Prague, Czech Republic: The first stop in Europe

Pretty, Pretty Prague on our first night

We arrived in Prague from Bangkok by way of Kiev, Ukraine. I never thought I’d be buying that plane ticket, but life’s funny like that. The contrast between Asia and Europe was immediately appreciated to Eric upon arrival at the Kiev Airport (a very small and easily managed affair), where he immediately tucked in to a nice espresso and enjoyed the airports free wifi.

Arrival in Prague was simple as pie, where we board a clean and friendly bus that took us to the Metro, from there just a few stops on the Metro to our hostel right in the heart of things, in Old Town or Staremesto. We stayed at the Bridge Hostel right by Charles Bridge, or Karluv Most.  We loved our location and our hostel.

Eric and Chelsea in front of Charles Bridge

Big inhale, big exhale. Ahh, Europe. How I have missed you. I got excited about being back in Europe as soon as we stepped off the Metro. Everything is absolutely steeped in culture, history means hundreds of years ago-not decades and baked goods are a high priority for everyone. My kind of place!

Twilight in Prague. Photo by Eric.

This was my second time in Prague, but the first time had been in Christmas, so I was excited to see the difference; and boy, was it different. Prague was absolutely beautiful, even more so than I remembered. Prague seemed like it was scrubbed up and made for me! Everything is pristine and beautiful and all the art nouveau buildings are exactly what I would put in my dream city.

View from Charles Bridge of St. Francis of Assis

Prague is an old soul. I mean, Prague was a well established part of the Hapsburg Empire when the US was a disjointed bunch of French, English and Spanish territories. It’s full of Gothic architecture and on the other hand, it was also one of the main capitals of the Art Nouveau movement. Therefore the city has a lovely mix of Medieval architecture, and rows and rows of Art Nouveau apartment buildings and some glorious confections all done up in the organic inspired style.

Charles Bridge. Photo by Eric.

Eric in Old Town Square in front of Jan Hus statue, Prague

On our first day, we visited Prague Castle, which overlooks the rest of Prague from the neighborhood of Malastrana. We took a break from the hike to the castle to stop and get a Trdilnick (which I choose to pronounce “turtleneck”).

Me and my Trdelnik

The ever-so-friendly entrance to Prague Castle.

Prague Castle is home to St. Vitus’ Cathedral which is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen. It’s up there with the Sacre Coeur in Paris and San Marco’s Cathedral in Venice in my opinion, but it’s different of course in its Gothic Style.

St. Vitus' Cathedral from the Royal Gardens

St. Vitus' Cathedral from the back, Prague. Photo by Eric

St. Vitus' Cathedral

Windows of St. Vitus' Cathedral

One of my favorite parts were the stained glass window by one of the founders of Art Nouveau, Alphons Mucha-one of my all time favorite artists.

Alphons Mucha's Window in St. Vitus' Cathedral, Prague

Top of Mucha's Window in St. Vitus' Cathedral

Bottom of Mucha's Window in St. Vitus' Cathedral

The other stained glass windows were beautiful too. Each had it’s own particular style.

Stained Glass Window, St. Vitus' Cathedral, Prague. Photo by Eric

Stained Glass Window, St. Vitus' Cathedral, Prague. Photo by Eric

The Rose Window in St. Vitus' Cathedral, Prague

We explored the whole compound and then walked back through the gardens to take the tram back down to Staremesto.

Eric and I in the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle, St. Vitus' Cathedral is behind us

...and then Eric ate the Charles Bridge. Sorry Prague!

The next day we visited one of my all-time favorite museums, the Mucha Museum. Art Nouveau is my very favorite movement in art and so I love this museum for it’s beautiful lithographs and sketches by Mucha.

Gismonda by Mucha, I bought this print!

...and this one! Clair de Lune by Mucha

It even features stamps and money that he created for the newly independent Czechoslovakia after World War II. Why can’t all money be this beautiful?

Czech Banknotes by Mucha

We spent the second half of this day in the Friends Coffee House, which is basically straight from Eric’s own mind as it features a few ideas he’s had for the ultimate, work friendly coffee shop. They even feature internet waiters where you can order online, from you computer within the coffee shop. My favorite part was the demi-garden, a room with one wall entirely of glass that looks out onto the garden, and has a fountain inside. All the benefits of a garden patio, none of the exposure to the elements!

Demi-Garden at Friends Coffee House

After coffee we strolled through the lovely Franciscan Gardens. Everyone was taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

Franciscan Gardens, Prague

We ate dinner in Prague’s smallest Brewery, U Medviku.

Eric enjoying a brew at U Medviku

I had the fried cheese. A suspect choice.

We spent our last day walking around and seeing a few sites we had left on our list.

Eric is the Dancing House.

Simply walking around and park picnicking was a pleasure; and I pondered what it must be like to live in these art nouveau apartment jewels.

Art Nouveau Entrance, Prague

Egyptian inspired entrance, Prague

Yellow Belle, Prague

Art nouveau styled windowbox, Prague. Photo by Eric.

We also climbed the astronomical clock that day. One of Prague’s must-see’s-the astronomical clock has been telling the time and other astrological details since 1410. Yes, 1410. There are three main parts; the clock and astronomical dial representing the sun and the moon, the monthly calendar, and an moving component of apostles that march by every hour while Death (represented by the skeleton) empties his hourglass.

Eric and I in front of the Astronomical Clock or Orloj.

Closeup of the clock face-looks like it was made yesterday!

Eric and I in the clock tower, overlooking Tyn Church

View of Old Town Square from Clock Tower. The statue is Jan Hus and the church is Our Lady Before Tyn.

View from Orloj Tower of St. Nicholas, Prague

On our last night, we decided that we must take part in the infamous Prague nightlife. Our hostel was conveniently located about a half a block from Karlovy Lazne, apparently, Central Europe’s largest club. 5 floors (!!) and every floor is a different type of music (or so they say). It was also the den of inequity for everyone in Prague between the age of 18-21.

Uhhh, are you sure you want to do this Eric?

Eric and I had so much fun dancing the night away and laughing at the craziness of this club. First off, the place is like a labrinth. We must have climbed up 7 different flights of stairs that lead to all different places. I have no idea how it was put together. It was like every idea anyone had ever had for a club, all rolled into one place. One floor had that light-up disco floor from Saturday Night Fever but it was also all graffitied like an underground punk club. Another floor had a big DJ booth that looked like a robotic eagle and it had little raised light up squares you could dance on between laser lights. Another room was just a giant pit with ledges all around you could stand and dance on. We left around 2:30am (which was early as the club stays open until 6:00am) and took one last walk across Charles Bridge to cool down and say goodnite to Prague.

Goodnite Prague.

We'll be back!

Next up Berlin!

<3 Chelsea

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8 responses to “Prague, Czech Republic: The first stop in Europe

  1. What a beautiful city! I’m starting to get jealous of you two ;) I love that you went to that gigantic night club. I wish you had some pictures of you two bustin’ a move.

  2. Magnificent! Think that you guys did Katka proud.
    Thanks much for sharing and do keep them coming.
    Sending good and grateful thoughts.

  3. This is a place I would love to go to! Enjoy the rest of Europe. You can speand a little less effort navigating and more time sightseeing (eating awesome food) :)

  4. This is a place I would love to go to! Enjoy the rest of Europe. You can spend a little less effort navigating and more time sightseeing (eating awesome food) :)

  5. Great photos. You are lagging on the twitter feed however, LOL. Do you have any photos of people on bicycles? cheers

  6. I am so glad to see you two are having a good time! I need to backtrack and read the rest of your posts, keep them coming. Your pictures are amazing… they took me right back to my 2007 summer in Prague. What a magical city. xoxo

  7. Thanks Margarita! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! How is Africa??? I want to hear all about that!! Prague was so wonderful and even better than I thought it would be! Miss you much! xoxo Chelsea

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