...I don't know where to begin! The 4 1/2-hour train ride to get here from Berlin was stellar. We wound through beautiful river canyons lined with ancient villages & Victorian-era resorts--I saw my first European castle ruin on this train ride! It was perched high up on a rock formation; I almost fainted. (On the return trip we spotted several more!) Amazing.
The first thing I learned about Prague was that things are almost always older than they look. On one hand it was like walking through a Disney Land theme park; but on closer inspection these 1,000-year-old buildings have just continued to morph with the times. Below is a picture taken inside the Hard Rock Cafe (!)--note how they let the ancient poke through the modern! Also, zoning codes forbid the changing of original interior spaces. Amazing!
Our hotel (Best Western no less!) building has been a hostel since 1307!!! (Earlier records were lost due to a fire.) The hotel had a small elevator and perfectly modern plumbing. The city intentionally raised itself 3 meters in the 1500's to avoid the constant flooding damage. So, every building has a cellar that dates to around 1100 or so!! The next 2 pics show across the street and down the street from our hotel!!! All this to say that people live and work in these buildings--or commute to apartments here from jobs in a newer business district. Amazing!Our first day in Prague we signed up for a 6-hour walking tour and the next few pics are from that tour. Our guide, Omar (a Palestinian whose father came to Prague as a journalist and never left) was SO knowledgeable & passionate about the city (and adorable to boot!). Time & $ well spent.
The birdie below is real, the dudes on St. Charles's bridge are not. :) Cute, eh?
Here I'm getting blessed by touching a 12th century marker of St. John, a martyred confessor of one of the queens.
medieval path to the castle up the hill--amazing.