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Destination: Czech Republic

So, the next adventure started for us in Prague, Czech Republic on Thursday night, May 17th.  We had a pretty no-fuss subway ride to our Airbnb on the other side of the river and were greeted by the host who let us in, showed us our room, and provided us with a few details and recommendations about the area.  We again struck gold with this Airbnb selection; super clean, modern and with everything we needed in a modest space and close to transportation and the city.  We could easily get to where we needed to by Prague’s convenient tram system and it was a nice location to be just far enough away for it to be quieter than the hubbub of the main party and tourist areas.

Since we arrived pretty late, we quickly changed and settled on one of our host’s recommendations for dinner nearby.  We walked just around the corner to a pretty spacious restaurant for dinner.  We were again presented with massive portions of food, this one being pretty delicious.  I tried their version of goulash with bread dumplings and Bryan had the ham shank that was super tender and flavorful and I stole a few bites of.  The prices were again super cheap and the beer was a notch above Poland’s.  Leaving stuffed again we headed back home for a good nights sleep.

Friday morning we were wanting to catch the free walking tour and rode the tram straight to the main part of Prague.  We wandered the cute narrow cobblestone streets that looked like something out of Disneyland or Harry Potter and got some cappuccinos and a blueberry cake at a little cafe that we enjoyed outside.  Shortly thereafter our tour began and we had a redheaded native Minnesotan who had been living in Prague for 7 years leading our way.  She was the most animated of our tour guides and did a great job providing us with the history of the city but also was able to capture the nature of its people.  The tour went by pretty quick and we were already enthralled with Prague’s beautiful and ancient buildings.

We ended near the river so we walked along that awhile and strolled across the famous Charles Bridge.  On the other side of the river we found a restaurant with water views to get some lunch.  The food here was mediocre at best and certainly pricier than elsewhere in the city so we were paying mostly for the views, and the narrow stairway to get down to the restaurant itself.  After lunch we decided to walk up and explore the nearby and expansive Petrin Park.  The path we selected went up and up and up.  We were offered with some great views of the city from the top and enjoyed exploring the paths, the woods, and finally their copy of an Eiffel Tower.  We decided to ride the funicular down the park, as our metro pass covered it, and at the bottom we were now close to our hotel.

Friday night we cleaned up and changed for a nice dinner out at the local Four Seasons, via mystery shopping.  The restaurant was called CottoCrudo and was Czech and Italian.  We had a super cozy booth and a very accommodating waiter at our disposal the whole night.  We settled into a lengthy multi-course dinner and drinks along with their phenomenal bread basket and housemade focaccia.  Everything was delicious and service was as expected at a Four Seasons.

We left feeling full and happy and walked a short distance to the Prague Beer Museum.  It’s not an actual museum of beer but more just a beer hall with a wide variety of beers on tap.  Bryan enjoyed a few beers here while I greatly enjoyed the live band playing.  We stayed until the band wrapped up, around midnight, before catching the tram home for the night.

Saturday we had little to no plans but set off first for our host’s recommendation to visit the weekly Farmer’s Market, just a short walk across the river from our place.  This was a great experience.  I got to take in all of the food, drink and craft vendors as well as some local music.  After strolling our selections I decided on a mushroom goulash filled with local foraged mushrooms and an iced coffee and Bryan chose a beer and a great sandwich.  We enjoyed these with our legs hanging off the pier along the river.

After finishing this we decided to visit the nearby (less known) castle of the city; the Vysehard Castle.  It was no less impressive to us and the views offered were both beautiful and quiet.  We walked around the complex before finding another festival/market happening inside the castle grounds and stumbled upon the cutest baby pants ever.  We had to purchase these for baby before continuing on.  We visited the basilica in the castle before making our way back down.  We took the tram home to nap and change.

Early evening we took the tram back to the main square of Prague and headed to T-Anker, which is a rooftop patio offering more views of the city, from within the city.  Bryan got a beer and we enjoyed the sun and the views until rain clouds actually started to roll in.  We paid and left and waited out the rain before walking the short distance to the famous Nase Maso butcher shop; known for their beef tartare and burgers.  We split a burger here, knowing we’d be eating more elsewhere.  I wish I could have had the tartare though because it looked amazing.  We continued the crawl by taking the tram back to our side of the river and getting dinner at another basement cellar restaurant.  We split some great ribs and other dishes before moving on.  We took another tram back towards the Charles Bridge on the hunt for the famous chimney cakes.  We got two chimney cakes, one with berries and cream and the other with chocolate sauce and soft serve ice cream.  Both were amazing, hot and fresh, and best enjoyed with a late night walk on the Charles Bridge.  Fewer people and the stunning lights of the city late at night.  We took one last tram ride home for the night.

Our last day in Prague came and we had to check out of the Airbnb by 10 am and also had scheduled the Prague Castle tour starting at 10 am.  We were advised by our host that we could leave our luggage at the train station so we made our way there, bought tickets for our train to Vienna, stored our luggage in a locker and then set out on foot to the meeting point for our Castle Tour.  The Castle Tour was another three hours and was informative and interesting but we probably could have just explored the castle on our own.

It was another beautiful day so after the tour ended we grabbed a good lunch near the river and then headed to the island in the river to rent a paddle boat for an hour.  I thoroughly enjoyed the paddle boat, the sun, the views of the buildings and bridges on the river, and all the other people out paddle boating around.  Sadly, once our boat ride was over it was time to make our way to the train.  We got our luggage and boarded the 4:50 pm train headed to Vienna.  This train was about 3.5 hours and again led us through pretty countryside and allowed me to read and take a quick catnap.

Gorgeous shot Bryan got crossing the Danube on the train as we were entering Vienna

With a slight delay of the train we arrived in Vienna just after 9 pm and were moving on to the third leg of the trip…pretty sure it was going to be hard to top Prague.

Chelsea

 

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