy, but we still found a table outside ^^
To stay in the half an hour early thing, we managed to leave the hotel half an hour early too, which meant we had some time to take some photos along the way to Charles Bridge :)
We also passed by the tourist office, where I got some souvenir flyers and got some handy ones for Agnes and Jannes :)
Picture of the Mucha Museum, because I didn't photograph it the day before :)
And on Charles Bridge.
Even thought it was still early in the morning, it was already boiling hot. Even my giant floppy hat wasn’t cutting it. Luckily I had packed a foldable umbrella that could double as a parasol. I had packed my good Baby, the Stars Shine Bright parasol/umbrella, but I knew that most museums would be less than impressed with it (they are here too) and that most wouldn’t have lockers big enough to hold it (unlike in Belgium) so I was glad I had the foldable one with me too because the sun on the bridge was hella bright and burning.
Reaching that area of Prague,
we popped into the supermarket to buy little plain sandwiches for lunch. We got three and spend the equivalent of about €2 on them :)
Which was just as well because food and drink at the castle complex itself is hella expensive.
At first we couldn’t find the stairs up to the castle, but the wandering did bring us past some nice sights
and these little bugs :D
But in the end we did find them, and climbing them was just pure misery because of the heat XD But we made it up! :)
Because we were quite early, and most people there were there with a tour guide and thus already had tickets thanks to being part of an organised tour, the queue for tickets wasn’t very long at all. The entrance to the castle complex on an A ticket (the ticket with the most entry options) was 350 CZK, and we also got a photography permission for another 50 CZK. It’s a moot point and a waste of 50 CZK to be honest because the slip isn’t checked anywhere and you’re not allowed to photograph in most of the locations anyway (only outside, in the churches and in the Golden Lane). And it also didn’t grant access to the St-Vitus treasury (which costs another 400 CZK) and the portrait gallery (which was included back in 2011, I don’t know how much it costs now, because we didn’t pay for it. I did see it back in 2011 and would have been quite happy to see it again, but Bert wasn’t fussed and I didn’t want him to shell out more money for something he wasn’t keen on to start with).
Because we were boiling like you wouldn’t believe by the time we got into the complex proper and found one of the restaurant/cafés that wasn’t overrun with people yet. Well their outside stand was, but aside from us literally no one was sitting inside. The bartender thought we were very trustworthy, because after about 5 minutes she went outside to help her colleague and left us on our own. She was lucky we ARE trustworthy, else we would have helped ourselves to some of the delicious looking slices of lemon pie haha :) They had other pies too, you can see those in my Prague set.
I did help myself to a straw, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t an issue :)
To illustrate that food and drinks at the complex are expensive, we paid 200 CZK for a beer and a half a litre bottle of water, which is roughly the equivalent of close to € 4 for each XD. Some places are slightly less expensive, but not by much. I’m not sure you can pay less than 80 CZK for a drink anywhere on the grounds. And with the temperature going up to 37°C we simply had to buy more water.
First we went to the Golden Lane, which was distinctively less cool than it used to be. There used to be all these quaint little shops in there and really cool weapon exhibits. The weapon exhibits were still there, but the light was so crap it was hard to see them. It also didn’t help that a lot of explanations were only in Czech.
Regardless of the heat it was super crowded at the complex, but luckily it’s super big, so it was doable to find a quiet spot. Even though you had to look for them.
We went into the residences,
Photo of the day: 11.8.2015 (day 223)
both churches, St-George Church, which is full of random creepy things, like zombie cherubs.
and St-Vitus Cathedral (don’t wear a hat inside church guys, security will have a shit fit. Well women are totally allowed to, but men, oh no, that’s apparently a massive offence to Czech religious etiquette when it comes to Christianity. It is totally fine everywhere in the Jewish quarter of course)
Detail of the leaded glass window by Mucha.
and then paid extra to see the treasury.
The treasure was nice enough, but not very big at all, only a hallway, a smaller room and a bigger one, and you’re not allowed to photograph inside. Which is a right shame, because the last room is absolutely stunning, full of beautiful paintings all over the walls and ceilings!
I did make a sketch of one of the monstances because Bert liked it. The people working there seemed quite displeased with that, but hey, I wasn't filming or taking photos so they really couldn't say anything about it :)
After that we found another drink and ate lunch, before checking out the museum shop, where I found a birthday present for my friend Agnes (who actually reads this blog so I'm not saying what it is!) and this cool Mucha fan. I had forgotten my fan at the hotel (because clearly I’m an idiot when it gets hot) so that definitely was a good buy!
We went to see the old castle after that,
walked around the complex some more
and ended with the history of the Prague castle complex, where we also weren’t allowed to take photos. After that we chilled in the shade and drank some more bottled water we still had in our backpacks :)
By the time we were done sitting around, it was still boiling hot, but around 4pm, so we decided to head back down the stairs, but not before I took some shots of the view,
and go to the medieval restaurant, which is one of our favourite places to eat in Prague.
It’s the eldest restaurant in Prague, having been around in some form or other since the 1300dreds and nearly every evening they have a banquet show on, but before 7pm when it starts, you can just pop in for food a la carte and/or drinks. The staff does their best to live up to the theme, and they are always very friendly. Aside from that the food is not only good, it’s also pretty cheap.
I opted for the trout, and Bert went for the vegetarian platter. The home made ice tea was also delicious. I don’t normally like mint, but in this drink it worked really well!
We wandered back to the other Absintherie, taking some more photos along the way
I think everywhere should have traffic lights like these. Fun fact, there are hardly any traffic lights in Prague, and even though there is a lot of crazy driving going on, they do seem to keep an eye out for pedestrians. At one point Bert and I nearly died of shock on the spot when a TRAM stopped to let us cross the street. Here in Belgium you gotta jump out of the way for public transport or get ran over, but in Prague: no such thing :)
We decided to go to the other Absintherie on Kafka Square this time, and it was a much better choice. Bert asked the waiter not to serve absinthe with dry ice, and it wasn’t an issue at all. There were four French tweens at the table next to us, and they quickly realised that Bert knew his way around absinthe, so they asked for advice. It was quite practical that I spoke both French (or better said: know my way around French well enough) and English so Bert managed to keep the conversation up :)
In the end they forgot to ask the waiter to leave the dry ice out, so their first absinthe experience wasn’t as good as it should have been. Oh well. They seemed to have a great time and enjoying themselves so it’s all good :)
And Bert and I liked it there much better too. And the bottle of Evian I ordered wasn’t out of date, so bonus ^^
More photos on the way:
Next to the Palladium there is a random little street church. It was closed but the little yard in front of it was open.
Because we wanted to get more water we popped into M&S at the Palladium
and I had a look around at MAC because I wanted to check how much their eye shadow was and whether or not they had Coppering. Turned out they did, for about the same price as they sell it for in Belgium (€ 17,50) so I decided to pick it up the next day. It also turned out that there was a Craftholic stand (which made me squee a lot), where I bought a double Sloth bear keychain. I had been eyeing it on the UK and Japanese Craftholic sites but never bought it because of shipping and other costs attached, but now that they had it for 220 CZK I just got it.
Photo from the Japanese website.
It turned out that there was a comic book store on the same floor, which we had somehow missed the day before. I bought a Spawn comic for Bert with Angela on the cover (Angela being his favourite character, both in Spawn and Marvel incarnations)
and urged Bert to get on with it because the mall shops were closing in half an hour because I wanted to get hair dye at DM. In the end Bert ended up buying it for me, which was really sweet of him :)
In the end it was nearly 9pm (shop closing time) before we wandered back to the hotel and we relaxed a little in the room before it was time for bed.
Even though it was another boiling hot day, I took loads more photos, you can see them all here :)