Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 3 and 4 in Prague

Hello all, today was our first full day in Prague after flying in last night from London. So, let me catch you up so far. Yesterday in the day, we went to the London Financial district to check out the London Metal exchange and the sights in that region. It turned out that we couldn't go into the LME becuase you need to turn in a request like 4 weeks in advance, so we took pictures of the outside and the lobby. Then we proceeded to walk around and saw the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. It turns out that the Tower Bridge is more fancy than the London Bridge. The London Bridge is just a plain old bridge. We walked to the St. Paul's cathedral, but because of our time constraints, didn't go inside. So, in a nutshell, we did lots of walking and then took the tube back to our hotel and got ready for the airport. On our way to Paddington Station, we probably had our cheapest meal so far in London - it was just this little coffee shop place, but for lunch, we probably got out for less than $25. Off we went to Heathrow. At the airport, we discovered that British Airways flew out of 3 different terminals, and unfortunately, our confirmation printout didn't say where to go. So we had the pleasure of stopping at one terminal to find out where to go, then of course found that our terminal was in the new Terminal 5, which required us to take a bus to get to. Luckily, we made it over with plenty of time to peruse the shops by the gate (because they don't issue your boarding gate until 40 minutes prior to the flight!). I think it's a tourist trap since they have a ton of high end fancy stores you can walk into to pass the time. I walked into Prada, Harrods, and the duty free before I went back to meet Michael, who found a comfy chair and was snoozing away. We finally did make it to Prague...and boy was the weather HOT (compared to London).

My first impression of Prague as we landed at the airport was that it was very green. We took the bus into town and got a glimpse of the Prague outskirts, and it's really lush and looks all spread out. The bus was packed with people, so Michael and I sorta got separated as we were jostled into our spots. After a 25 min bus ride and a 40 minute metro ride, we finally made it into town and found our Hotel. To our pleasant surprise, our room was GINORMOUS compared to our London accomodations. This time we got a King size bed, a desk, and the Bathroom was in it's own little room off the entrance room and closet. We are staying at the Hotel Anna, which will be our home for 3 days.

That first night, we walked to Wenceslaus Square, which was like 10 minutes from our hotel. This is the new Prague that was like a promenade of all kinds of shops and where the sidewalks were filled with people walking at 10:00 at night on a Monday night. From what I can tell, there are a lot of international tourists in Prague - so many people speaking different languages as you walked by. We were behind a group of Italian travelers at a gelato place and I though it was kind of cool that I could understand what they were saying. After we got a scoop of gelato, we headed back home.

Today was a day of walking - we probably walked like 8 miles today! We saw all kinds of cool stuff - the Tyn Church, Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, and the Prague castle....all on foot! The city really is so picturesque. It even rained on us for a little bit. My first purchase of the day was an umbrella (never mind that I had thought to pack one and left it securely in my suitcase!) Oh well - it was worth the investment. After a full day of sights and walking, we called it a day and took the metro back (thankfully). Oh by the way, did I mention I was in flip flops? I thought it was comfortable at first, but then after trekking up a ton of stairs to the castle, it wasn't quite as comfortable as I thought it would be. It was still a fun day. We ended the night with a traditional Czech dinner at this restaurant near our hotel, and I have to say it was delicious and super filling. Lots of meat on the menu. Anyways, I should head to bed now...got another full day tomorrow. Going on a day trip to Kutna Hora. Bye for now.