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Germany, Austria & Czech Republic. Pt 7.

Czech Rep, Day 11 – Prague

September 2014

Quick links : Halal Food  Andel Market  Dancing Building  Kafka Museum   Petrin Hill/Petrin Tower  Powder Gate Photo spot
Like yesterday, I was out to see Prague at dawn. Today I headed the opposite direction towards Powder Gate tower. Like Charles bridge yesterday, the streets were almost empty, a stark contrast during the day.

First past the deserted outdoor Hard Rock cafe and the still shut outlet/indoor cafe. Then past the astronomical clock and the empty Old Town square and onwards to the Powder Gate tower. What a peaceful walk and the morning chill makes it refreshing.

Hard Rock Prague
Hard Rock outdoor cafe.

The still shut Hard Rock in the early morning.

Prague astronomical clock
The Astronomical clock from across the Old Town square.

Street to Powder Tower
Street to the Power Gate in the background.

Prague Power Gate
The Powder Gate in the early morning.

After breakfast, we headed over to the Dancing Building … that unmistakable landmark of Prague. As famous it could be, there were still empty floors for rent after all these years.

Prague dancing building
Prague Dancing building.

Lots still available for rent.

Diagonally opposite the Dancing Building, on river Vltava, there were 2 floating restaurants.

Boat on Vltava
Prague floating restaurant.

From here, we took the tram to the nearby Andel station crossing the Vltava river. On Fridays, there is a morning market selling vegetables, fruits, breads, flowers and the like right in-front of Andel station. A big supermarket at the station, would fulfill your other requirements.

Andel Friday market
Friday morning market in-front of Andel station.

Andel Friday market
Your week’s requirement can be gotten here.

Varieties of bread to choose from.

andel market flower
The flower section.

From Andel station, we took a tram to Ujezd to go up Petrin Tower on Petrin Hill. You go up to Petrin Hill via a funicular using the normal tram ticket of 24CZK each way. On reaching Petrin Hill, you’ll walk across a beautifully maintained rose garden to the tower. Entrance to the 63.5m high Petrin tower is 120CZK, and you can either walk up 299 steps or take a small lift for an additional 60CZK. We choose the lift up but for the descend, we walked down instead.

Petrin Hill rose garden.

Another view of the rose garden.

Petrin Tower
The Petrin Tower looming from the rose garden. A short walk from the funicular stop.

Closer view of the Petrin Tower.

Petrin hill bench
Benches to relax at the rose garden.

The Petrin tower is definitely one of the best photo spot in Prague. Although we went up at 12:00 p.m. there were still mist in the far background. On a clear day, you should be able to get a  beautiful photograph of Prague city.

Prage castle from petrin tower
Prague castle complex from Petrin tower.

Charles bridge from petrin tower
The Charles bridge from the tower.

Close by to the funicular station at the Petrin foot hill coming up from Ujezd tram stop, you’ll see these statues. The Memorial to the victims of Communism.

The Memorial to the victims of CommunismThe disappearing man statues by David Cerny.

Concluded our Petrin Hill & Petrin Tower visit, we took tram No. 22 towards Malostranske namesti. A short walk off the Charles bridge to the left, is Frank Kafka museum. These pissing statues will be greeting you.

Kafka pissing statues
Pissing statues outside Frank Kafka museum.

Towards your right, from the Charles bridge just before Kafka museum, is Prague’s narrowest street … probably Czech’s narrowest. So narrow, it has traffic lights for pedestrians. You can only walk one abreast.

Prague narrowest street

Prague or world’s narrowest street. See the pedestrian traffic light?

Prague's Narrowest Street

Location of Pargue’s narrowest street. Click for bigger map.

To end our day, we had a late lunch at Istanbul Kebab, a turkish halal restaurant. It’s location is right in-front of The Palladium side entrance. It’s diagonally opposite Hotel Ibis Old town close to Republiky tram stop. Muslim travelers may want to take note of this eatery or alternatively at Nordsee inside Palladium mall’s food court.

Turkish restaurant
Turkish restaurant, Istanbul Kebab besides Palladium mall. Tasty food.

Istanbul Kebab
Location of Istanbul Kebab. Nordsee is inside Palladium on the food court level.

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.



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.


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.

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.