Monthly Archives: November 2014

Germany, Austria & Czech Republic. Pt 6.

Czech Rep, Day 10 – Prague

September 2014

Royal Gardens Prague  John Lennon wall  Hard Rock Prague  Havelske street market  Wenceslas Square

Start of the 2nd day at dawn, I walk over to Charles Bridge from our hostel for some morning shots of the bridge. It a short distance taking only 4 minutes. A total contrast from the maddening mid-day crowd. At 6.20 a.m. the bridge was so peaceful, calm and the bridge lights were still lit giving that romantic mood. There were more photographers, men & women than locals passing by. Temperature was about 12 C°.

Charles bridge morning
The 6.20 a.m. morning ‘crowd’ on Charles Bridge.

Karlova street morning
Karlova street leading to our hostel at dawn.

Just before 9.00 a.m. after breakfast, I headed back to Charles Bridge with my wife. There were still no crowd .. just like dawn earlier but a little more locals getting to work. From the Old Town bridge tower we walk to the other side but before reaching the Lesser Town bridge tower, we took a left turn down the stairs where there is a small square lined with trees. We are now on Kampa Island.


Trees on Kampa island
Tree lined square on Kampa Island.

Taking a right turn to Hroznova street, it led us to a small bridge leading the way to John Lennon wall. The railing of the bridge is packed full of love padlocks. Wonder whats the combined weight of these padlocks.


Prague love padlocks
Virtually no more space for one more padlock.

A short walk from this bridge, we arrived at one of my favorite artist, ex-Beatles John Lennon wall. This wall, a tribute to him.


In memory of John Lennon.

Prague John Lennon wall
John Lennon wall, Prague.

From the Lennon wall, we walked to Malostranska tram stop and took tram No. 22 to visit Prague Castle once again on our own. We got off at Prazsky hard tram stop and walk towards the 2nd courtyard entrance we entered yesterday. Mid-way to our left is the Royal Gardens. We strolled around for a while and proceeded straight to the Castle square viewpoint for pictures of Prague’s rooftops.

Prague royal garden
The Castle Royal garden.

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Another view of the Royal garden.

Rooftop from castle square
Prague rooftops from the Castle square.

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Stairs up to the castle main entrance (1st courtyard).

After the castle we proceeded back to Old Town and went to Hard Rock to purchase a few T-shirts for our children. Hard Rock is just nearby the astronomical clock.

Hard Rock Prague
Hard Rock Cafe, Prague.

Hard Rock Cafe Prague
Entrance to the merchandise shop & indoor cafe.

From the Old Town square, we walk over to Wenceslas Square passing Havelske street market. You’ll find fruits, handiwork as well as other products sold here. Fridge magnets are worth buying here as they are priced cheaper. And on to Wenceslas square, you can buy branded products and visit the National Museum at the other end of the square.

Havelske market
Havelske street market.

Havelske street market
The colorful wooden tulips is a nice buy.

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A lot of varieties at Havelske street market.

Wenceslas Square
The National Museum at one end of Wenceslas Square.

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Streets of Wenceslas square where outlets sells branded products.

We ended our day’s activity walking back from Wenceslas square to our hostel in the early evening. Unlike other locations, we stayed an extra night in Prague and have the whole day tomorrow to explore Prague further.

Germany, Austria & Czech Republic. Pt 5.

Czech Rep, Day 9 – Cesky Krumlov to Prague

September 2014
Ritchie’s Hotel & Hostel  Palladium Mall  Hard Rock Cafe  Halal Food  Photo Spot

Our transportation to Pargue from Cesky Krumlov was again using CK Shuttle due to the convenience of being drop-off together with our luggage at the door steps of our hotel in Prague. This time, a VW shuttle van with already 3 passengers came to pick us up on time. We were the last 2 making a total of 5 in a van that can seat 8 passengers.

CK shuttle van

Again, the van was comfortable, clean and the ride was smooth all the way. We were pick-up at 9 a.m. and the journey to Prague would take 3 hours. Along the way, we passed a few scenic spots.

Road to Prague
103km to Praha (Prague).

Czech country side
Passing Czech country side.

Czech highway
Czech highway.

 

Prague.

Without being told, I recognised Prague’s ‘Dancing Building’. I knew at 11.45 a.m. we have entered Prague city center. The traffic was slightly heavy but moving.

Dancing building

Prague tram & metro route

Useful Prague tram & metro route.
Credit : metro.angrenost.cz

We were the last to be dropped-off and we stayed at Ritchie’s Hotel & Hostel right on Karlova Street. This is the street you would walk from Charles bridge over to the old town square. An added convenience staying here for us, there is a halal kebab shop ‘Bodrum’ just below the hostel. They serve tasty kebab & pizza. A convenience store is just besides it.

ritchie hotel & hostel prague
The entrance to Ritchie’s hostel is through an art gallery where at the end, is a steep spiral stair case up the hostel.

Bodrum kebab shop
Bodrum halal eatery below Ritchie’s hostel right on Karlova Street. Tasty servings. See location on map below.

As usual, not wasting time, we sat out to walk to Palladium mall about 1.3km away. On the way, just before reaching the astronomical clock, to your left is Hard Rock cafe.

Hard rock prague
Hard Rock Cafe, Prague.

Just a short distance further up, is the old town hall & astronomical clock that strikes every hour. Come to think of the flood of crowd waiting for the clock to strike and witness nothing else amazes me. I’m sure something was malfunctioning about this clock.


Prague Astronomical clock by the Old Town Square.

To the right of the clock (looking at it) is the Old Town Square where you’ll find different street musicians performing each day. And across the square is the Church of Our Lady before Týn.

Old Town Square Prague
Street musicians performing at the Old Town Square.

Tyn church Prague
  Church of Our Lady before Týn as seen from across the astronomical clock.

Walking further down from the Old Town Square passing rows of shops will take you to the Powder Gate and turning left onwards to Palladium Mall where we had lunch at Nordsee located at the top floor food court. There’s also an Arabic/Indian halal shop diagonally across Nordsee.

Prague powder tower
Pass the Powder Gate and to your left, it will take you to Palladium.

Palladium Prague
Palladium, Prague.

Nordsee Palladium mall Prague
Nordsee, Palladium food court, Prague. 

Prague Map
Walking route from Ritchie’s Hostel to Palladium. 1.3km, 16 minutes brisk walk.

We had booked a Prague 3-hour daytime guided Photo Walk through ‘Get Your Guide‘ conducted by a husband-and-wife team of Thomas & Petra. They came over to our hostel and the photo walk started at 5.15 p.m. I was the only participant & my wife as a non-paying companion.

We first passed the Czech Philharmonic building before crossing river Vltava via Manusuv bridge. Once on the other side of the river, we turned left and headed downwards towards the river cruise jetty where there were a flock of geese and ducks with the Charles Bridge in the background.

Geese and charles bridge
Geese, ducks, boat & Charles Bridge.

We back-tracked to where we turned left earlier, crossed Klarov street and walked straight ahead past Malostranska tram stop and turned left to what seems to be a uphill driveway before exiting mid way on the right into the woods! This off the beaten track will take us to the castle entrance according to Thomas. About half hour of tracking, we reached the 2nd courtyard castle entrance where the castle sentry stood on guard.

Woods to castle
Start of our trekking through the woods to Prague castle. Thomas & Petra showing the way. Or is it my wife leading them?

Tunnel to the castle
Through this short tunnel what seems at the end of it like pollen or dust floating around.

Castle from the woods
Part of the castle from the woods.

St Vitus cathedral
St Vitus cathedral structure jutting out from the woods.

Castle entrance
At the end of wooden fence on the right (with the light pole) just before the guard, is the exit from the woods. This will be the entrance to the castle 2nd courtyard if came by tram No. 22 and dropped-off at Prazsky Hard.                                                                                                  Credit:rogerzki.wordpress.com

 

Entering the castle from the 2nd courtyard entrance, we made our way to the 3rd courtyard where St Vitus cathedral is located. An awesomely huge building. Thereon, we walked to the Golden Lane and had photos of John Kafka’s former home.

prague-castle-map
Credit:planetware.com

Entrance to 3rd courtyard
Entrance to the 3rd courtyard.

St Vitus cathedral
St Vitus cathedral located in the 3rd courtyard.

Golden Lane
Golden Lane with it’s rather cute ‘small’ houses.

Prague castle main entrance
The castle square in-front of the 1st courtyard (main entrance) at dusk.

From the Golden Lane, we made our way out through the main castle entrance, pass the castle square and headed to Novy Svet. Photographers take note – the quiet lanes here are photo spot not to be missed.

Novy Svet1
Quiet lane of Novy Svet. 

Novy Svet4
Back lane of Novy Svet.

From Novy Svet, we started our walk back to our hostel passing the Loreta church, Uvoz street, Strahovská garden, the US Embassy and onto Charles Bridge which will take us to Karlova street at the other end. By the time we were at Strahovská garden, it was 7.40 p.m. and the sun has already set and it’s starting to get dark.

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Loreta church.

Uvoz street
Uvoz street at sundown.

Prague castle at night
Prague castle alight after sundown. Shot from Strahovská garden.

Cherles bridge at night
Shot towards Kafka Museum from Charles Bridge at nightfall.

We crossed Charles Bridge at 8.15 p.m. and reached our hostel 10 minutes later. With our thanks of appreciation, we bid goodbye to Thomas & Petra for showing us around Prague’s photo spots.