Joined April 2019
  • Day9

    Day 8 - A WOW Finale!

    June 4, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    We had booked a dinner reservation at Mylnik, a short distance away.

    The pictures of our experience tell the story of an incredible meal, served by personable staff (Yulia & Tomas) in a gorgeous environment with a beautiful view. One surprise after another - we were absolutely delighted!

    The first surprise was being seated on a glassed patio with a close up view of the Charles Bridge AND having gentle misters overhead. So refreshing in the +29 heat. This, after walking through the main restaurant - check out the artistic flair!

    We had a glass of Czech wine which was very smooth. The bread and cheese spread starters were very, very good. Both of us chose the 'veal fillet mignon a la schnitzel' as our main course. The presentation and taste? O. M. G.

    Further surprises were the pre and post palette teaser/refresher, each amazing little works of art and full of interesting and pleasing flavors.

    We decided to try the strawberry marscapone pistachio dessert. Our plates arrived with a dramatic flourish - a tall sparkler & dry ice in a small bowl on a plate with 'Happy Birthday' written in chocolate script.

    When we booked online, we'd mentioned briefly that we were celebrating birthdays with a trip to Prague. But, never in a million years did we expect the restaurant to pick up on that and treat us as they did.

    The dessert was gorgeous and flavorful. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

    The last surprises were small boxes that held tiny squares of rich chocolate covered in raspberry dust!

    What a memorable finale for our trip!
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  • Day9

    Day 8 - Cafe Savoy Encore

    June 4, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Diane & I enjoyed our breakfast at Cafe Savoy so much the first time, we thought it would be a perfect choice this morning.

    And it was! Easily a 10/10 again! The presentation and flavours were out of this world. Any guesses what I had? Cappuchino doesn't count!Read more

  • Day9

    Day 8 - Stellar Views & Other Neat Stuff

    June 4, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    We had booked lunch at the monastery's Bella Vista terrace based on a Rick Steeves recommendation. The panaramic views of Prague were beautiful and having travelled around for a week we could identify some landmarks.

    Diane had shrimp for lunch and I had a really tasty avocado salad, followed by you guessed it - a cafe latte for Diane & cappucino for me.

    The wait staff were a bit of a gong show. They repeatedly asked us the same questions and had no idea when one of them had already been to the table. The female waitress forcefully plunked a bottle of sparkling water on the table but brought no glasses. It didn't spoil our meal - we just concluded they needed a good process consultant!

    We noticed people drinking green beer and learned that the monastery makes it.

    Upon leaving the grounds the van in the last picture caught Diane's attention. What an advertisement! Chris, do you see zombies or is it just me?
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  • Day9

    Day 8 - Strahov Monastery

    June 4, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    This is a definite 'must see' for book and history lovers! And a private tour is the only way to do it. Why? Because you get to walk inside the rooms versus looking in from a doorway. And, more importantly to learn the most intriguing stories and facts you'd never find on the Internet.

    Our guide George was very knowledgeable and pleased to share his expertise during the 45 minute tour. We suspect he was a retired professor.

    Some of the following info was pulled from brochures he gave us.

    The Strahov Library has approximately 280,000 titles - 3,000 are manuscripts. The oldest manuscript is the Strahov Gospel dated in 860. It is not on public view due to the need for a climate-controlled environment.

    In front of the Philosophical Hall were 'Cabinets of Curiosities'. I learned that there is no skeleton of a dodo bird (despite hearsay on the Internet). There were, however, some pretty ugly and downright weird things in those old cabinets. Would have liked more time to examine the displays but that was not possible.

    The Philosophical Hall was built to accommodate the size and height of the book shelves. I loved the ornate ceiling. One of the beautiful globes in the middle of the hall depicted countries as envisioned at the time. Canada was missing, except for the east coast.

    The next impressive room we toured was the Theological Hall. George pointed out that the ornate mural on the ceiling was painted in six months by F. Anton Maulbertsch of Vienna with only one helper. There is a 4 volume work about the Louvre Museum, sent by the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. (More to that story.) And, there's a secret door to access the upper levels! Check out the last picture. The rows of books closest to the door are angled to accommodate the hidden circular staircase. Cool!

    Apparently, the librarian and archivist Prior Cyril Stratka, named the two halls. He was a Czech bookbinding expert who influenced making the library accessible to the public.

    Thank you, Cyril!
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  • Day9

    Day 8 - Our Last Day in Prague

    June 4, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We've booked a private tour of the Strahhov Library at the hilltop monestery next to the castle at 11:15 today. Lots of time for a leisurely breakfast before we hop the tram.

    Afternoon plans to be determined. We may take a tram to Vsyhrad. Last night at the Klementinum we talked to an English lady who highly recommended it.

    However...

    We're keenly aware that our internal batteries are having challenges re-energizing for more than short bursts of time. We'd both prefer to pace ourselves better than we have up until now. Especially since the forecast is 29 degrees!

    Another memorable Prague day awaits...
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  • Day8

    Day 7 - The Rest of the Story...

    June 3, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    By this time, it was mid-afternoon and 28 degrees under a clear blue sky on hot city pavement. We were both losing steam quickly so nixed the idea of going to Vsyhrad.

    Headed back to our apartment after finding the Municipal Library's 'Idiom' or 'Wormhole'. It was featured on the cover of Science Magazine in 2011. It's quite unassuming from the exterior (just a column of books laid flat on one another) but inside it mirrors create the illusion of infinity.

    We met Jacob, a long-time friend of Diane's son-in-law for coffee/cake at 6. It was wonderful to hear first-hand what it's like to live in Prague and to learn more about local customs. A very genuine and talented young man.

    We parted ways and attended a music concert at The Mirror Room in the Klemetinum. Imagine 5 talented musicians playing 4 stringed instruments and the chapel's massive organ, an opera singer with a powerful voice and a beautiful space with great acoustics. What a perfect way to end our day!
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  • Day8

    Day 7 - Jewish Museums & Cemetery

    June 3, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Today we toured the Pinkas Synagogue & Old Jewish Cemetery and the Klausen Synagogue.

    The Pinkas Synagogue is a memorial to Holocost victims from Moravia & Bohemia. The walls are covered with the names of the 77,297 Jewish people who died. There is a display of art made by children in the Terezin concentration camp which was located about 70 km north of Prague.

    The cemetery is equally moving. For over 300 years it was the only buriel ground permitted for the Jews. There are an estimated 100,000 graves buried on top of each other, as much as 12 layers deep.

    The Klaussen Synagogue has a collection of scripts and items used to maintain Jewish customs.
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  • Day8

    Day 7 - Canal Boat Ride

    June 3, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We decided to take a boat ride through the canals and see Prague from the river. Lots of interesting info about the river and bridges.

    A tiny girl (Diane thought she might be 20 months old) was happily waving to all the ducks & dancing playfully for Diane. So cute!Read more

  • Day8

    Day 7 - Charles Bridge & Czech Art

    June 3, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    We were on our way to the Charles Bridge just before 7 and had an enjoyable amble across it. The bridge is built of sandstone blocks and is flanked at both ends by fortified towers. Thirty statues of saints, all beautiful ornate sculptures, decorate the bridge, the most famous being St. John of Nepomuk. It is considered good luck to rub parts of certain statues and decorative elements.

    We saw at least five wedding couples having formal pictures taken, many buskers and artists doing caricatures. BUT, no crowds! Yet.

    David Cerny's controversial sculpture 'Pee' was nearby in the Kafka Museum's courtyard so off we went to take a few pics.

    There were two marionette shops located at the Maya Strana end of Charles Bridge. The work of the artists was spectacular. I resisted buying a marionette for Shandi as there were simply too many to choose from and as they were hand-crafted, very expensive.

    We also discovered a unique shop that sold wooden items. Gorgeous!
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  • Day8

    Day 7 - Jewish Town & Vsyhrad

    June 3, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We'll be out the door at 7 this morning to walk Charles Bridge before it becomes mega-crowded. After that, the priorities are a latte for Diane and a cappucino for me.

    We'll tour more of Josefov and catch a tram south to Vsyhrad.

    It's forecast to be 28 today so sunscreen is a must.

    Tonight we'll attend a smaller concert at the Mirror Chapel in the Klementium after meeting a friend of Diane's son-in-law.

    I feel so very fortunate to be in able to take trips like this! Diane's presence, observations, blog and pictures, have enriched my experience beyond measure.
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