Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 10 : 14th May

A Bohemian getaway...

As promised...here we are. I had a hard time sifting the pix as there were too many! Finally I came down to 71 pieces. Well I tried :P

Directly in front of our hostel was Prague's famous Charles Bridge aka Karluv Most (below). Walking across it will lead us to Prague Castle ground. Weather was perfect!

Prague is full of beautiful Baroque styled buildings. Just a short distance to Karluv Most we saw these...

The view from Charles Bridge was simply breathtaking. Even though it's early, I have never seen so many tourists at one spot before. In fact, Prague was the city where it's most packed with tourists.

On the left we saw this...

On the Right we saw this...
At the far distance, perching at the top of the hill lays Prague Castle. We will make our journey there soon. After seeing this, I suddenly felt I was swept back to the medieval era. I couldnt help myself from taking a B&W picture.

Ahhh...now it felt really old & nostalgic

I was mesmerized with nostalgia. Imagine this ... a beautiful soprano sang, accompanied by the rest of the opera singers. Their voices echoed throughout the city. Music is in the air. Leisurely walk across the bridge while taking in the view under the cool sunny day. Admiring artists' paintings and Baroque statues on the bridge. Hmmm....

Wait a minute! I wasn't imagining this. There WAS a concert going on. Singers were singing on the platform floating on the Vltava River. Ain't we lucky :)

Here are scenes from Karluv Most with some of the famous statues on the bridge.

Everyone was lining up to touch the golden part of what appears to be a lady holding a baby. Not sure what or why, we stood in line. Hehe...
After coming back, I only found out that people touch it for luck. I am glad we did!

We arrived in Lesser Town. This town was bustling with shops selling amazing Bohemian crystal and glass artworks. I was so tempted to buy one crystal as I couldnt figure out how they inserted an almost impossible but very eye-catching design into the crystal. Budget ... Budget ...

Get comfy shoes as Prague is a cobble-stoned city and it is an ascending journey to the Castle. I was amazed that all the buildings were well kept and restored. Colours of each building complemented one another. Even with the hilly landscape, the buildings seemed to just "grow" perfectly on it.

I dunno if it's me or what? I felt even those worn off painting looked like a piece of art.

Please give him some coins if you see this poor guy...

Huff & Puff. I don't know how we made it but we managed to reach Prague Castle without any map. Just pure instict. Lol!
More steps ahead.

At last! We reached Prague Castle. What a sight to behold

Since we are at the top of the hill, we took advantage of the height. At the far distance, perched the Petrin Tower. It's one of the famous vantage point for tourists to view Prague from above.

The lovely manicured castle lawn.

I am not sure who posted more threat. The guard or us two weirdos? Click the picture below for a larger view and you be the judge.

The entrance to Prague Castle. People were still debating the reason of putting such a brutal act at the castle's entrance. I think it gave the meaning of power or simply a sight to remember.

Wow! There was even a white limo. I bet some big shots were inside.

We cant really go inside the castle but peeping is allowed (I guess). The interior really fitted the Kings.

After walking under a short tunnel, this massive structure loomed in front of us. Behold the St. Vitus Cathedral!

These young boys looked like they are about to sing some choirs. Suddenly, the white limo we saw earlier stopped in front of the cathedral. The boys lined up and carried the casket from the limo. It turned out that someone important passed away and the limo is for the funeral. The cathedral was closed to the public today due to the funeral service. Tourists including us were disappointed as we knew St. Vitus is Prague's most amazing gothic cathedral.

We decided to enjoy the castle grounds instead. I'll leave you to enjoy the view...

Standing to the South of St. Vitus is the Monolith which tells time.

How come we never had school day trip to castles? Not fair!

Before we leave the castle, we get another chance to catch the red roofed city.

Not sure what tree is this but it gives a very fragrant smell.

After lunch, we decided to head to Prague's Old Town Square.

Old Town Square's star attraction - The Astronomical Clock.
The clock was so complicated, I don't even know how to read the time. Every hour, the clock will "sing" and a skeleton will ring the clock's bell. Almost at the end of each hour, hordes of tourists had gathered to watch the clock's performance.

So we waited....

And waited....

After watching the clock's performance and joining other tourists clapping for the clock...Wait...
Did I say clap for the clock? OK, I did and yes, we did clap for the clock.

We were so excited over the day that we started to jump at every shot.
1-2-3 - Jump!

Jump! Jump!

Jump! Jump!Jump! Jump!Jump! Jump!Jump! Jump!

Before we end the day, we jumped to see the Powder Tower. It's around the corner so why not?
The Powder Tower had some resemblence with the gates of Charles Bridge. Dont you think?
The Tower got its name by storing gun powder back at the old times. This structure was threatened to be demolished several times as it was awkward looking and did not had a good reputation. I am glad someone is smart enough to keep it. See it for yourself. Who would have the heart to take it down?

It has been a long day. We decided to have a decent dinner and rest our feet. I had a mouth-watering ham Subway for dinner.

Halfway through dinner, TH suddenly looked panic. His memory card suddenly became unreadable. Whaaaat?! Those pictures we took were gone? We tested some methods but the memory card remained unreadable. It locked itself up and just died on us.

Nooooooooooooo..... this is a total nightmare! All those beautiful pictures and poses.

We have no choice but to trace back our walks and the places we visited again tomorrow.
You see, some of the pictures taken above were actually from the next day.

I'll post the remaining Prague pix next... stay tuned!

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