Day 9: Second (and final) full day in Prague

So I’m doing my Day 9 Part I blog update while Ms. A is (take a guess) sleeping, of course! To recap the day’s activities …

We rolled out of bed this morning around 9:30 not really knowing where exactly we’d go. However, I was craving some TGI Friday’s (don’t laugh — I LOVE their Sesame Jack Chicken Strips appetizer, and all of their Seattle [and nearby] locations have closed — Julie, you’ll understand!!), and we’d spied one during our tour yesterday. So as it was about 11 by the time we were ready to head out, we made a beeline for Old Town and TGIF. Thankfully, their menu did contain my beloved chicken strips, and I devoured them with a tasty house-made raspberry iced tea. SO GOOD!

Next, we wandered around Old Town a bit, looking for a souvenir for Mom. Didn’t find much, but as it was nearing the hour (of 1), we headed back to Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock, to see the little ceremony that goes on every hour (and apparently has gone on every hour for 600 years now). There was a huge crowd gathered at the base of the tower. The ceremony itself lasted only maybe two minutes, and featured the “12 Apostles” rotating behind the windows above the clock dials. Plus there were some little figurines under the window who pulled/rang little bells and moved a bit. Ooh la la! After that, we paid about $5 to take two elevators up to the top of the Clock tower. Once there, we had yet another amazing view of Prague. Here are some of the best pictures (I should mention here that we brought along my little 8.1 megapixel digital camera, but also my dad’s 12 (?) megapixel Canon DSLR, which of course takes far superior pictures. Nearly all the Prague photos are being taken on the Canon):

Looking west toward Prague Castle (notice the dark spires way in the background):

In the center of this shot, which looks down into Old Town Square, you can see the Christmas tree that’s been erected. When we walked back through the Square a couple hours later, they’d started putting lights on it. Looks like they’ll have some sort of festival or event there; all those brown, box things were little booths with numbers. Maybe we’ll try to wander through there later tonight or in the morning to see what’s going on:

Next, we set out for this shopping mall A had seen earlier in the day, which boasted 200 shops inside. We browsed through several, but didn’t buy anything. I did grab some kiwi gelato on our way out — yum. Then, we headed to the Jewish Quarter to a store our tour had swung through briefly yesterday. Our tour guide had recommended it as a good place to buy cheap(er) garnet jewelry (which the Czech Republic is known for) and glassware made in the C.R. We found a cool glass bowl for Mom, that we think she should keep on the dining-room table as a centerpiece (it’s not made for putting food in). The store nicely had it delivered to our hostel tonight, but it’s going to be a bit of a task getting it home on Icelandair, as both our big checked bags were nearly at the limit of 50 lbs …

Finally, to finish up our outing, we walked back across the Charles Bridge, to check out the art and jewelry for sale by local artists. At that point, our run of good luck with the weather unfortunately ran out (though thankfully, it was dusk at this point), and little rain drops began falling. The artists all either quickly packed up and left, or covered their wares with opaque plastic, which didn’t make for the best shopping for us. So we crossed over to the west side of the Vltava River, and went into a glassware/jewelry store, where I found a cute clear-and-green turtle which I can put on a shelf somewhere, and a bead bracelet. And then, I’m afraid to say, we were silly Americans yet again and stepped into a McDonald’s to enjoy some fries and a Diet Coke. What can I say, I get cravings for McD’s fries! Interestingly, I ordered a large size of both the fries and the soda, but what I got was the equivalent of what would be a medium for each in the U.S. …

Around 5:30 p.m., we arrived back in our hostel. A did some Internet business, and then of course fell into bed. Now it’s 6:45 p.m., so I’m going to go shake her awake, as we have to head to Wenceslas Square at 7 for tonight’s Pub Tour. More later!

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4 Responses to “Day 9: Second (and final) full day in Prague”

  1. Did you find out what the little booths were? I wondered if it was a Christmas market, as they have those all over Germany around this time of year. Really nice for holiday shopping and mulled wine. :)Btw, with Icelandair transatlantic flights, you should be allowed 2 bags each, 50 lbs each, so 100 lbs per person. At least, that's how it should be… you should check into it if you can (and buy a cheapo duffle or something to put your extra stuff in, to check). That's how I usually manage to carry so much crap around the world, anyway… lots of temporary suitcases. :) (And also, if at all possible, I would pack your glass bowl in your carry-on… they won't reimburse you if it breaks in your checked baggage.)

  2. No, actually, we totally forgot to go back there tonight after our Pub Tour fell through (see the post I just wrote). But if we have time tomorrow morning, and find the answer to the mystery, I'll let you know!Yes, you're right about the baggage thing; we're more stressed about having to lug our bags (already two 50-lb large suitcases, one smaller suitcase we checked in, and then one small carry-on) on/off trains (in the Netherlands) and buses (in Iceland, unless we take the FlyBus all the way to our hostel), etc. I hate doing the backpack thing, but I definitely need to pack less next time. Part of our hassle this time was that the smaller checked bag was brought along to hold our two suitcases, which we thought we'd need at our cousin's. However, we found out once we got there that she had a bed for us (as do both hostels we're staying in this trip), so we haven't even used those! (And yes, I did ask her beforehand if we should bring those, but she never got back to me.)Oh, and we'll definitely be squeezing that glass bowl into our carry-on luggage.. Thanks for all the tips!

  3. The FlyBus almost certainly should take you all the way to your hostel… ask them when you get on the bus (they always have a bunch of them parked outside the front door of the airport). If for whatever reason they don't, I recommend getting a cab there because of your bags and the distance. So then you don't have to worry about lugging your stuff up the 30 minute walk to your hostel from the bus station.So you have 2 large suitcases + one small bag (all checked baggage), right? That means you still have room for one more bag… I'd seriously grab a cheapo duffle bag, stuff all your clothes in there, and use the bigger suitcase for all the souvenirs and overflow. Just a thought, in case you get desperate. :)Oh, and the Reykjavik hostel most likely won't have sheets (they charge to rent them out), so you'll be glad you brought those sleeping bags. Goða ferð! Enjoy your last few days abroad… :)

  4. So we did end up booking the FlyBus all the way to our hostel shortly after I wrote that post, and it worked out great (though we definitely felt self-conscious with all our bags!). And we did end up turning my daypack into a checked bag.. here's hoping we don't buy TOO much more in Reykjavik :o)You were right about the charge for linens thing here at the hostel, so we'll indeed be finally using our sleeping bags, on the last two nights of our travels!

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