Prague

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Leaving Děčín, we drove along to a distribution point for the road toll gizmo to fit in our windscreen. It wasn’t as painful as I was expecting – I was given a form to complete which had instructions in English, and then had to show the lady my driving licence along with the V5 for the van. After paying a deposit of 1,550 CZK deposit and making a pre-payment of road tolls, I was given the box. It’s very basic – it has one button to test the device is working, and you attach it to the windscreen with the supplied velcro strips. It beeps every time you drive under a gantry to confirm that you’ve just been charged. On the way to Prague it beeped loads if times, but I don’t have a clue how much we’ve been charged.

The campsite we’re staying at is on the outskirts of Prague, and overlooks the River Vltava. It’s a fifteen minute walk away from the tram stop and then another 15 minutes to the old town. As we arrived at lunchtime yesterday, we went into town for the afternoon and evening. The first thing that struck us was the number of tourists walking about the place on organised tours. Prague is clearly a very popular tourist destination!

It was cold and wet, but we were wrapped up warm under our umbrellas. After crossing the Charles Bridge and finding our way to the main square, we stopped off at the bar of a brewery for a drink. The beer here is around £2.50 a pint, so I can see why it’s a popular place with the stag/hen weekenders.

There’s quite a large Jewish quarter so we went for a stroll around there, and it was good to see more of the Stolpersteine like we’d seen in Berlin – the brass plates in the pavement commemorating victims of the Holocaust.

The local delicacy here seems to be the Trdelník – a hollow sponge filled with ice cream or other sweet stuff. Arctic rolls have come a long way! We managed to be good and not indulge, opting instead to save our appetite for our evening meal.

Ever since setting off on our travels I’ve wanted to eat a roast ham hock or pork knuckle for dinner, and here in Prague every other traditional Czech restaurant has it on the menu, so it would have been rude not to! We found a nice looking restaurant and I managed to polish off 1.4 KG of pork knuckle – hard work, but it had to be done, and it was delicious!

This morning we caught the tram back into town and took the steep pavement up to the castle. The views over the old town were great, worth the climb. After descending, we spent the rest of the day walking around the old town. As the afternoon wore on, it became clear that it would be getting very lively with stag and hen parties, so we decided to have an early dinner and head back to the van.

We’ve had a great couple of days in Prague, and here are a few pics.

Mike

With the road toll gizmo

The tram into town

Stolpersteine commemorating an innocent 9 year old and his mum

The castle area by night

Mission accomplished!

View from the castle

A photo shoot going on at the cathedral – not a real wedding

St George’s Basilica

The Charles Bridge

The Rudolphinium, home of the Czech Philharmonic

In the main square

Statue of author Franz Kafka, a Prague native

Spanish Synagogue – many Jews settled in Prague when expelled from Spain

Another synagogue – and more tour parties!

Old city gateway

A lovely art deco restaurant

Republic Square

Toilet museum – it apparently has the world’s largest collection of chamber pots!

A little piece of America in Prague

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