24.12.2010 - 28.12.2010 -8 °C
Prague is a fairytale place to spend Christmas. I particularly loved the architecture and the food - perfectly satisfying for the time of year.
They celebrate on the 24th (the day we arrived) so we had a pricey but tasty dinner at our hotel, Le Palais and an early night after a day of travel - Donna from Calgary, Robin and Blair from Berlin and of course my short hop from London.
So Christmas Day was our first real look at the city, and we were dropped by the hotel shuttle in Wenceslas Square (named for the Good King, of course - very fitting). We wandered from market to market then found the big one in Old Town square. A setting so charming you could hardly believe it.
From old town, we wandered through the streets and emerged at the river and Charles Bridge, with a great view towards the imposing Prague Castle. The bridge was lined with vendors and a cute blues trio, keeping the many tourists amused. There was a sea of fur hats along the bridge and streets leading away and up to the castle. It was only about -8C but nippy!
We stopped for a hearty Czech lunch just past the bridge in the Mala Strana district - goulash, roast duck, dumplings, gravy...and mulled wine to fight the chill.
Then we popped around the corner to check out the memorial to Prague's favourite revolutionary, John Lennon.
Just beyond a little bridge was covered in love padlocks
From there, we took a tram up the hill to see the castle just as it was getting dark (and windy) but it was a beautiful time of day to catch our first glimpse. We saw the guard changing ceremony then decided to come back again during the daytime to really get a good look around.
We headed back down the hill to our dinner reservation but a fortuitous wrong turn took us to a quaint little square below Charles Bridge with an unusual nativity scene.
We backtracked, found our restaurant along the river and enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner overlooking the bridge and the water.
One of the features that most fascinated me was the decorative doorways - so I had to snap a few shots of the most impressive ones:
There are also endless beautiful buildings, especially those with intricate sgraffito facades:
It was a great 4 day getaway - any longer and the pounds would have really piled on with all that rich food!