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Winter in Prague

December 15, 2016
prague, castle

After New Year’s in Paris, we flew to Prague for one week before I headed back home for spring semester. Winter in Prague is stunningly beautiful but also quite cold!

Before I get into the highlights of the trip, let me just tell you about one of the most memorable events from the trip that we still regularly reference today. This is the story is of my first shower in Prague. Please believe me when I tell you I have never taken another ice cold shower like this one, and I don’t plan to ever, ever again. I don’t care how much I stink.

I turned on the water and waited for it to warm up. And waited. Nothing. Still ice cold. So, I went back to ask Kyle if the water is always this cold. He totally dismissed my concerns so back to the shower I went. I even washed my hair! Jumping into and back out of the water as quickly as possible until my shower was complete was something I never thought I would have to do. I swear I was almost blue by the time I was done.

Now it was Kyle’s turn to shower. But, of course, he was back in less than 5 minutes and reported the water was freezing. You don’t say. Turns out the heater was broken. It’s a miracle I survived that shower.

On to the trip.

Prague Castle is, of course, a must see. It’s the largest ancient castle in the world. It remains the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic and houses the Bohemian Crown Jewels in a secret room.

This brings me to my second story. I slipped on the ice inside the grounds of the castle and completely wiped out in front of about 30 people. We’ve since hypothesized that perhaps salt damages the buildings and that’s why it isn’t used. It’s also completely possible that the guards get bored and need some entertainment, which I unwillingly provided. Be careful if it’s icy while you’re there!

prague, st vitus cathedral, gothic, architecture

St. Vitrus Cathedral is located at the castle and is beautiful from all sides! The gothic architecture is gorgeous and the interior is equally as stunning. The cathedral contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors.

prague, cathedral, castle

The East side of the Cathedral.

No trip to Praha is complete without crossing over the Vltava River via The Charles Bridge. It’s construction began in 1357. Rumor has it King Charles IV laid the first stone himself. The bridge was, and remains to be, an important connector between Old Town Prague and the castle.

prague, charles bridge

Charles Bridge

The square in Old Town is where you’ll find the famous Christmas Markets although they were already closed by the time I visited on this trip. I’m really excited to get to see them in a few short weeks!

Old Town is also home to the Prague Astronomical Clock. It was installed in 1410 and is the oldest working clock in the world. It is the 3rd oldest if non-working clocks are counted. Definitely a must see!

prague, astronomical, clock

We also visited the Letohradek Hvezda or ‘Star Villa’ in English. It was built on the game reserve founded by King Ferdinand I in 1555. The villa is in the shape of a six-sided star. We didn’t go inside but the grounds the villa is situated on are beautiful. Lots of people cross country skiing.

prague, star villa

The “Baby Tower” is rather interesting. We actually went up to the observation deck. The views of the city were really great, the pictures through the glass, not so much.

prague, baby tower

Covered with crawling babies.

While I don’t have any pictures of the food, it is unmatched. The Czech dumplings, cabbage, and pork are fantastic – and I don’t even like pork. The beer is also great – do not leave without having a Gambrinus. Other highlights are the smazeny syr (fried cheese sandwich) and the hot dogs, both available from street vendors. You won’t regret either of these delicacies.

I had a wonderful time in Prague and I am so looking forward to returning for New Year’s this year! Hopefully I’ll get better photos than I did 7 years ago.

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