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Archive for December, 2014

Prague

Our trip to Prague was great.  The flight was slightly delayed but the driver I’d booked on the internet was still waiting in the airport with my name on a board and the name of the hotel.  He drove us directly to the hotel which took about half-an-hour and when we arrived he stopped outside so he could carry our bags to the reception.  The hotel itself was small but had a nice atmosphere.  We were allocated a suite with two bedrooms, a lounging area, a bathroom and separate toilet.  Thankfully it was warm, although during the night it was slightly too warm and we had to open the windows to let a bit of air in.  We ate in the hotel’s restaurant and found we were having trouble with the currency when we expressed shock at the bill, worked it out and discovered that in fact we’d paid about fourteen pounds each.  That included two bottles of wine!  Prague is definitely a cheap place to eat very good quality food.

Terri waiting to cross the road in front of the Powder Tower, just a short distance from our hotel.

Terri waiting to cross the road in front of the Powder Tower, just a short distance from our hotel.

The famous clock in the Old Town Square which attracted huge crowds on the hour.  Personally, I was a little disappointed as I expected it to do more!

The famous clock in the Old Town Square which attracted huge crowds on the hour. Personally, I was a little disappointed as I expected it to do more!

Detail on the clock.  Most statues in Prague are netted like this - perhaps they have trouble with bits falling off.

Detail on the clock. Most statues in Prague are netted like this – perhaps they have trouble with bits falling off.

The Church in the Old Town Square.  You can see how many people were milling around for the markets.

The Church in the Old Town Square. You can see how many people were milling around for the markets.

A view through the entrance tower of the Charles Bridge on a very hazy day.

A view through the entrance tower of the Charles Bridge on a very hazy day.

Photobombed by a seagull!  This is Prague Castle which looks down on the city.

Photobombed by a seagull! This is Prague Castle which looks down on the city.

It wasn't so foggy once at the Castle and this detail is on St Vitus's Cathedral which is sat atop the hill.

It wasn’t so foggy once at the Castle and this detail is on St Vitus’s Cathedral which is sat atop the hill.

Janine and Terri in a lovely restaurant near the Castle.  We had the Goulash special which was three courses for a very reasonable amount of money.

Janine and Terri in a lovely restaurant near the Castle. We had the Goulash special which was three courses for a very reasonable amount of money.

The Old Town Square once night had fallen.  The atmosphere here was lovely.

The Old Town Square once night had fallen. The atmosphere here was lovely.

This was taken at dusk on the way down the funicular railway before we were accosted by armed guards.

This was taken at dusk on the way down the funicular railway before we were accosted by armed guards.

Our last meal before leaving for the airport.  It was outside and we were surrounded by heaters.

Our last meal before leaving for the airport. It was outside and we were surrounded by heaters.

We were very close to the Old Town Square and set out to explore the following day.  Although the weather was cold, there wasn’t any snow and it stayed dry.  Throughout our stay we walked across the Charles Bridge, visited the Castle, saw more than one Christmas market, went to a classical concert in the Clementinum’s Mirrored Chapel, strolled around Wenceslas Square and ate out a lot.

The only bad thing about the break was when we were scammed on the funicular railway and almost arrested by the guards.  Eventually they were ‘happy’ to settle for a fine and although we weren’t too keen on handing it over the alternative sounded much worse.  I think they may have been keeping an eye open for vulnerable tourists as they seemed to leave the groups with men in well alone.  Suffice it to say, if you ever go to Prague make sure you get any public transport tickets stamped at the barrier rather than doing what we did and going through the barrier kindly raised by the ‘helpful’ member of staff who waved us through and told us we needed to hurry.  You need to put your ticket in the barrier machine regardless of whether the barrier is up or down otherwise your ticket isn’t regarded as valid and they will fine you 800 kc!  It works out to be about twenty-five pounds so at the end of the day it isn’t all the world, but we still felt cheated.  The joys of foreign countries and their laws, I suppose.

We had a fantastic time and I can thoroughly recommend the hotel, which was called Hotel Salvator.  The rooms were clean and spacious and in total it cost us about a hundred pounds each for four nights including breakfast so we really couldn’t find fault.

This will undoubtedly be my last post until after Christmas so I hope you all have a good one, see the people you want to see and get the gifts you’re hoping for.  I don’t know what I’m hoping for, but I do know I’ll be seeing people I love especially since both the girls will be home for four days.

Merry Christmas.

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Off On Sunday

My sister Terri, friend Janine and I are off to Prague on Sunday afternoon to visit the Christmas Markets.  We went to Prague back in 2005 and it was extremely cold.  This time I note the forecast predicts snow, but whereas last time our hotel was a long walk out of the city, this time we’re in the Old Town Square, close enough to nip back in for something warming should we get frozen.  I’ve arranged for a car from the hotel to pick us up at the airport so we only have to get there and it’s all taken care of.

That’s the plan.  Hopefully, everything will go smoothly, but I’ll post when I get return.

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