Saturday May 31st ~ Prague, Czech Republic
Most of my generation will remember the country Czechoslovakia. As a sovereign state, it existed in Central Europe from 1918 until it peaceably split into the two countries of Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1993.
Today Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and home to 1.3 million residents. It is also the historical capital of Bohemia.
Since arriving a few days ago, we have definitely slowed down our frantic pace after back to back to back tours. And what a beautiful city this is to unwind in.
We are staying at the Hotel Liberty and the location is perfect. Our first big surprise was getting a free upgrade from a standard room to the Executive Suite! On the highest level with its own private entry, it has two floors. Down stairs is the living room with big screen TV, two large windows that overlook the street side which let in an abundance of light and a pretty view, sofa, loveseat, refrigerator, desk and a big closet. The huge bathroom has great lighting, double sinks, toilet, bidet, heated towel racks, big fluffy towels, two bathrobes, and an enormous jacuzzi style bathtub. The separate entry has a second roomy closet, safe, large mirror and the curved staircase that leads to the upper floor.
Upstairs are three rooms. To the left is the bedroom with a king size bed with luxurious soft linens, skylight and TV #2. At the top of the stairs is a nice sized sitting room with comfortable furniture and TV #3. It also has a window that faces the opposite side from our downstairs view. From up high we can see a breathtaking panorama of the major sites, towers, churches and monuments of Prague. And to complete this level is a cozy half bath.
The decor is a little dated, but typical of this area. My one and only complaint is that the stairs are a bit steep and tricky for anyone with balance issues.
Our original plans were to spend three nights here, but with this much room and comfort, we extended our plans to remain here for an entire week. Time to get recharged!
As we often do, we started our explorations with a hop-on, hop-off bus ride to get an overview of the city and scope out a few places that we would want to see in more depth. What has struck us right off the bat was the amazing architecture which is not confined to just a few blocks, but goes on and on.
And the city is clean.
And the people are friendly.
And did I mention the food is fantastic…
I can highly recommend the restaurant called Potrefena Husa. The food is fresh, flavorful, healthy and artfully presented.
And Tim has not gotten sick once with an allergic reaction here. I think I am in LOVE with Prague!
One of the iconic sites of Prague is the Astronomical Clock. Also known as Prague orloj, every hour on the hour the skeleton rings the bell, letting the watching crowd below know that they are one hour closer to the end of their lives. Not a pleasant thought, but so true. At noon the doors open above the clock and a parade of the 12 apostles pass by. We managed to time our visit just right, but even from a prime position found it difficult to take an adequate picture of them. I had to settle for getting a picture of the clock and dials.
“The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working.” ~ Wikipedia
If you are interested to learn more about the history of the clock, the legends, and the dials, just click on the link above.
There are churches everywhere, but surprisingly the majority of the population here are not religious. In fact, The Czech Republic has one of the least religious populations in the world. According to a poll taken in 2010:
…16% of Czech citizens responded that “they believe there is a God” (the lowest rate among the countries of the European Union), whereas 44% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and 37% said that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force”.
We popped our head into one of the large churches located on the square right behind the Town Hall and clock tower.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for a chance to slow down and simply “BE” for a few days. I am also grateful for having such a wonderful and spacious upgraded room. It is the perfect setting to relax and get refreshed.