Monday, August 20, 2007
Eastern Europe - Days 1 to 4 - Prague
I'm back from Europe, after sampling the local beverages and being on far too many trains. I started in Prague with a couple of days on my own before the tour that I was on started. I've found that a couple of days at the start of the tour were good, as it helped me to get over jet-lag and get orientated to wherever I was. It's also nice to have a couple of days to feel like you're really on vacation - to read a book and relax without a schedule to adhere to.
The first day after I arrived, I wandered around Prague Castle. The heart of Prague Castle is the cathedral at the centre, which is gorgeous. Prague received relatively little damage during the Second World War, and so the city of Prague and the castle are relatively intact. I also got a chance to do a short trip out to Karlstejn castle, which is about an hour outside of Prague. To visit the castle, you have to do a guided tour, and our tour guide locked us into and out of every room that we visited. The castle did have some very old objects, including medieval glassware and plates which were in their original condition.
On the third morning, I met up with the organized tour. There were 9 of us on the tour - 3 Irish, 2 New Zealanders, 2 Australians and 1 lady from South Africa. Our first stop was to head back into Prague for a walking tour. It was nice to be guided around for the first time in a couple of days, and not have to worry too much about where I was going or how I was going to get back.
The fourth day was another sightseeing day in Prague - I went to a few of the less notable churches and climbed the watch tower on the Charles Bridge. The Charles Bridge connects the Prague Castle with the rest of central Prague, and is teaming with street vendors and tourists. It provided some interesting photos to see the amount of people on the bridge from the air.