Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Backpack Day 3 - Prague & Cesky Krumlov =]

This is my last day in Prague before we move on to our next destination.

Had our breakfast early in the morning, good breakfast if you can accept the bread are as hard as rock. I'm not really a bread-person, so yeah I don't really like ''Prague bread''. I wonder if the elderly can really chew those hard-rock-bread. However, those ham are really tasty, as you know Czech are good in meat product.

First destination of the day is the Dancing House. It was originally named Fred and Ginger-after the famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

The “Dancing House” is set on a property of great historical significance. Its site was the location of a house destroyed by the U.S. bombing of Prague in 1945.It reflects a woman and man (Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair) dancing together.
The dancing house
Babe& Me dancing in front of the Dancing House
Us & the Dancing House

Then, we got back to the Prague Castle to revisit those attractions we missed out the day before.

We took tram back to Prague Castle

We went for the Powder Tower first before we going to the St. Vitus Cathedral, which will only be open to public in noon. It was once the workshop of alchemists who tried to turn lead into gold. Now it hold an exhibition about the history of the tower, showing different roles of soldiers as well as some weapons used in the past.

The powder tower
The exhibition (i)

The exhibition (ii)
 As we rushed our way to St. Vitus, I wouldn't want to believe my eyes, there's a really long long long long queue of crowd waiting to have a visit into the cathedral. I should have taken a picture of the queue to show how bad is the line. It took us at least an hour before we can get into the cathedral. 

However, it was worth the waiting I would say. The interior of the cathedral was fasinating.The cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in Czech. 

I personally like the art of stained glass window a lot. But it's hard to capture the pretty of it using camera. It looks so much prettier when you see it with your bare eyes.

One of the many stained glass window

My favourite, the rose window
As there's a huge crowd in the cathedral, so we are not allowed to actually spend much time in the cathedral. It would be great if we are given more time to appreciate the beauty of the art in the cathedral. However, it was really a great experience to have a glimpse on the St. Vitus. It was now rated as my no.2 favourite cathedral after the St. Paul Cathedral. =]

Eurohotdog~ Yumyum =]
So then, Eurohotdog put an fullstop to our trip in Prague, a very memorable one. It is just a beginning of our crazy one month backpack

Next stop, Cesky Krumlov. =]

We took bus from Prague to Cesky Krumlov (CK). Took us quite some time. So we took the chance to sleep in the bus. 

As we reached, we spent some time figuring out to look for our hostel, Penzion Krumlov until we got some little German guidance from a helpful Germany lady. Well, that does require certain level of common sense on gesture as we all can't speak German. But well, we survived that, even though we took the longer way to climb up a hill, and make a big big round to reach our hostel.

As we go around looking for the hostel, I was suprised by the stunning scenery of CK. The architecture of houses are like those we seen in the storybook. How beautiful that i fell deeply in love with this small little town, which I had not known for the rest of my life until this very moment.

Houses in CK
Look at the sky <3>
We checked in to the pension and took a little rest before we went for food hunting in the town. Our room is so spacious and nice. The receptionist is definitely very friendly and welcoming, even though she did not understand English very well, but she does tried her very best to help us out.

Tadaaaaa.. well designed room =]
Cosy dining room =]
Nice garden =]

A random beautiful house that caught my eye xD
 As we go for food hunting in the town, we took some night scenes of the Český Krumlov Castle.

The castle n I <3>
It took us around 15 minutes to reach the town. The sky is really dark by then and most of the shops are closed. Leaving only the restaurants that are serving dinner. We went to one of the recommended restaurant and it was so crowded, so we made our reservation for the next day and settled in this Bohemian Restaurant for dinner tonight. Dinner time =]

Interior of Restaurant Bohemia
Snap snap!!
Our dinner <3>
Chicken breasts with tomatoes n cheese..Yum yum xD
Chicken slice with spanish n rice

Steak n Cheese
The real good B.E.E.R xD
 Who can miss dessert after dinner? Not us girls of course.

Crepe with fruits =]
Apple Strudel, one of my fav xD
After dinner, we make a little walk around the city and back to our pension to prepare for the trip next day. Most importantly to polish up our language skills a little to smoothen communication with local people in CK. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Backpack Day 2 - Prague =]

After the random walk on the first day, we had decided to have a more organized tour around the city of Prague.

The main schedule of the day would be the Prague Castle, the largest castle in the world. 

We took the tram No. 22 to stop Pražský hrad, almost got down at the wrong station because it's quite difficult to understand the announcement of the tram operator as it is in foreign language. So we gotta keep guessing. xD

We are lucky enough to catch the ceremony of Changing of Guard.

Changing of Guard

Then we proceed to buy our entrance tickets, in an extremely small ticket counter, which are already crowded by tourists from all over the world. Kind enough that the ticket information are available in few languages, which make life easier for us.

There's two types of entrance tickets you would find at the ticket counter.

Types of tickets:

Prague Castle - long visit
St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, permanent exhibition "The Story of Prague Castle", St. George's Basilica, Convent of St. George - National Gallery /until February 28/, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, Prague Castle Picture Gallery, Powder Tower, Rosenberg Palace

Prague Castle - short visit
St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower

After consideration for quite some time, we finally took the long visit tickets that allow us to visit to more places.  

TaDaaaa~!!! Finally we got our entrance tix =]

First building that caught my eye in the castle was the St. Vitus Cathedral, a Roman catholic cathedral. It is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country. Unfortunately the cathedral is closed today and we will have to come back again tomorrow. However, the exterior of the cathedral is already a WoAH! xD

St. Vitus Cathedral

Next on, we visited the St. George Basilica, one of the oldest surviving church building within the castle.The building now houses the 19th century Bohemian Art Collection of National Gallery of Prague. It also serves as a concert hall. 

St. George Basilica
Interior view of St. George Basilica

It was a waste that the old royal palace as it is under maintenance. We then make our way to the golden lane. You can't imagine how small is the lane and how huge is the crowd that are trying to get in.

Golden lane is lined with small picturesque houses, that look rather like doll´s houses than people´s homes
The original name of the street was Goldmakers Lane, so most of the first inhabitants were probably Prague goldsmiths.Then craftsmen and servants also stay in the lane in later days.

In present days, houses in Golden Lane are mainly books or souvenir shops. Also we found a house that display armories in the old days.

Armory exhibits in one of the house
House no. 15 - Goldsmith workshop
House no. 12 - Residence of the amateur historian J. Kadza
View of Prague from Prague castle =]
As we have to revisit the castle tomorrow, hence we saved some attractions for the next day. So then we climbed down to long long staircase back to the tram station. You can see there's lots of street performers along the way down the staircase, which are very entertaining.

Street performers playing awesome music

Before we go on to our next destination, the Old Jewish Cemetery, we stopped by to have Les Moules to have our lunch.

Nee Nee's epic expression - one of my favourite  picha <3>

After lunch, we make our way to find the Old Jewish Cemetery, it is quite difficult to find as at that time, we don't read map that well. Making round and round the same area for few times, finally we got to our destination. Unfortunately, luck is not on our side. The cemetery is closed on that day, for some Jewish celebration. Therefore, we only be able to take some pictures of the exterior part of the cemetery.

Old Jewish Cemetery
 Again, we went to the Old Town Square again before we get to the Havelská Market for souvenirs hunting.

The old town square
Hand painted building in the old town square

Did I not mention that Prague is famous for puppets? The puppets are so adorable that you would wanna own one, or maybe own all of them. In the Havelská Market, you will be able to get the puppet at a more reasonable range.

There we are at Havelská Market!!! You would see all sorts of souvenirs in this market, mainly puppets, bohemian glasses, magnets. Other than that, you can also buy some fresh vegetables and fruits from the market. They are locally produced and freshness guaranteed. 

Havelská Market
Miniature Astronomical clock
Puppets =]
Fruits and Veges
Souvenirs Yeah~~

We sat down for a nice cone of gelato after the market. Then we continue our journey to the west the prague tower to watch the sunset. We can also see the whole view of the Prague city. How romantic!!

View of Charles bridge from Prague tower
View from Prague tower
How beautiful is the evening =]
Tadaaaa~!!! Im so short.

Since we are already at the riverside, we must not missed the Charles Bridge. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, originally erected around 1700 but now all replaced by replicas. There are also many souvenirs stall on the bridge, however they are rather expensive as it served more like a tourist trap.

Pieta and the Love Padlock
Some believe by touching the golden part of the sculpture, you will return to Prague in future.
Another beautiful evening =]

So there we touched the golden part again and again, you can see how much i wish i can be back to Prague. xD 

We then had our dinner at the Hotel U Prince, which located just opposite of the Astronomical Clock. We wanted an open air table so that we can have our dinner with the beautiful view of the Old town square, but too bad, the restaurant was too crowded, so we don't get to choose our seats.

We were given a table inside of the restaurant. The restaurant was well decorated and of course, the food are great too. Except for that the portion of the meat is too big for us to finish alone. So we were bloated after the dinner. Way too full.

Nee2 n SS happily waiting for food to come =]

Bread come first but as hard as rock. *Thumbs down*
Tada~~!! MEAT =]
This is Mine.. chicken and vege dumplings =]
Bills xD
Czech food can be best described as comfort food. Czech cuisine has influence from surrounding countries such as Germany and Austria but many of the sweets found in Central Europe originated in the Czech lands. Diet food it is not, the main staple of the Czech diet is meat, with pork being the most common (the most popular meal is roast pork with dumplings and cabbage), alongside beef, chicken, goose, duck, and rabbit. 

You would love it if you are a meat eater. Its good to have a taste of the local cuisine in order to blend in to the culture i guess.

We actually planned to have dessert at the Black Angel's pub, but we are way to full to fit in any ice cream. So we headed our way back to the hotel to take a rest and of course, prepare for the next exciting day. =]