This past Thursday was a German holiday, so we took Friday off and headed to Prague for a 4 day weekend. Prague was not initially on our list of places to travel, but several people had mentioned it being one of their favorites, so we looked into it. We found out that it's one of the top six visited European countries and it was only a four hour drive away (we looked into the train, but it was more expensive and took almost twice as long).
Prague is located in the Czech Republic. Initially, this whole area was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but like many areas of that empire, were made into their own countries at the end of WWI. It became Czechoslovakia, and after WWII fell under the iron curtain of the USSR. In 1993, after the cold war, Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Growing up, you really imagine Czech as being part of Eastern Europe, but it's just on the eastern border of Germany, and the southern border of Poland.
We arrived at our hotel around 3PM on Thursday and after getting things settled into our room, headed for downtown. Our hotel was situated outside of the city, but less than a mile walk to the nearest metro station, so we got our fair share of exercise. We had bought passes that would get us into the major Prague attractions, but they became valid on Friday, so our plan that night was to walk around and take in the sights. We'd heard from everyone how beautiful the city was and we certainly weren't disappointed.
There is some amazing craftsmanship that comes out of the Czech Republic. These masks were in many stores and were so beautiful that I couldn't resist getting a picture. I have ornaments that are from the Czech Republic and they are some of my favorites, mainly due to the beautiful hand painted work.
Throughout our travels in Europe, I've been keeping an eye out for Christmas gifts for members of our families. We were in a souvenir shop, and I was looking at shirts for Brady and myself (we get them in every city we've traveled here). Brady was having a full meltdown because he was tired and I was at the point that I couldn't even concentrate enough to read the sizes. Andy found a fur hat and tried to put it on Brady, but as you can see, it was unsuccessful.
Coming into the Old Town Square.
The Astronomical Clock. Created in 1410, it's the third oldest astronomical clock in the world, and the oldest one still working.
It just so happens that Prague has a Hard Rock Cafe, and we generally try to eat at one anytime a city we visit has one. This was no exception. It's so nice to get some American food, with free refills on drinks with ice!
We had just sat down, when Brady decided this was a good time to finally pass out. We were so grateful to have a meal in peace and enjoy. Usually, we rush through to make sure he doesn't get bored and throw a fit.
This particular Hard Rock is four stories high and has a crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling in the shape of a guitar. It was pretty cool!
After dinner, we walked around some more and headed towards the Charles Bridge.
The entrance to the Charles Bridge on one side of the river.
The Charles Bridge has 30 mostly baroque statues that were created between 1683 and 1714, depicting various saints and patron saints. Among these statues, is one of the Holy Crucifix, as you see above.
Prague Castle up on the hill, as seen from the Charles Bridge. We visited the Castle on Friday morning (separate post).
These trips are generally no fun at all for Brady, so we try to do a few things that will make him happy and also help burn off some energy. There was a KFC right outside our hotel and we noticed they had a play area, so we headed there one night for dinner. We were able to relax and let Brady play for a while.
There was also a Lego Museum in Prague. We are so excited to go to Legoland here in Germany in jut a few short weeks!
Brady's new favorite thing "helicopies."
Brady loved hitting the switch to make the lego trains move on the track.
There were two play areas at the end of the museum for kids. One for duplos and another for regular legos. Brady made sure to make good use of both rooms.
This table was so cool with the bouncy seats for the kids to sit on while they played.
Brady loved looking out the window of our 8th floor hotel room. He loves cars and could see them very well on the highway below. He could sit there for hours.