can somebody please turn the heat off! it was 80+ degrees this weekend in prague….and it’s darn near 90-degrees today. i know it is august and i know the germans are due their two weeks of summer but when september rolls around i certainly hope this whole “summer” thing is cleared up and we have good weather again! and yes, i have been completely spoiled by the insanely lovely weather this summer in germany. i really am going to be lost trying to acclimate to the east coast again soon. sigh.
well this weekend was our holiday weekend for my husband’s birthday. it was my goal to spoil him and give him a weekend that was just for him. here is hoping for mission accomplished!
our weekend started making sure we had all the things needed….
passports? czech…oh- wrong ‘check’ but it was the right ‘czech’! ok, so i am ridiculous but i really enjoy silly puns, plays on words, double entendres, etc. are they silly? absolutely, but i still love them!
so as you may have guessed, we went to the czech republic this weekend. it was my attempt at giving my husband a birthday weekend just for him. and while no, j and i didn’t dislike it ourselves (!) it was about him. and why prague? well, it is one of the most romantic cities in the world, it has a ton of history (which my husband loves), and it has an astronomical clock (something my husband may love more than history!). so how could i go wrong?!
it is about a 5-6 hour car ride to the prague, depending on stops and so on. we left around 10am and just before 4pm we were driving through prague. and i was heartbroken. it wasn’t pretty or historical looking. matter of fact it looked dingy and blah. this was my husband’s birthday present? oh no!…………but it turns out we came in on the comercialized part of town and with a few turns and roads we were suddenly into every part of history and romance i wanted. beautiful old buildings and cobblestone streets and quaint restaurants and gorgeous cathedrals and and and! we were even a train for a little bit (as j pointed out and delighted in) since the road for cars is actually the same as the trains and you just follow along behind them as if normal traffic (see here)…
and thankfully with a good gps we turned onto our street, started up the hill, and were immediately stopped by polizei. they wanted us to open the hood of the car and the trunk while they also looked under our car. interesting! but apparently our hotel was right across from the u.s. embassy- so like a little bit of home. except the hotel was wunderbar! everything about the hotel was amazing. from the courtyard, restaurant, complimentary czech wine and cheeses daily, underground spa, location….the list is endless! so just see pics below!
in short the weekend was great. prague was amazing. everything it was reputed to be and while we short changed it a bit (no way to take in all of prague in 3 days) it is somewhere i think we would visit again. the architecture is amazing and the culture and sights- there just aren’t adequate words! j had a blast and while he called prague “frog” most of the time, he enjoyed seeing the sights nearly as much as we did i think! he also loved watching the puppeteers and even scored a puppet of his own to learn with- of course he asked for a puppet of a little boy kicking a soccer ball! i also got to enjoy a (sort of) date night with my husband with a private dinner just the two of us while j played with staff in the courtyard- in hearing distance but allowing marv and i a small bit of time to enjoy being just the two of us as well.
so the history of prague lends itself to a lot of different influences for architecture and it is easy to see a sampling of it all. from bohemian/romanesque, russian, gothic, nouveau, renaissance, etc….and those are just ones that i could pick up! the different tourist sites are as varied and eclectic as well- much like the vendors and artists on the bridge. you see painters and sculptors, watch puppeteers or marionette manipulators, hear beautiful bands or solo opera singers….there is truly a little something for everything!
i also learned that i need to go back for a wine tour! each time we went out to dinner or lunch or a late snack i ordered from the local selections. and i always seemed to order a chardonnay (i think i was trying to take it easy after the winefest!)…and i was always impressed. each glass was amazing and topped the last…..on different days, not just because i was drinking lots of glasses!!! the food was also a delight- and i found there were some consistencies. nearly every place offered a similar fare to this: large slabs of various meats, pizzas, soup-even in 80-degree weather, tiramisu, and some type of apple streudel.
also, for anyone traveling to prague or the czech republic- no need to worry about getting local currency. first off- they have places on every corner it seems to change currency or visit an atm. they seem to scream at you, “spend money here”…which of course is hard to resist! secondly, most places take euro- which is extremely helpful. the other handy thing- almost everyone speaks english.
here are a few pictures to wrap up this post; to wrap up our weekend we visited the strahov monastic brewery for some truely amazing beer on our way out of town….oh, and then we went back to the winefest when we got home for some music and closing night festivities…. from a monastic brewery to a winefest….what a weekend!