Sunday, May 20, 2012

Prague - Day 2

Where to begin at today. Today was full of walking for me. I am exhausted from the amount of walking (and stairs!) I've done today. But I will get to that later.

First thing, for the most part last night I slept incredibly well. Minus the midnight outside yakking of a bunch of foreign speaking girls who just talked incredibly loud and were screaming and everything else. I actually opened my window and asked them if they forgot their keys and wanted to get in. They replied they were leaving - which was fine enough for me.

Anyways. Today I started by going to the top of the Astrological Clock. I took the 50 or so stairs up (they have an elevator for an option) and was able to see the city fairly well from that viewpoint. Was even there when the top of the hour came along and the trumpet guy played his little piece.

Next I wandered around and ended up going to the National Museum. Now first, I must say that I may have missed something, but it was the lamest, poorest of an excuse museum I have ever been to (minus 1 thing that actually made it an enjoyable experience for me). To my knowledge, they only have 2 levels of things to see. The first level is a poor attempt at a science (and a bit of random Egyptian) stuff. The second level has just a single room you can go into, but it is full of middle ages era cross bows and - what made it all worth the hassle and walking - a skull with an arrow still in the top of it. Even has pictures of the X-Ray. Pretty awesome. Did I mention that they charge the equivalent of $2 to allow you to take pictures? Moving on...

After that I walked around a few streets I haven't been to before. I ended up back around where I am staying at lunch time and ate at an excellent British themed restaurant called George & Dragon. I spent probably close to $30 on lunch (a third of that being from 2 Cokes - oy), but it was the most excellent food and so much that I could barely eat half of it. I would recommend it.

Next I hit next door to the National Gallery in Prague. This was actually a pretty cool exhibit. What were on display were the State collections of Egyptian, classical Greek and Roman and Asian art. I do think that this was a good choice to go see. It didn't take too long - maybe 45 minutes - to see entirely, but it was full of a lot of good high quality pieces.

After that I went and took a Boat Tour from the company Venice of Prague. I try to take a boat tour wherever I go if they offer one. I've taken one in Ottawa, Hong Kong and other various places and I always end up happy I did. Again, Prague seems to have let me down on this. It wasn't that the tour was bad - it wasn't. It wasn't that it was overpriced or overcrowded - it wasn't. It is just that the tour was not really all that informative and it didn't span much of the area (although due to some river drops - which I assume are man made - boats are limited on where they can go north of the Charles River. There was ONE good thing about this tour though. On the way back, a paddle boat with 2 people came by and the girl in the boat totally flashed out her boobs. Tradeoffs I guess.

Finally I went to go see Prague Castle. Now I have seen a lot of things in my travels to date, so it is hard to find something that I think is breathtaking - but it really is. One of the most ornate churches I have ever seen on the outside. It covers multiple architectural themes and has very ornate details all around. From the stain glass, to the spires and tower, to the detailed masonry, it is a sight you must see. But you will have to be in quite good shape if you plan to walk there. One of the ways you can go is straight up a street for about a mile. And I mean straight up. Another way is by taking a terraced staircase up for about 10 minutes. Again, you are going straight up, but not only is Prague Castle a breathtaking sight, but you will be able to see most the entire city when you're up there. Amazing sight to see.

And still speaking of Prague Castle, you can buy a ticket to go to the top of the Bell Tower (and they give you a token coin as well!). But the thing is, there is no option of taking an elevator. You must take (and I counted) 295 stairs up, 295 stairs down. And these are very narrow, winding stairs all the way up. Again, if you plan to do this, join a gym AT LEAST 6 months ahead of your visit.

Now it's recovery time for me. I'll be getting some dinner shortly here. There is a small change of plan tomorrow. Instead of leaving via an overnight train, I will be leaving in the late morning to Budapest. I figure sometime's it is better to not risk any potential issues when it comes to travelling in and to an area for the first time via an overnight train. So tomorrow I will be writing to you from Budapest, Hungary.

Until next time...

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