Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday at the Castle

I slept better last night; not waking up until 7 am (it felt like it was later). It was pouring rain, so no early morning walk today. I did some laundry in the sink instead.

Annie joined me for breakfast a little after 9, and around 10:30 we took a walk through the Kampa Park to the Charles River, and then past beautiful old buildings. We bought some cherries for our day trip tomorrow and then headed back to the pension to pick up Cherie. Annie and Cherie wanted to visit Prague Castle today, so we caught the noon tram there.

Our first stop was St. Vitus Cathedral. They named it that because it was the closest name to the pagan God of fertility whose site the cathedral occupies. The cathedral is all very, very gothic, though the stained-glass windows are very 1920s (sponsored by local banks, most of whom got product placement. The Mucha window is very nice, but the silver coated monstrosity to a 14-th century martyr can be summed up by two works "ungepotchke" and "halooshes."

Afterwards I had a snack and coffee near the old royal palace and then we walked out of the castle and toured the gardens on the Hradcany side. The views were fabulous and we walked down to Mala Strana. We eventually found a place near the Charles Bridge overlooking the canal and the bridge. Service, as we have often found in Prague, can be more than just rude. Things sometimes got tense with the waiter, but it all worked out in the end. So if you want a nice view of Charles Bridge, somewhat overpriced food, and rude service, try Cafe Marnice.

From there we went to the Kampa Museum, which was a lot of fun, and afterwards we enjoyed the beautiful park and the festival supporting refugees and refugee organizations. French stag party groups, Yiddish and Ukrainian folk singers, lots of people with dogs, and lots of Russian, Armenian, and Uzbekistan snack food for sale.

Now we're off to dinner at the mediterrean-style restaurant near our pension.

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