Prague,Czech Republic, part II.

Below are images Kaye and I took while in Prague.  It is a city that has been through the Habsburgs, Nazi and Soviet control and has come out relatively unscathed.  We both enjoyed our 2+ weeks here and would definitely return.

We’ve all encountered street musicians.  On rare occasions you run into one who is just fun to watch.  Vladimir Pinta is one of the best.  A real entertainer.   You can check him out at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXqfmAsUMBA

 

Added on 8/24/17: What Kaye and I try to do, if we can, is get out of the cities and into the smaller towns and country side.  While in the Czech Republic , we took a day trip to Liberec , a small town north of Prague and  close to the Polish border.  It’s known for it’s beautiful town center buildings and in the ‘mountains’ of the Czech Republic.  We did ride a gondola to the top of the highest point but it was hazy and not conducive to photography.  The city office building was quite impressive and there was a few kids activities in front.

Best of all was the bus stop.

Our next stop is Vienna, Austria.  We spent 9, hot days touring this grandiose city built by the Habsburg Dynasty.

Prague, Czech Republic, part I. July 12-29

 

After leaving the UK on July 11,  we drove to Dover and caught the ferry to Calais, France. We  spent a night in Belgium and Germany before arriving in Prague, Czech Republic.  If you’re asking yourself,  ‘Why drive across Europe and not stop and enjoy some of the beautiful cities along the way?’  Well,  it’s mainly because we’re having to bop in and out of the Schengen Countries in order to not over extend our stay in the EU.  For an understanding of the Schengen area,  take a look at and article in USA Today that gives a pretty good description of what you can and can’t do (   http://traveltips.usatoday.com/us-passport-limitations-europe-104322.html ).  We wanted to go to Prague and Vienna and then drop the car off in Munich before leaving the Schengen area.

We spent 17 days in Prague.  We stayed in an nice AirBnB an easy 15 minute tram ride out of the city center and 30 minutes from the Prague Castle.  The only reason we needed a car was to get to the swimming pool- a very nice, 50 meter, outdoor pool about 20 minute drive from our apartment,  to see a doctor about a cortisone shot and to take a short day drive to the small town of Liberec.

We did a lot of sightseeing in Prague as well as took a boat ride down the Vltava River, attended one of the many classical music concerts that are offered all over the place, hung out with some locals at a local wine tasting in a nearby park and at the local beer store and took a hop-on-hop-off bus tour around the city.

You can’t capture in a  photograph many of the most emotional  places you visit when you travel.  That was true when we visited Orthodox Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius  where there is memorial/ museum honoring the Czech resistance fighters for the part in operation Anthropoid during WWII , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropoid_(film) .  We haven’t seen the film but it is now on our list.

Prague was not bombed during WWII and so has maintained many of it’s beautiful old buildings throughout the city.  If you get out into the suburbs, you see the Soviet influence in buildings that all look the same- block after block.   They used to be grey brick and now have been painted different colors brighten up the sky line.  You also see shiny new office building with names like, Dell, Samsung, Sony and Intel on them.  The Czech Republic’s ‘Velvet Revolution’ was a success.

This is part I of two parts for Prague.

Here is an example of some of the beautiful buildings that can be seen throughout Prague.

The best way to view the images is to click on them to view individually.

 

The Municipal House of Prague.  We had a tour of it as well as heard a classical concert performed here.

 

The Jewish Quarter in Prague has several Synagogues , a museum and a cemetery that explains the impact Jews have had in Prague over the centuries.  These are images from the Spanish Synagogue and Jewish Cemetery which was limited in size and forced graves to be dug vertically in order to fit in all the graves.  It was the largest Jewish community in Europe until the Nazi take over of Czechoslovakia during WWII.

There are, of course, many churches and cathedrals to visit in a city like Prague. St. Vitus Cathedral is a massive building that dominates the skyline near the Prague Castle.  St. Stepan is another worth visiting.

 

I’ll post some other images from Prague in the next week.