Monday, July 2, 2012

Prague redux

I promised you Prague awhile back, so it's about time I got to it, don't you think? As part of crashing their honeymoon, I thought it would be fun to add Prague to the list of things-to-do with Jess and Ryan while they were here. Not a bad list, eh? I also fully wanted to redeem that beautiful city after our trip was overshadowed by horrible weather when we went over Easter.

Well, we went from one extreme to the other. The weather was anything but cold this time around. In fact, I couldn't have been happier that Big R kept the little bear at home for this trip because my crazy toddler would not have done well at all in the heat. We didn't let the heat get to us though, and instead just pushed hard to see as much of Prague as we could.

We were only going to be in Prague for about 24 hours, so we hit the road as early as possible and made our way to the Czech Republic. Big R and I now have a GPS, by the way, and this marked my first big adventure having a sweet monotone voice provide me with directions. Don't laugh at me too hard, but that thing can seriously make me crazy. We did a lot of giggling about it because not knowing how to help the computer reroute itself when we didn't want to go the way she wanted us to, we kept ignoring her every instruction. We finally got her to chill out when Ryan used his manly technological intuition to reset the directions. The only reason I brought the darn thing on this visit was to make sure I found my way to the hotel - getting to Prague is the easy part. And can you believe the freaking thing went dead when we were about two minutes from our hotel? Completely dead. No, I'm not kidding. It died. Ryan tried everything to get her to come back to life, but she was out cold. Well, that is until we found the hotel and parked the car. Miraculously she turned herself back on. Oy.

Anyways... The sweet Lida House was as nice and friendly as I had remembered it from our stay in April. We were greeted at the door, and we settled quickly and walked right back out to start our Prague adventures.

Our time was short, so we avoided museums or paying to go into Castles or other tourist draws, and instead just took in the beauty of the city. We started at Prague Castle and worked our way down toward the Charles Bridge. I knew they would really enjoy the Lennon Wall, even if it was a recreation of the original - the premise is so Bohemian making it a must-see for my sister. They took at least a dozen pictures, so I think they liked it. I only brought along my iPhone on this trip, bringing my picture count to less than a dozen on the whole trip, but I did manage to capture a few memories.

I think our favorite part of our trip to Prague was going on a boat tour. As it turned out, there were several different companies, but we happened to find one that fit our mood perfectly. The "cab" to the boat was a large canoe that felt more like a gondola ride, and for awhile we thought that was going to be our ride down the river.

It was such a cool way to see the city. If you ever make a trip to Prague, I can't recommend it enough. The views from the river are amazing, especially on a beautiful sunny day.

After our awesome boat tour, we headed over the Charles Bridge. Although it was well into tourist season there, randomly things weren't too hectic during our visit. I've seen the Charles Bridge so packed before that you can hardly cross, but we were lucky and instead got to take a leisurely stroll to check out all the artists' work.

Dinner was at a super touristy restaurant in the area between the Charles Bridge and Old Town. We were hungry and the dinner selections were abundant. Besides, it was a great place to people watch, which is one of our favorite things to do anyhow. To our surprise, the food was phenomenal and the beer was refreshing. We might have just been really freaking hungry from all the walking, but I doubt it.

One really awesome thing about traveling in this part of Europe during the summer months is that you have an amazing amount of daylight. The sun would be going down as late as 9:30 p.m. giving us ample time after dinner to take in all the sights of Old Town and New Town before the life of the city would shift to the night crowd. We found ourselves up in the Clock Tower right before sunset, so the honeymooners could get some great photos of this beautiful city. I grabbed a couple of my own...

And the Euro Cup was in full swing while we were there and spectators were crowding the square to watch and cheer for their team on the big screen. It was really fun to see all of this from the top of the Clock Tower.

We descended back to the streets after spending quite awhile on top of the city taking it all in. We sauntered through to New Town and finally nestled back into the old square where we found some cold brews and fabulous ice cream. It was a fantastic way to end a really awesome day.

We just barely caught the last tram back to our hotel, and I think we fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow. I think it's safe to say Jess and Ryan had a fabulous time in Prague, and that they fell in love with its Bohemian charm. And I was happy to rejuvenate the love I had felt for Prague the first time Big R and I were lucky enough to visit. Being that we live so close to this beautiful city, I think it will see us again, and probably soon...


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