Monday, January 4, 2016

Europe at Christmas {Prague~Day One}

On December 16th, I had a super early morning.  I left the hotel at 5:00.  It was about a 10 minute walk to Terminal 4 from the Heathrow Hilton, and there was suppose to be a 5:11 train to Terminal 3.  I ran the last 100 yards, only to find out when I got there that the 5:11 train was non-existent, so I had to wait about 15 minutes for the next one.  I made it to Terminal 3, was able to get breakfast at Pret A Manger, and catch my 7:20 flight to Prague, Czech Republic.

The flight from London to Prague is only 2 hours, but due to the time change, I arrived at Václav Havel International Airport at 10:20.  I made it through Border Security, grabbed my bag, sailed through customs, and out to the arrivals terminal where my pre-arranged transport was waiting with my name on a card.  He drove me straight to the hotel.

I had selected the Savic Hotel.  It is a small hotel of only 27 rooms/suites, and it's location couldn't be better.  Luckily, they were able to check me in early so I could put my stuff away immediately before heading out for the day.

The Entrance to the Hotel
I just had the Standard Double Room.

The entrance of my room.
The armoire was the closet for the room and held an in-room safe.  
The Bathroom was to the right, just across from the armoire.
(I was pretty obsessed with these wood floors)

I found all of the hotel rooms (and just about everywhere) too hot.  I kept this window open a lot!
The mini bar was in this chest, and I appreciated the coffee/tea set up too.
The marble tile floors were heated, which was nice.
Looking out my window...this is a street.  Like a car and garbage truck (that was entertaining to watch) drive down it street.  This was typical of Prague.  I was very happy I didn't have to drive there. 
This hotel was an old Monastery dating to the 14th Century.  Some rooms are prettier than mine, but I chose not to upgrade.  Here are some pics of their "pretty" rooms with original beams and paintings.
(pics from their website)

After I checked in, I headed out for the Old Town Square.  It was less than a 2 minute walk from my hotel and I passed a little market on the way.
Once I rounded the corner by that yellow building, the Old Town Square came into sight, and I was smitten.  It's like being in a fairy tale, or at least like stepping back several hundred years.
The Astronomical Clock

At the top of every hour, it puts on it's "show".  This is from later that day...

The Old Town Square is dominated by the Clock Tower on one corner,
and Our Lady Church of Tyn on the other.
At this point in the day, I took a bus tour of Prague.  When short on time, I often find that is a great way to see the most of a city.  I bought a 48 hour bus pass because I intended to use it the next day as my transportation around Prague.  I did not particularly care for the tour.  It was okay, but not great.  I didn't take many pictures from the bus that day, only this one looking out at Prague...
Once I made the entire bus loop around Prague, I walked back over to the Old Town Square.  There was a small market along the way, and a pretty tree outside of a shopping area...

I also passed the Powder Tower (or Powder Gate) along the way.  It is one of the original city gates that dates back to 1475.  This is one thing I found so remarkable about Prague.  It didn't suffer much damage in the World Wars.  The only WWII bomb that hit Prague was dropped by Americans who were apparently confused and though it was Dresden (and on a later walking tour, where I was the only American, they told that story, and everyone looked at me.  Oops!  {awkward})

Back at Old Town Square, I wanted to Eat (I hadn't had anything since my 5:45 breakfast) and Shop.  Generally, just enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, etc.

These are known as Chimney Cakes.  They are rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and smell like heaven while cooking.
Here's a video of them cooking...

This is what a serving looks like...
I got it with nutella inside and proceeded to make a giant mess, which necessitated washing my scarf in the bathroom sink later that night.

The sun starts to set at around 3:30 this time of year, so I watched the clock change at 4:00 (video posted above), and then bought a ticket to go up to the top of the Clock Tower.  The view is totally worth the price of admission!  So here are a ton of pics that I took from all 4 sides of the tower...
The sidewalks!  I was obsessed with the sidewalks all over the Prague.  Their patterns were so pretty!

Prague Castle in the distance...

Petrin Hill...
A quick selfie from the clock tower

I took another swing through the market and made some additional purchases, and then decided to call it a night since I had been up since 4:15 a.m.

It was a great day in Prague!  

Stay tuned for Day Two


The Cooper Family said...

Love the pictures! Great job of making me feel like I was (almost) there with you!

Abby said...

Kids our next family vacation: Prague! I've always-for ever and ever wanted to go! When will we think it's "safe" for Russia?


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