Monday, 1 January 2007

Christmas in Prague

Prague had always been on the list of places to go since we came over here. We looked at going last Christmas but at the time it made a lot of sense to stay in the UK. It was however something Paul wanted to do before he turned 30 so heading off for Christmas this year seemed like a very good idea.

There are two types of voyages in the world, holiday and travelling. Holidays to us are times where you stay more or less in the same place and take life very slowly, whereas travelling tends to have us in the types of accommodation where you will do anything to move on to the next spot.

Prague was definitely a holiday.

It’s a city that has well defined quarters (five of them…) and we decided that as we had the time we’d do one quarter each day.

The first day was the New Town. Here, but for a small memorial to a student protester, it was impossible to tell that in our lifetime this was a communist country as they had well and truly embraced western commerce. We got ourselves a bit lost in and out of all the side streets and we found several carp sellers. It would seem that once a year the streets fill with guys trying to wrestle the fish, and once caught they would receive a less than fatal dong to the head before being sold as a Christmas delicacy.

The second day consisted of the Little Quarter, a couple of churches and the Castle, oh and the first of many trips over the Charles Bridge, and about a million photos of it. This is a rather touristy bit of the town although that made it very easy to pause and have hot chocolate every time I got too cold to be outside.

We’d seen a lot of walking tours and decided to join a pub walk through the Old Town that night I thought that we’d get told a bit of history and pause between monuments for a local pils. Turned out it was meet at the meeting point and straight to the pub, then to the next for dinner and then to the next. It was still a good night; our guide was a 20 year old male student who, unsurprisingly, enjoyed his job and introduced us to a variety of drinks I would have never been brave enough to try (let alone had any idea how to pronounce).

As the previous night’s Old Town tour was not too detailed Paul and I headed back into the Old Town to look at the Christmas markets (including a lunch stop of BBQ pig, mmmm) before walking through the Jewish Quarter. We also did a little boat cruise. Christmas Eve dinner was in the hotel, and consisted of a lot of fish (which I found surprising for a landlocked country).

Santa managed to find us for Christmas so we were able to open some presents and enjoy lazy breakfast before heading out and about. There was a lot more open on Christmas day than eve, including the Communism Museum (which now classes as one of the stranger places I’ve been on Christmas day). We had Christmas dinner in the Little Quarter and I tried the Christmas carp - something that’s not going to become an annual fixture on my Christmas menu…

Having exhausted the five quarters we went to the park, and Paul made me climb up one of the viewing towers - the cold sweats were worth it though as the views were rather good.

Prague could defiantly be done in less time but it was good to be lazy, nap a bit and come home relaxed, rather than tired.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

You are lucky that you saw Prague in Christmas! Most of all I like the Old Town Square which is the heart of the city, Prague this year has red lights on the large Christmas tree in the center of the square, surrounded by stalls selling handcrafts that lend color and charm to the season. It would be extra luck to stay in one of Prague accommodation near Old Town Square. Young, old and in between, everybody still enjoys standing by the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Hall, by Old Town Square, and watching the mechanical figures come and go with the striking of the hour.