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.