3 AM: all in a day’s work

I somehow managed to wake up at 3:40 am on Saturday to experience and photograph the Charles Bridge at sunrise.

Frankly it is amazing I woke up considering how often I snooze my alarms.

Megan and I left our apartment at 4:10 because the sunrise was at 4:45 and it is a 30 minute walk there.

It was stunning, and totally worth getting up for. I’d do it again (maybe on a cloudy day for better photos).

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Plus, we met this drunk guy that wanted me to take his picture:

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I had made plans for the whole day and was going to spend the day in the Lesser Quarter, checking things off my bucket list. The hard part was how to occupy the hours between sunrise and when things opened. Czechs don’t eat breakfast, so almost nowhere was open. I had planned on this and we went to Kampa Park and the Hunger Wall. Kampa park was really pretty, but since we were there at six am, it was erie and almost abandoned. The Hunger Wall sits at the bottom of Petřín Hill and is the home of a set of statues that are a memorial to the victims of communism.

It didn’t take three hours to do these things though, so we also walked around the Lesser Quarter (we saw the Lennon Wall again) before eating breakfast at Bohemia Bagel. Lowkey, I led Megan to three other closed breakfast places before finding Bohemia Bagel… so I was off to a good start.

We then went to the Fürstenberg Gardens, which are part of the royal gardens. We spent just under an hour there walking around and admiring the view of the Lesser Quarter and looking at the flowers. We started at the top of the gardens and walked downhill, which was great at the end because we could exit without walking up the hill to Prague Castle again!

Then, we revisited the Wallenstein Palace Gardens and St. Nicolas Church (which I had seen on Thursday but wanted to go back and take pictures of). This time, at Wallenstein we got to tour the inside, which is where the Czech Senate meets!

After St. Nicolas we climbed the stairs of the Town Belfry.

And boy were there stairs.

I’m not quite sure exactly how many we climbed but we climbed high enough to get this view:

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Worth it.

Next, we walked up Nerudova Street which is just a bunch of cute shops and restaurants. Near the top there is a vegan restaurant that I had been planning to eat at before Megan decided to come, but I didn’t want to drag a non-vegan/vegetarian to a vegan place. Luckily, Megan was a great sport and went anyway! At Vegan’s Fresh Food Prague I got a great taste of a traditional Czech dish that is usually made with meat: Svíčková.

It was Traditional Czech sauce made of marinated root vegetable with vegetable cream, with tempeh, cranberries, and home made dumplings and it was delicious!

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At this point I was ready to go home and bail on my plans to go to Petřín Hill. Megan was still willing to go though, so we rode the tram over before taking the Funicular to the top. We then walked downhill a bit, got some great views and then were pretty much ready to get home and sleep (at this point we’d been awake for eleven hours). We just couldn’t manage to find the way out/down Petřín Hill (it is massive) but eventually ended up near the Beer Garden and the Funicular stop that’s about three-fourths of the way up the hill.

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We got back to K17 at 3:30 where I laid down to nap until 7, when Miranda came over. We had made plans to go to Hany Banny (a pulp-fiction themed bar) right at 7 and I slept through my alarm so I got ready real quick and we left.

The bar was… interesting. But this was only because of a particularly rowdy and friendly group of twenty drunk German men in the middle of a bachelor party. While we were drinking we met quite a few of the men who came over and joined us. Miranda and I then went to Burrito Loco (the Germans ate her hamburger and I didn’t get food because I was afraid they’d eat mine to) which was amazing. The put a bunch of pickled vegetables on my burrito which at first was scary but it ended up being tasty! The margarita wasn’t bad either.

We weren’t out too late since we were meeting Alzbeta at Florenc at 10 am Sunday to go to the zoo, so Miranda and I got home around 11 by which point I was properly exhausted and went straight to bed.

See the pictures from today here.

 

Oh, that’s just my summer chateau

While there was a extended Prague walk today, I opted out and instead went out on my own itinerary. Emileigh and I ventured on our own so that we wouldn’t feel rushed by the group (and so I could take pictures). Originally we went to a park but there was a festival going on so we last minute decided to visit Troja Chateau.

It was so easy to get to, we just took the metro to Nádraží Holešovice and then hopped on the 112 bus. We accidentally got off a stop early but it was more than okay because there was a delicious (and cheap) gelato shop there!

Troja is either a chateau or a palace, I have seen it called both and cannot figure out which. It is an amazing building that sits in what is now the suburbs, surrounded by large gardens. It was built in the late 1600s for the Counts of Sternberg. Emileigh had always wanted to go, and I could certainly see why.

It was stunning. The architecture, gardens, and sculptures were amazing. I’m thinking about doing my paper for my Art and Architecture class on the building, the only thing is there is so much to write about it!

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We also paid 60 Czk (which was a discount with our Charles University student ID) to tour the inside. We got to see several rooms that had their ceilings decorated in beautiful, significant murals.

The best was the intricate Grand Hall; every surface except the floor is covered in the frescos.

I was so glad that I had decided to go with Emileigh today, even tough it was by far the hottest day that Prague has had since I’ve arrived. I for sure plan to return to Troja at a different time of day to get more photos of the gardens in different, less harsh light.

See the pictures from today here.