SWISSbuckling to Europe Pt XXXIII – Wandering around Prague

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We forgot to bring our scrabble set out so we had to make do with a picture from our window

After we were done with our free walking tour, we spent more time wandering around Prague.

Although it was lunch time, we weren’t too hungry yet. There was trdelnik (a type of sweet pastry, 50 Kč), on sale and it was enticing enough for us to buy one.

Trdelnik

Trdelnik

From Old Town Square, we walked to Wenceslas Square.

Crowded Wenceslas Square

During the earlier tour, our guide, Jana mentioned about the memorial for Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc.

Both were students who committed suicide by burning themselves in protest against Soviet invasion in 1969

Statue of St Wenceslas in front of Czech National Museum

Ex-parliament building of the Communist era, now a venue for temporary exhibitions on Czech culture

Ying’s feet were hurting from all the walking and I needed the bathroom. Starbucks to our rescue.

Starbucks

We had pumpkin spiced latte (95 Kč)

After Starbucks, we decided to go for lunch. Our host had recommended Cafe Louvre as a good place to have our meal and it took us some time to find it.

Cafe Louvre

Since it was after lunch hour, it didn’t take long for the waiter to sit us.

Cafe Louvre

Cafe Louvre

Although the waiters were dressed quite stuffily, the prices were very reasonable. There was also the option of ordering half-portions which we did.

Menu

When the food was served, we thought that we were mistakenly served the full portion.

My pork

Ying’s beef

The food was pretty decent and the total bill came to a very agreeable 350 Kč (inclusive of a glass of dark beer shared between the two of us).

After our stomachs were refueled, we set off towards the river to find Prague’s landmark: Charles Bridge.

En-route: National Theater

Ying had an idea while walking there; instead of taking photos on it, why don’t we take photos of it?

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge framed

A short walk later, we found ourselves at the bridge.

Walking there

Entrance

Hi Charles

Its Czech name

It was really crowded as a pedestrian bridge. Sharing them were buskers, portrait artists and of course the tourists.

Tourist central

Prague Castle in the background

One of the 30 statues on the bridge

Buskers

Portraits anyone?

I could see the similarities

Malá Strana side

Ying remembered that the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe (visited during our bicycle tour in Berlin) was inspired by the Old Jewish cemetery in Prague. We decided to walk back to Josefov to take a look.

Can you spot the cemetery?

Above the souvenir shops

Honestly I didn’t expect that the cemetery to be above the street level. Apparently there were many layers of graves (up to 12) as the cemetery ran out of land and the Jews couldn’t purchase more for burial. As the tombstones were not supposed to be removed according to Jewish customs, this resulted in the old and new(er) tombstones being placed closely to one another.

Ying suggested that we visited Lennon Wall after that. I had no idea where it was or how to get there so we decided to consult the concierge of Intercontinental Hotel Prague.

Intercontinental Hotel Prague

The friendly concierge told us that Lennon Wall is located in Malá Strana and gave us a tourist map with the approximate directions. On hindsight, we should have gone there after visiting Charles Bridge.

Walking in Malá Strana

We couldn’t locate the wall initially and had to ask a girl who happened to walk past. Overall, I was impressed by Czech’s level of spoken English. Perhaps it’s in Prague only?

Finally: Lennon Wall

The wall was a normal one until 1980s when John Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics started to appear. Over years the communist authorities had repainted the wall but the graffiti would reappear soon after. The original John Lennon’s portrait had been painted over many times but there were always new ones.

John Lennon

It was Ying’s idea of framing IMAGINE

She wasn’t pleased when other tourists started to copy her idea. Well imitation is best form of flattery…

It was already dark when we left Lennon Wall to make our way back. Prague’s buildings were by then beautifully lit up.

Prague Castle

Vltava River

National Theater at night

It was a long day with lots of walking around the beautiful sights. However, both Ying and I agreed that we preferred Berlin over Prague. Perhaps visiting Prague before Berlin would have been a better idea.

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