Thursday, October 25, 2012

Prague, Czech Republic

Day 14: This trip started in an interesting fashion. Looking into trains on (German rail website), I noticed most trains from Munich - Prague had connections through Frankfurt. This seemed a little crazy to go to Frankfurt, considering how close we were to Prague. Through more research, I found a direct train that was VERY cheap (35 Euros for both of us) and the quickest out of all the options (5 hours). BOOKED! Come to find out, I booked an Expressbus! When we found out the truth, I was SO worried about the state that this bus would be in, but I can honestly say it was nicer than most of the trains we were in. It ended up being totally fine and definitely saved us a lot of money and time.

Prague Wins the Award For: Most Friendly (tied), Most Beautiful, Best Street Vendor Food

We got into Prague in the early afternoon and through MUCH help from a Czech Republic native, made our way to Hotel Julian. Seriously, this guy walked us around the train station, told us where to buy multi-day tickets, and gave us directions to our tram stop. Oh, and then he thanked US for visiting Prague. Prague actually has a great public transportation system - only problem is that everything is in Czech. With Spanish, Italian, French and even German, you can get the main point...Czech was a completely different story for us.

Anyways, our hotel was adorable and recommended by Rick Steves..can't go wrong. After unloading our stuff, we went to a Thai place, Noi, for dinner. I think drinks, appetizers, entrees, dessert and tip was less than $40. I love Prague already! We decided to see if Prague was as beautiful at night as Budapest, so we started our night adventure.
St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle

  I thought this was a person and freaked out.            Before walking across Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Jason (in maroon) on Charles Bridge

Definitely close, but Budapest still might be my favorite at night.

Day 15: During the day was a completely different story. Prague is stunning. The ground is completely decorated by mosaics, the streets are immaculately clean, and everything has been restored. We had a great time walking around, eating, walking around, and eating some more.

Eating a trdlnik - a sweet pastry common here. It is made by rolling dough around a wooden rolling pin and heating it up and then topped with sugar and walnuts. This thing was incredible!

Just walking around - notice the stone mosaic street.

Old Town with the church of Our Lady before Tyn

Astronomical Clock that features an appearance by the apostles every hour.

More delicious street food - sausage on a baguette. Cute picture Jason.

Old Jewish Cemetery

We learned that it is against Jewish law to remove tombstones. This meant that when the cemetery ran out of space, more layers of soil were placed on the existing graves, the old tombstones were taken out and placed upon the new layer of soil. This explains why the tombstones in the cemetery are placed so closely to each other. This resulted in the cemetery having 12 layers of graves...crazy!

Charles Bridge during the day.

A statue on Charles Bridge with Prague Castle in the background.

Prague was Jason's favorite place of the entire trip! So now for the sad news. We were supposed to be in Prague one more day and we had planned to visit the Sedlec Ossuary outside of town. Unfortunately, Jason's cold came back and now I had caught it too. After walking around all day being sick, we literally crashed...complete with room service food for dinner. The good thing about flying standby was that we could catch a flight back a day earlier than planned.

Day 16: We made it back into Houston with no problems other than our runny noses and extreme exhaustion.

Our city of a plane.

We would definitely fly Lufthansa again. I think I am in love with Germans! Mainly, thank you Southwest Airlines. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are, but we are seriously getting the opportunity to make some great memories. Southwest has kind of given us the best gift - the world at our fingertips!

Just for curiosity's sake, I looked up the exact flights we took for this trip a year from now and was SHOCKED to see how much it would have cost. We were able to travel to Europe for $12,000 less than the cost of what we would have normally paid. It simply would not have been possible otherwise. 

Up next for us:  I will be going to NYC in a few days for a work conference. In the beginning of November, we are planning a trip to Santa Fe, NM to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. The planning has already started for our trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam this spring as well. Many exciting things in our future...stay tuned! 

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