Thursday, April 16, 2015

Prague Day 2

It's a beautiful sunrise over the red rooftops of Prague, as we look forward to 
Day 2 of our Czech Republic adventure.

I think I've mentioned how lovely our Golden Well Boutique Hotel is; this morning we are wow'd by the breakfast buffet, up-top on the terrace level.  It offers absolutely everything imaginable, all in wonderful style, from coffee in a silver pot  to Mimosa's to yogurt that they make themselves.

We are impressed with their selection of fresh, healthy-looking fruit; the customary European meat and cheese platters, along with pastries and the like.  This, you might want to note, is the breakfast "before the breakfast".   

We are even more impressed to learn that they bake their own bread(s) and pastries and quiche(s); and they even make their own yogurt (up on the top shelf in those cute little jars ~ right next to the Activia).

This is the "actual" breakfast.  Black truffle scrambled eggs and sausage and bacon / ham and roasted potatoes and tomato gratin.  All good jet-lag food.  It appears the Czechs know how to eat.

We've learned, in our travels, to stoke up with a hearty breakfast when we can ~ because it helps ensure that we can make it through our 10K for the day.......and 'cause you don't know what else you're going to find "out there" during the day.     I believe this one qualifies.  


And this is the breakfast "after the breakfast". 

You might find this hard to believe, (I know I did), but they actually offered us a "Sweet Breakfast" menu at the end of breakfast.  She asked if we wanted to order "Dessert Breakfast". I know, right???  I've never seen it before or since.  Who could possibly order pancakes or Creme Fraiche french toast after all this?

I did try the Vienna sausage breakfast one morning ~ after all, it was listed as the Czech Special, served with mustard, horseradish and Bohemian bread.   It was just as delicious as it looks. Must be an acquired taste.  Really not sausages at all, you know.....more like wienie little flavorless hot dogs.  But a girl's gotta' branch out a little now and then....

If you think it's strange that breakfast gets full coverage like this, then you've never had raw fish or firefly squid served to you for breakfast in Japan; or salami and cheese in Italy; or stir fried kale with salted fish in Thailand.  Or Phad See Eaw.  Don't know what that is?  Me neither........So yeah, we get pretty excited when it's food we recognize.  And like.  Like eggs.  Little things mean allot when you're away from home.

But we've lingered long enough over breakfast.  There's lots more to do & see, we need to get moving.   And so off we go.

But first, and it's a major Travel Tip:  Use the bathroom before leaving the restaurant at every single meal.  There might not be another public restroom until the next meal, which could be hours and hours from now.  Just do it.  Even if you think you don't need to right now, do it anyhow.  Trust me on this one!

So much of the town is still cobblestones, even outside of "Old Town".  I just love it.  It's hard on the walking feet though, ankles particularly, after 10 or 15 miles per day.......

And we find it interesting that there are differing patterns throughout; a recurring theme of non-repetitiveness  

Just keep an eye out in the pictures, you'll find a surprising array of patterns throughout the city. 

And the parking always catches my attention.  It's so "just find it where you can" and "whatever works" in so many other countries. 
Evidently nobody complains, even when it turns 
this one-lane into a half-lane of traffic (See the cobblestone sidewalk patterns??)

 But if you do park illegally (whatever that means), you don't get a ticket.  You just get "the boot".  It occurs to me that just might be an effective deterrent.  

We decide to start with the Church of St. Nicholas.  There are 3 of them in Prague (?).  Don't ask me why; evidently he was a popular guy back in the day.

This is the one we see from our hotel, though, and it's been beckoning to us since we first arrived.  It's in the center of Lesser Town Square (differentiating it from the Church of St. Nicholas at the heart of Old Town Square)


The square is simple; surrounded by the old buildings 
that formerly housed the Jesuit College.

It is a working parish, so we see the beautiful flowers in the square as well as everyday life in Prague taking place here.

She is simple, though imposing, on the outside; 

And intricately breathtakingly beautiful on the inside.

I'm always intrigued at the dramatic use of natural light by the cathedral architects ~ in this case, three generations of great Baroque architects; father, son, and son-in-law worked on the church.  Started in 1704,  construction lasted over 100 years.  Hard for us to fathom, when we pop up a Taco Bell in under 60 days.

The main pipe organ here is famous ~ it was originally built in 1745, with over 4,000 pipes.  (Mozart played this organ during his stay in Prague.)   And they still give an array of live concerts, here, today.  Wow, what a thrill that must be!   

For much of this, words just fail.  You have to be there to literally breathe in the beauty, the artistry, the talent, the passion.  
I'm always in awe.

I can get lost in any single piece, any single detail.  
Eventually Mr. C has to finally nudge me out of my art-induced coma 
to move me along.

And you should always take the stairs when you get the chance;  
From here the perspective is completely different.

And totally awesome.  

It's been a great Day 2 in Prague.

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