Today was awesome! Armed with rest and some food, we got out and explored the city. It was also a serious test of letting God lead me where He wanted to lead me, because once again all of my plans were completely thrown out the window!
UP! UP! UP!
Considering that the evening before Nick and I had gotten over two hours of sleep in the middle of the afternoon, sleep last night didn’t come as easy as you might think that it should have with the 4:00AM start time. We still got up at a reasonable time this morning and enjoyed breakfast in the hotel. The plan for the day was to go on a walking tour, and then head across the River Vltava to Lesser Town to explore.
We got out of the hotel a few minutes late, which meant that we got to old Town Square a few minutes late, which meant that we completely missed the tour (apparently, they operate with British Airways style efficiency). In Scotland, and in Hungary, the free walking tours companies all do a really good job of separating themselves as to not confuse the tourists. In Prague, they do the exact opposite. There are SO MANY free walking tours and they all compete for the tourists in order to get the tips. We were offered a tour by one lady, but we declined. I’m finding in tough to trust some of the people here as several guidebooks warn you that they can be scammers.
This meant that we had to regroup! We had a hard stop at 4:00pm because we had to check out of the hotel and move to the flat that we were going to be staying in. This put me in a tough spot. I didn’t want to do the later tour because it might run over and then we’d be running back to the hotel to check out in time. We decided to walk across the river and explore Lesser Town, and check out of the hotel before doing the later tour.
On our way to cross the Charles Bridge we saw a sign hanging on an old church that said: “Hands off Ukraine, Putin!” You can definitely tell that there’s slight tension in the air with this international issue.
The Charles Bridge is a pedestrian bridge in Prague and it’s beautiful. Not only does it give an amazing view of the Vltava, but it also has different statues of Jesus and other Biblical stories. I felt a transformation as soon as we got off the bridge into Lesser Town. I don’t know if everything clicked and I finally felt welcomed to the city, but people were smiling, children were running around happy, and there was no graffiti on the walls. It was the moment that I started to like Prague.
After spending a very short time exploring a little of this part of town, Nick and I quickly decided that we wanted to completely ditch the walking tour and spend most of the day in Lesser Town. We took the tram up to Prague Castle, a large castle dating back to the year 880. While we didn’t end up exploring the castle, the views from the top were amazing!
After spending a few minutes enjoying the view, Nick and I decided to grab lunch at this terrace café by the castle. I had some delicious pasta, and Nick had some schnitzel.
After going back for one last look at the view, we saw across the way there on this hill there was an American flag flying. I love seeing the American flag when traveling abroad. It’s like a little piece of home. Nick and I decided to investigate what it was. By the time we walked over and started up the incredibly steep hill, we realized that were was a very large fence with barbed wire between us and the American flag. Upon doing a little research once we were back in the hotel, I found out that it was actually the American embassy (…duh…).
It was now time for Nick and I to head back to the hotel and check out. We took the tram all the way back – now experts on the public transportation system in the city. When we arrived back on the other side of the bridge, I expected to feel down again having returned to this part of the city. Instead, I felt great!
We checked out of the hotel and lugged our stuff down the street a few blocks to a flat hotel that I’d found. We were greeted by two very nice gentlemen who showed us our flat. I almost cracked up when I saw Nick’s face when we walked into the flat. We were so blessed! I had made the reservation for a one bedroom, however, we were upgraded to a two bedroom apartment! The apartment is complete with a full kitchen, Jacuzzi in the bathroom, and Nick’s room even has a balcony. Even though it was only a few blocks away from the hotel, the energy in the neighborhood was completely different. Our flat looks out on the inner garden, and it’s so quiet and peaceful. If we come back to Prague, this is where we’re staying!!!
The original plan for the evening was to go to a classical music concert. However, as I was sitting on the couch, all I wanted to do was take a nap! Nick and I decided to make it a night in. Instead of going out to dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow we went to the grocery store. This was an adventure in itself. There was a lot of guesswork that went into what we bought. I’ll tell you tomorrow if what I think was butter is actually butter, and if some of the lunchmeats were bought are what I think they were…Life’s an adventure, right?
After going to the grocery store, we stopped by a Chinese food restaurant to get some takeaway, now post-dinner, we’re both sitting on our Macs soaking in the day, and enjoying the fact that we actually have a table to sit at in a lovely, peaceful space.
UP NEXT: Countryside! We’re headed to Karlovy Vary. This is where Casino Royale with Daniel Craig was filmed during the casino part of the film. Here’s hoping people this far from Prague speak English!