Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1438: Prague in January
By Picayo Jack from Spain, Winter 2008
Page 2 of 8: Tuesday - The Castle and Swan Lake
Awoke to a rainy day, not too cold except for the wind which was bitterly freezing. (Fortunately, the rest of the visit was dry, sunny and warmer than today.) The walk to Wenceslas Square was quick (10 minutes) but almost useless - neither the American Express office nor the Čedok office across the square seem to sell the Prague card, which I wanted to buy to cover the entrance fees to the various sites I wanted to see during my visit. At the Museum metro stop I was able to get a five day transport ticket, which was well worthwhile. (Although they no longer sell the seven day ticket and for five days the price has gone up to 500Kc.)
I took the Metro back to I.P. Pavlova, 75 meters from the hotel to pick up my camera - I'm not used to carrying a camera and sometimes didn't have it with me. By 11:00 I was on tram 23 on my way through the old town and up the hill to the castle.
I did my own tour of the castle - St. Vitus is amazing, and the guide books tell everything about it. I took some pictures and then used my recently acquired senior status (this trip to Prague was a birthday present -65- to myself) to get a reduced cost "Short Tour." This allowed me to see St. Georges - remarkable tenth century church - the "Golden Lane" and try to hide from the whipping wind in any corner not already taken. I was so happy with the cap and gloves I had brought with me. (Never did need any of that thermal underwear, though) The tower of St. Vitus was closed, so that was one tower I didn't climb.
Walked down the castle steps and over to Kampa island where I had a lunch reservation. As it turned out, there was a mix up and, after walking a lot, found that the restaurant was indeed closed that day! They have since apologized by email. So I wound up at a pub/restaurant of the Archibald Hotel Group. I had a small salmon salad, the famous Svíčková, a couple of dark (cerne) beers and a cappuccino. Took some more pictures - I bought the camera mostly to photograph food, as I saw in Brewsta's website. Then it was more walking to catch a tram back to the hotel to shower and change for the evenings Swan Lake performance at the Prague State Opera - 3. Labutí jezero. This ticket had been ordered in advance and was waiting for me when I checked into the hotel the night before. Fortunately, because it was a sold out performance. Great orchestra seat six rows back from the stage. Wonderful dancing and orchestra. A mistake, not to have brought the camera. I wouldn't take shots during the performance, but the theater itself is a work of art. As I would expect their site has some great pictures of the building - try link three or link nine on the last page of this report.
A glass of Moravian sparkling wine during the intermission - fine(!) and spoke with a couple from Madrid sitting close to me until the third act began.
After the ballet, walked around behind the theater to Zahrada V Opere - 4 - where a Japanese master chef (Mr. Tadayoshi Ebina) was visiting and preparing unusual sushi. So I started with sushi (great!) and sake and then continued with an excellent yellow-tail snapper dish prepared in chardonnay. It all cost me 1060 Kc.
And home for a good nights sleep.
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