about a dream: Day 74: Prague part II

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 74: Prague part II

We got up early Sunday morning and were greeted by the news that we have a brand new nephew/cousin! Hooray!! After ooohing and aaahing over the photos for a while, we went downstairs to have breakfast at our hotel (included!).

It was good, but not great. It was mostly a traditional European breakfast: an assortment of breads, cold meats, and cheeses. There were also scrambled eggs in a nod to the Americans I suppose, plus cold cereals (muesli and corn flakes). Oh, plus mini croissants, toast, and jelly. And coffee! The quality was fine, it's just that I'm starting to really miss french toast, pancakes, American bacon, sausage, muffins... sigh.

Well, after that we headed straight over to Castle Hill to see the Castle.
Castle Hill, as seen from Charles Bridge

It really is up on a hill, and there were about 15 flights of stairs to climb to get there
I think you would have passed on this one mom.

At the top is the castle! I'm not sure why it's called a castle instead of a palace, because it's not made of stone like a castle usually is. Maybe it's a castle because it's surrounded by a stone wall?

Here's what it looks like when you go through the main, wrought iron gate. See? Palatial. Ok I looked it up on wikipedia, and they alternately refer to it as a palace and a castle but don't explain why. I'll assume it has to do with the mixed elements of a wall surrounding the exterior, but wood-based buildings comprising the interior.

Regardless, the highlight of the castle is, in my opinion, St. Vitus Cathedral:

It's your classic Gothic-style cathedral, and it's just breathtaking.
That's a stained glass window above the altar, but the colors in the photo are pretty washed out. Of course, the pictures don't do the cathedral justice, but they're the best I can do. I switched the camera's setting to "sunset" and that helped the quality of the stained glass windows, but they're still a thousand times more impressive in real life.
The cathedral wasn't open to tourists until noon, but mass had begun at 9:30 and we'd gotten there at about 10:00, so we went to mass. That was the plan from the beginning. I've found that I enjoy going to mass at the churches more than just visiting them as a tourist. Plus, the churches that charge tourists don't charge for mass, so it's kind of like killing two birds with one stone while saving money.

After that we gave the girls the choice of doing a tour of the castle or spending some more time at the playground from the day before and they chose.... the playground! They don't really like tours, but they love the playgrounds here. Fair enough, I'm not sure we had enough time to do the whole tour anyway. Plus, the playground was right on the Vlatava River, and you can't beat the scenery. Here, see for yourself!

Then we bought the girls some nesting dolls, picked up our bags from the hotel and headed back to the train station.

I love this picture of Nina doing her homework on the train. She's doing such a great job here and is such a wonderful traveller. Sure, we spend more time chasing pigeons and playing at playgrounds than we do on tours and fancy dinners, but it's worth it!

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

Love the pics of the church inside. Haven't looked at the facebook pics yet. I definitely think you should go to Paris!