Saturday, 10 August 2013

Stumbling across a random market in Vinohrady

Meandering from our hotel one morning we are delighted to find a little food market has set up stalls near the metro station in the large park in Vinohrady.

As regular readers (ha ha live in hope) are aware, I do have an overwhelming sense of joy whenever I chance upon a market. There usually follows a ridiculous amount of photo snapping.

Here's heaps of fresh produce already being snapped up by the locals.

Piles of tempting baked goods threaten to derail my best dieting intentions . . .

While fish stare balefully at passersby from their bed of crushed ice.

Neil is in seventh heaven with a swift half from Ciderland!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Street sights in Prague

Having been up high on Petrin hill we hopped on and off the fantastic little trams that pootle all around the city.
Roaming the back streets and secluded squares dotted around the city we enjoyed getting lost and stumbling across hidden gems. Here's a selection of snaps of street scenes in Prague.
Here's some of the lover's padlocks on the railings overlooking Kampa Island.

And lots and lots of stacking dolls - any footy team you fancy!!!

 Lots of ornate wooden copies of the beautiful astronomical clock can be found in all the shops

Absinth is a rather prominent feature of Prague - how do you fancy it, ice cream, slushie or beer?!

              Artwork and traditional costume outside a Czech restaurant.

We had an AMAZING pizza and to die for dessert at a little Italian restaurant hidden down a back street, took a brief  gander at the tourist stag mecca that is Wenceslas Square and also stumbled across the Czech Symphony Orchestra giving a concert to thousands!

There's something happening around every street corner from the mundane to the comic to the soul stirringly beautiful. All in all, a phenomenal city to visit that ranks highly in my most see list.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Petrin Tower (or Putin Tower as Neil calls it)

Built as a mini version of the Eiffel Tower, the Petrin Observation tower was built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition.

The tower is 60m tall, which doesn't sound that high until you realise that it sits on top of Petrin Hill, which is 318m high. (It adds up to a rather vertiginous view)

You can either walk up to the tower (nah) or take one of my favourite methods of transport - THE FUNICULAR!!!! YEEEEEEESSSSSSSS 

Even better, the funicular forms part of the Prague public transport network, so a single ticket for travel on trams, buses and the metro is also valid on the funicular.

On arrival at the top of Petrin hill you can take in some gorgeous rose gardens and sniff yourself giddy on the sumptuous rambling old roses.

        Me, posing, amongst the multitude of roses.

Then you can head to the mini homage to the Parisian masterpiece - The Petrin Tower!

 There's 299 steps to the top - and the lift was out of order . . 

View on the way up . .  .

But the pay off for all the huffing and puffing up the steps (wondering why no one is coming down) is the best view of Prague anywhere.

Tiny Charles Bridge.

 Tiny tower on Charles Bridge.

Well worth the exertion and heading down I realised that there was a separate staircase, spiraling like a double helix around the upward staircase, which is why I didn't encounter any descending tourists (Was a trifle concerned they had all passed out at the top!!!).

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Charles Bridge, Prague

Men dressed as giant condoms and the gaggles of hen parties aside, Prague has some truly amazing sights to see.

One of the most iconic sights is the Charles Bridge.

The impressive bridge spans 621 metres across the Vltava river.

It is almost 10 metres wide while 30 statues, 16 arches and three bridge towers add to the impact of this formidable piece of history.

Artists, craftspeople and caricaturists set up shop along its length during the day.

 Views of one of the bridge towers

Construction started in 1357  and finished in the beginning of the 15th century.

Designed by Peter Parler the bridge replaced the former Judith Bridge that had been badly damaged by a flood.

Half way across the bridge a flight of steps leads down to give you access to Kampa Island. When we were there stalls, music and roasting meat gave it a Bavarian air.

 If you look closely you can see the hundreds of padlocks on the railings left by couples to symbolise their ever lasting love. (Ahhhhhh)

There is a modern art museum situated on the island, but sadly, due to the recent flooding, it was closed for refurbishment.

Peering into the courtyard we could see the brightly coloured exhibits strewn across the floor and jumbled together, a testament to the power of the water.

The disturbing giant babies by David Cerny at Kampa Modern art museum. 

One of the bridges most often photographed attractions are the 30 statues ranged along its length. Most sculptures were erected between 1683 and 1714. They depict various saints venerated at the time.

Here's photographs of just a few of them.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Prague Castle

One of the main sights is the impressive Prague castle that dominates everything from its commanding position above the city.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 square metres.

It's also a UNESCO World Heritage site and is crammed full of awe inspiring architecture such as the Gothic St.Vitus´s Cathedral pictured below.

St.Wenceslas, the main Czech patron saint, is buried in the Cathedral that towers up from the courtyard.

There's so much to marvel at including the huge ornate rose window with it's jewel bright stained glass.

Here's part of the stunning stained glass window by Alphonse Mucha that was installed in the north nave in 1931.
The window shows St. Wenceslas as a boy with his grandmother St. Ludmila in the centre, it's surrounded by scenes from the lives of Saints Cyril and Methodius who spread Christianity among the Slavs

The Golden Gate marks the southern entrance to the cathedral. It's decorated with a beautiful gilded mosaic of the Last Judgement and dates from the 14th century.

Other sights in the complex include Golden Lane that dates from the 15th Century and has eleven historic houses where period scenes have been recreated to show the life of the artisans who once worked, ate, drank and slept in them.

From the castle walls you have a stunning view of the terracotta roofs of the city stretching into the distance.

Meander your way back down to the city through the castle gardens, slopes covered in green vineyards, rambling roses and the buzzing of hundreds of industrious bees.