Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1st - Travel Blog

Hi, it’s Christina –

Greetings from well… I’m not exactly sure where. While you are reading this, we are somewhere, on a train, between Prague and Budapest. We had to leave the hotel via taxi at 7:00 am, so this blog was prepared last night and put into the queue to post at a reasonable hour.

We didn't do the funky bike, the horse
drawn carriage, the fancy convertible
or the segways, but they are available
if you're ever in Prague.
Yesterday was Saturday, and while planning on what we wanted to see, the thought didn’t enter our heads that certain things we wished to visit, ie: the cemetery and the synagogue, would not be open on a Saturday. My apologies to all my Jewish friends, I should have known.

We started our day with breakfast. Pretty much the same fare as yesterday, with the exception of the yummy ham was replaced by what looked like a pasta and salami dish. Sorry, not my idea of breakfast food – and this comes from someone who is known to grab a slice of cold pizza in the morning.
You can just make out the Swan boats
and those bubble water walking
thingies through the bridge arch.

After breakfast, we headed to the Metro. It only took a day, and we got the transit system down. Not a single wrong turn today – yeah us! We hopped off at Old Town, but first headed toward the river to take some pictures and then head to St. Charles Bridge. The river was teaming with all sorts of floatage. There was a paddle boat, several smaller motor boats, a gondola, those bubbles where you can walk on water, swan paddle boats and the largest real swans I have ever seen in my life – I’m talking nuked swans on steroids big. I’m sure glad I was several feet above them and not in the water near them.

3rd picture down on the left - those
buildings have a river running
through them!
St. Charles Bridge was packed. Along both sides are various religious statues, some of which people were standing in line to touch. Between my Czech not being so good (I very slowly sound out the words on the signs and then only recognize every third one), and my non-Catholic background, I’m kinda clueless as to the significance of these apparent pilgrimages. Sorry.

It's not an optical illusion, some of
the buildings actually curve.
Between each statue, there were vendors and artists and musicians peddling their wares (interspersed with the occasional beggar). If you look closely at the picture right next to the word “Bridge”, that musician’s choice of instrument was wine glasses. He played the most lovely Pachelbel canon, in D I believe, I’ve heard. If the sun wasn’t beating down so strongly and there wasn’t such a crush, I would have stayed longer to listen.

Bottom right are the treats I wanted
to try. Middle left is as close as we got
to the Synagogue. 
From the bridge we headed into Old Town – skinny, winding, cobblestone streets with tall attached buildings on either side. Here you could purchase everything imaginable; and I did find the shop I was looking for, and found the gift I was looking for, but I will say no more in case the recipient of said gift is reading this – all I’ll say is, because I went to the source, I was able to actually afford the gift I had in mind, otherwise it would have been well out of my price range.

Mom's bacon and cheese strudel and
the fresh lemonade were good.  
Everywhere you looked in Old Town, there was something cool to see. I wish I had grabbed one of those cone desserts, they looked positively decadent. Perhaps they will have the same at one of our next stops. They even have a beer museum. We didn’t go in, but I did snap a picture because I thought Paulie would appreciate it.

Hey, who's that lady with
the silver man?
Then it was lunchtime, and we decided to be a little naughty. We stopped at a bake shop, and low and behold, they had a chocolate honey cake. Much to my dismay, it was dry, it didn’t have much flavor, and I didn’t even finish it.

After we took the edge off our hunger, we headed for the famed clock. We had heard stories about how animated the clock was when it struck the hour – we weren’t impressed. I’ve seen household cuckoo clocks with more action. Granted household cuckoo clocks don’t have a live trumpeter, but he was so far up, you can barely make him out in the photo. At least it was free, because if I had paid to see it, I would have been annoyed.
Another incredible pipe organ.

After the clock, we stopped into St. Nicholas' Cathedral for a few minutes, but after that, we had had it. Between the travel and then two days of walking, mom and I both felt we deserved a nap, so that’s what we did.


After our nap, it was dinner time. Just up the street from our hotel was Bad Jeff’s Barbeque. At first I’m thinking, what does a Czech know about southern barbeque, but then I read the reviews and I thought we should give it a try. I’m SO glad we did. Southern barbequers beware, if Badd Jeff ever decides to come to the states, he’ll put y’all out of business. It was simply delicious, and his brisket was the best I have ever had in my life! As soon as I came back – or should I say rolled back – to the hotel, I posted a review on TripAdvisor. I wish there was a way to be able to give them more than 5 stars!

We won’t be getting into Budapest until after 4, and then we have to check in with the ship, so I don’t know how many pictures I’ll have to share with you tomorrow or what we’ll have time to see. I guess we’ll both find out.

Until then, have a WONDERFUL day & happy writing.