Thursday, April 21, 2005

First day in Prague

Arrived in gay Paris... late due to heavy fog on the ground. Ran to catch our Czech Airways flight to Prague just to stand in a queue for 90 minutes because the entire airport was running late that morning.

Czech Airways had one of the nicest flight crews we have ever encountered. This was the first time I have had a flight attendant apologize to me for the flight taking off late. We got into Prague about 2 hours late around 1 P.M.

Charles Bridge
Deplaned, flew through immigration and Customs — there was no Customs check whatsoever! — hunted down an ATM for some cash and phone to call our pension to let them know we had arrived. 45 minutes later and 40 Czech Crowns (Kc) poorer ($1.75) I finally managed to make the 4Kc phone call. I never can seem to figure out foreign payphones.

Took a ride via bus, metro and tram to Malostranské Naméšti and walked uphill a few blocks to our pension. After we walked up five flights(!) of creaky, broken stairs — insert asthma attack here for Steph — we landed in a small, clean room where we'd spend the next two nights.

Jewish Cemetary Building
Walked to the river and crossed at Charles Bridge (Karluv Most). The crowds were heavy already, early on in the tourist season. We then explored the Josefov District, a former Jewish ghetto following the walking tour in Lonely Planet Prague. It was getting late, due to our late arrival we didn't think it was worthwhile to buy the Jewish Museum pass since many of the sites were closing.

Church of Our Lady Before Tyn
Staromestské Námestí
We spent some time in a cute cafe with an adorable black lab that wandered over to say hello to us. We miss the dogs already! I had my first Pilsener Urquell in Prague. I definitely think it had a better taste in Prague, much more crisp and clean. A 33cl (12oz) bottle was only $1.25!

We then wandered through Staromestské Námestí (Old Town Square) and headed back to the pension and then into Nové Mésto for dinner at Cafe Konvikt — YUM! We walked home because we couldn't find a Tabak shop, which were listed as being "everywhere" in the guide book, to buy tram tickets. Instead we bought gelato on the way home before passing out for the night.

Charles Bridge

Steph at Cafe Konvikt

Charles Bridge and Prague Castle at night