Sunday, 30 December 2007

Prague

Outside views of the St Vitus' cathedral.
Prague - a beautiful and expensive city. Just after Christmas we caught the train from Berlin to Prague for 3 days (before heading to Vienna). The weather was cold - but without snow or rain. The Old town is not very big, but there are lots of interesting and beautiful things to see!
Cameron really showed a flair for digital photograhy - he would only hand the camera back when his hands got so cold that he would have to put gloves on! His certainly has an eye for it..some very interesting shots. The good thing with digital cameras is he can take as many photos as he likes, they can be quietly edited later....
The stained glass inside the St Vitus' cathedral - inside the castle. Spectacular! We saw this both on a bus tour, and also when we covered the city by foot (we guess about 12-15km, a lot more if you count all the side tours into souvenir shops....).

As Cameron asked "Why is baby Jesus wearing a propeller hat???" - anyone have an answer? This is one of the statues on the Charles Bridge.
A view to the castle, with the Charles bridge in the foreground.
Enjoying a sausage in bread for lunch in one of the town squares. There was still a bit of a Christmas market going and the sausages smelt and tasted delicious!
Here is a tip for Theo and any other builders. If you stuff it up, get a good painter! Note that 4 of the windows are painted on (not real) to achieve symmetry.
This was up near the palace -really interesting relief in the stone-work created by etching off the top layer.
Did I say cold? The water wheel was having a little trouble because it was iced over.
This is one of Alexander's photos. In a groovy cafe that we stopped for morning tea (and to slightly defrost!) Alexander found this 'Rudolph' on the back wall. Great coffee, and nice to feel my fingers and nose again...(wish we could say the same thing for Rudolph)
Not quite Buckingham Palace.. At the palace, the ceremonial guards were on duty, and Alexander and Cameron thought this would be a great photo - standing at attention with him!
We met some fellow travellers (with 2 girls) who told us about the Barbie exhibition. Cameron and Alexander's response was "no way - you won't get us in there...!!" We happened to find the exhibition, and we offered the boys all sorts of inducements to go in...but nothing was successful!
From the castle looking back towards the old town.
Here is an example of Cameron's photography from within the castle. It is the St George's basilica with Christmas tree in the foreground.
Alexander and Cameron in St Wenceslas Square, on the horse statue. We did a 3 hour bus tour of Prague the first day we arrived. We were amazed to find out that all the statues around Prague (and there are many), are all replicas. The originals are in the musuem for preservation purposes from the acid rain from Communism times.
The 'famous' Astronomical clock on the front of the town hall (Alexander's photo, I think!). Notice the two small doors on the front? We were told that there was a display on the hour - so we duly got a table in the coffee shop opposite, got the boys hot chocolates and waited 5-10 minutes for the top of the hour. Tip to future Prague visitors - don't blink or you will miss it! Some 'Saints' whizz by behind the doors for a few seconds, the show ends, and the bill comes for the most expensive coffees in Prague!
Ever wanted time to run backward? Here is a synagogue (Prague has a very interesting Jewish history) with two clocks - the top clock runs clockwise. The lower clock has Jewish numerals and runs anti clockwise. Prague has the oldest Synagogue in Europe. It has the largest collection of Jewish archive material in all of Europe. During WW2, many Jewish items were brought here for the purpose of turning the Synagogue into the "Museum of an Extinct Race" once the war was over. Scary stuff! Here are two excellent tourists on Charles Bridge with the castle on the hill in the background. We had a wonderful time in Prague, and it is well worth a visit. We then caught a train to Vienna, where we would spend 4 days, including New Years Eve.

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