04 September 2009

The 14-hour ride to Prague

When writing these travelogues, i get another chance to reflect on the times and places i've traveled to. Whilst it is a huge challenge to accurately describe the adventures that we've had, I attempt at my very best to put my thoughts into words, so it remains something we can always look back and smile at.

Our journey to Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, was breathtaking! A 14-hour ride from Amsterdam saw us passing through the gorgeous snow-covered peaks and sleepy towns in Germany. I can literally sit and gaze out the window for hours.

We were bunk mates with a Korean, whose name i am unable to recall. He is the epitome of a traveller. His travel buddy pulled out from the trip at the very last minute but he chose to continue his european excapade, covering a new place as and when he's soaked up enough from one. No time restriction, no money constraints, just plain free-and-easy. One day, i say =)

We found this perfect little apartment called Hotel Apartments Wenceslas Square on Vodickova Road. For 50 euro per night, we had a homely unit which will most definitely remind you of colleage days, a fully-equipped kitchen and only walking distance away from the main attractions.

And our intensive walkaton begins.

.Food first.

This restaurant is directly opposite our apartment and serves the BOMB of a pancake, blue cheese + gorgonzola cheese topped with bacon. The other mouth-watering dish we ordered is chicken fillet with basmati rice + more of the blue and gorgonzola goodness. I cannot emphasize how much i enjoyed my creamy rice. mmMMmm.

And now, off to the Old Town Square...

The Powder Tower was built in 1475 and said to be one of the original 13 city entrances to the Old Town. It is said to have gotten its name because it used to house gunpowders.

The Old Town is probably one of my favourite area in Prague. This is the core of Prague's historical centre and is the place where many cultural and political events took place.
The main attraction for most people here is definitely medieval Astronomical Clock, which also has a chronometer and zodiac below it.

As it nears the hour, literally hundreds of people would shuffle and gather infront of the clock waiting for the procession of the 12 apostles. At the strike of the hour, the clock starts to chime bringing even more ambience to the already lively town. Then you will notice two doors above the astronomical dial open. First one out is St.Paul who holds a sword in one hand and a book in another, followed by the rest of the apostles who make their appearance one at a time. There's a legend that the town council gouged out the eyes of the clock-maker after the completion to prevent him from ever producing anything as grand for another city. And he, the only one who understood the mechanics of the clock damaged it before he died. But ofcourse, the real history of this clock is not half as exciting.

Dont be expecting a magical display but instead be ready to be marveled by the square's amazing architecture every step you take.

As we look around us, we realized that the square is circled by cafes, restaurants and shops. And what i really enjoyed here is the many lanes that surrounds it. With Boon's 'amazing' sense of direction, we had quite an adventure weaving our way through the maze.

The Havel Market is one of the oldest markets in the city, dating back to 1232. If you're looking for souvenirs, this is the place to be. You will be able to find anything you could possibly want to buy for anyone back home, under one roof... horrid looking witch puppets, paintings, Czech crystals, wooden toys, Czech honey... and dont ask me why, but we ended up buying these Russian dolls on Karlova street.

The black light theatre is probably something you will want to check out although unfortunately we didnt have time to fit it in. It is unique and said to be invented in Prague. It features a mixture of mime, ballet, modern dance, puppets and light effects that Jess raves about.

This is Wenceslas Square, where we stayed. It actually resembles a shorter version of Champs Elysees in Paris. Around this area, you will find sausage fests on almost every corner.

A 180 view of Old Town Square. I absolutely love the look and feel of this place at night.

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