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 The Vacation of a Lifetime...Everytime!

Prague

Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic and is also the historical capital of Bohemia.  We began our weeks stay in the old town section of Prague.  Our hotel accommodations were in the Old Town Hilton which was directly off of Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti).  The location was an easy walk to Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge which is at the foot of the Mala Strana district.  Some of the most well-known sites in that area are the Prague Astronomical Clock the National Gallery in Kinsky Palace and the gothic baroque church St. Nicholas.  The old town square area is filled with street musicians, food stands, shops and beer, beer, beer.  The architecture is in pristine condition, as it is throughout Prague, due to no bombs being dropped on the city during WWII.  It is easy to navigate the small winding streets on foot with adventure at every turn.  Prague is truly a walking city.  We felt very safe wherever we went even during some of our late night, lost in the city, walks.  We were taken by the friendly and inviting atmosphere making us feel very welcome.  There can be a significant language barrier and found ourselves a number of times playing “Charades” to aid in communication.  Many of the locals are fluent in English although.  Let’s talk about the food and drink.  Prague is not a vegetable on your plate city.  Almost all of the meals we had were some type of pork with potatoes and bread.  The locals probably survive well because they walk everywhere.  It was rare, if ever that we had anything green as an accompaniment.  The closest thing to vegetable was sauerkraut.  With that said the food was tasty.  Goulash was served with abundance and complemented all of the meat.  Beer in king in Prague.  There are a number of local varieties that are nothing short of excellent.  One of the most popular is Pilsner Urquell.  It is brewed in the Czech town of Pizen and is the original Pils beer from which all golden beers the world over are brewed.  Beer throughout the city is very inexpensive as are most foods, apparel, and the like.  The U.S. dollar does very well in Prague and throughout the Czech Republic due to them not being part of the Euro currency.  This may change in the near future.  Prague is a very musical city with anything from opera, to classical, organ, folk, and rock playing at venues throughout the city every day of the week.  We went to a great performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at a church venue that had Mozart as a performer many times during his travels.  Street musicians are abundant as well in the squares and on the famous Charles Bridge.  Their quality as musicians was outstanding.  There are hundreds of churches in Prague and the architecture is amazing.  Most of the concert venues in the city are in churches.  Organ concerts as well fill the gothic sanctuaries with the thunderous sound of the king of instruments.  The Jewish Quarter in Prague is located between Old Town Square and the Vitava River.  The history dates back to the 13th century.  Six synagogues remain along with the Old Jewish Cemetery, the most remarkable of its kind in Europe.  During Nazi occupation many of the residents of the Jewish Quarter were rounded up and transported to concentration camps, one of which is Terezin outside of the city.