Prague: A Quaint Little European City

My first trip with my sister to Europe for 1 week just the two of us. It was her very first time to see Europe so it was a great bonding experience we haven’t had since we were children.

Old Town Square

A typical european town square at the epicenter of Prague is the start for any trip where people gather to eat traditional Czech cuisine.

Top right: Charles bridge crosses the Vitava River which connects the old town and the Prague castle (which is unremarkable compared to other cities and closes at 5pm on a Sunday)

Bottom right: Just off the main square is a Parisian shopping street called Parizka which has high end stores selling every luxury brand (prices were slightly lower than western Europe but not worth traveling just for shopping)

Kafka Statue

A tribute to the famous writer from Prague is the rotating sculpture of Franz Kafka’s head. I thought Prague would be a typical old eastern European city but was surprised to see pockets of modern architecture like the Dancing House nicknamed Fred and Ginger as it resembles a pair of dancers (picture on right) which houses a restaurant and gallery.

Cafe Savoy

This was recommended by a friend, it reminded me of Angelina’s of Paris being a classic cafe but food was quite different. I had the The Savoy Plate. It had a bit of everything. Confit of Duck Leg, Roast Rabbit, Prague Ham, Fried Ham, Fried Pork knuckle, Potato gratin. Meat lovers would love this! I actually only enjoyed the Duck and Pork Knuckle. The Rabbit was too dry so not a favourite of mine. I did enjoy the ambiance with my sister so that more than made up for it.

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St. Vitus Cathedral is situated within the Prague Castle complex. It is an example of beautiful Gothic architecture.

Please do not miss going to the Strahov Library which is part of a Monastery. My husband loves history and reading so had to go see this for him as there were many old books like “Illuminations of the Evangelist” from the end of the 10th Century which is the oldest book in the library. My sister and I were lucky to be toured by a priest who lived in the Monastery. We just happened to see him walking in after having mass in one of the churches in the town near by. He went out of his way to tour us in the private areas where tourists are not normally allowed. I enjoyed going through the whole place and hearing first hand from a priest who knew all the history by heart since he was also a local himself.

On our last day in Prague, I made sure I booked our stay in Aria Hotel Prague by Library Hotel Collection. The service was amazing from checking in and the wonderful Coda Restaurant. For lunch I chose the traditional Czech Cuisine called Crispy Oven Roasted Duck which came with Sauerkraut, Steamed Red Cabbage, South Bohemian Row Potato Dumplings and fried onion.  The duck had so much flavour without being too salty as many ducks often taste and not too oily being baked perfectly. The meat was succulently tender on the inside. The chef definitely cooked with all his heart for all the courses we tried were amazing. This was the best restaurant of the trip and I would highly recommend it.

The day we had to leave I chose again from the Lunch Menu of Coda Restaurant “Symphony ” Chicken Supreme which came with Mush Potato, Sauteed Carrots, Leeks. It was probably the best chicken dish I have ever had. Of course I saved room for dessert and tried the Chocolate Pudding which had coconut Tapioca, Raspberries, Cinnamon Biscuit. A dark chocolate indulgence that was worth the calories!

Prague unlike other Eastern European cities seems to be progressing faster than it’s neighbouring cities (except for Budapest perhaps). They have shrugged off the dark clouds of their communist past and are embracing the new world of tourism and showcasing their long history with a friendlier attitude and more open thinking. It is the model which other cities like I mentioned in my other article  Eastern Danube Odyssey Budapest to Bucharest

We will remember the many adventures we had from getting lost and lugging our luggage around in between the long train rides. I will definitely come back since I wasn’t able to see the Astronomical clock ( sadly it was under renovation since it was a Unesco Heritage site ).

Travel tip: Travel once with just one sibling or best friend to somewhere both of you have never been before. Get lost… Drink up the wanderlust… Have fun…. Bucket list done!

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