Returning to Prague of the Student Bus, we felt, well, like we were coming home. Returning to a city while on vacation always feels that way. We were staying at the same apartment, we knew where to get what we needed, it just seemed so familiar. After dropping our stuff off, we headed to some of those, by now, familiar places.
Starting at the Powder Tower and the Municipal House, one thing was definitely nicer....the weather!
Things were overcast and drizzly when we arrived, but now everything seemed so bright and shiny.
It's really hard trying to get everything in one photo here. By this time, we decided to start things off the next morning with a nice long walk....starting here. So on this day; we'd just, well, according to the Missus, "take it easy".
It was nice to just kind of relax and loaf around. We got a chance to take our time and notice things we missed before; like the House of the Black Madonna, an example of Cubist Architecture. As I mentioned before, each building has it's own personality, and yet, just blends in seamlessly into the city. The building is named after the statue of the Black Madonna mounted it.
Walking down the street and passing behind the Tyn Church, you come to a courtyard. This reminded me of the Hans within the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
It's all pretty unassuming, until you learn that this is the Ungelt Courtyard, originally built in the 12th century. This fortified area once housed visiting merchants and their good which would be put on sale at the Old Town Square. Having only two entrances meant things were secure.
Out the other end of the courtyard and you come to the Church if Saint James....which looks rather unassuming on the outside, but the interior is quite stunning.
It's quite a sight. This church is home to the Madonna Pietatis. The Madonna "piety" full of jewels. We never saw it; but according to what I read, there's a mummified arm hanging near the door......it's the limb of a thief who tried to steal the jewels from the statue. His arm instantly froze as soon as he touched the Madonna Pietatis....they had to amputate his arm in order to free him. The arm hangs as a warning to anyone with similar thoughts!
One thing we noticed during our travels, whether it's Hawaii, Greece, or wherever, are the Japanese wedding photos. And why should Prague be any different?
As we left the church, the Missus told me to "hurry up....it's almost time." For what you may ask? Well along with the Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square, the Missus has a thing about the Astronomical Clock. It was almost noon....the time for the best viewing of the best viewing time. Not of the clock per se....just watching folks, watching the clock.
First the crowd gathers......
So thick that even the folks having their wedding photo taken can't make it past in their limo.....
It's kind of festive.......i'm not the biggest fan of crowds, but I kind of enjoy this.
"Oh look....it's starting!"
"It's the grand finale....ok everyone, all together now....ready....aim....shoot!"
It's quite amusing.....though I hoped no one got their pockets picked....with everyone looking up and all. Then of course, you need to deal with the crowd dispersing.
It was now past noon and we hadn't had anything to eat since leaving Brno in the morning. I'd heard of a place close by; a microbrewery and pub, which supposedly had decent food by the name of U Tri Ruzi.
It's a multi-story restaurant....we never made it beyond the first floor.....we both got a kick out of the wall art.
We both loved the fact that there were several microbrews to choose from; a nice switch from the standard pilsner, light or dark, or half and half. My favorite was the Vienna Red; nice malty-sweetness, it goes down easy, but has some body. The semi-dark bock that the Missus ordered was a bit too boozy for Her. Tons of maltiness in this one, good tongue-feel, thick, bitter finish.
We decided to go light....but not really light....it was the encased meats and meat paste route for us. Starting with the duck pate.
Nice, creamy, not too "livery", good duck flavor....rich. Quite good!
The duck rillette was super......fantastic "duckiness", nice texture, with substance.
This was really good stuff.
The lamb sausages were ok, basically a mild facsimile of merguez. Don't ask me about the cabbage....I never got a shot at those.....
So let's talk about price....I know I've said that everything in Prague is at least 30% more expensive (usually more) than other places in the Czech Republic. But....it's all relative. I wrote down the price of all we had, 560 CZK. Sounds like a lot, huh? Well, it was about $25 US for this. Not bad at all......try and get those prices in North Park!
U Tri Ruzi
Prague, Czech Republic
Belly full of food and beer, I was ready for a nap....but oh no, the Missus wasn't having any of that. She wanted to check out Her other favorite place; the Charles Bridge.
Strangely enough, the Charles Bridge seemed strangely sedate. A good amount of people, but not the mob we expected. And the Statue of John of Nepomuk seemed to revel in the sunshine.
It was such a bright, but still mild day, our best in terms of weather thus far in Prague. Everything looked just so much better....
Since we were in the Little Quarter, why not visit one of my favorite places.....the Lennon Wall.
Though there were quite a few people here taking photos and selfies on the wall; I was still touched by this symbol of freedon, love, and peace.
Perhaps it's true; "all you need is love......."
Man, Prague on a day like this.......
On the way back to the apartment, we made the decision to self cater dinner. In Brno, we came across Sklizeno Foodie Market and I recalled seeing that in Prague as well. And what do you know.....I'm not (that) senile yet.
The conversation, or should I say, attempted conversation here was hilarious......we all tried so hard and at the end of the day it was mission accomplished. Yes the nap was also accomplished as well.
The Missus wanted to complete the trifecta of Her favorite places before dinner. So we headed out to Wenceslas Sqaure.
We headed out in a bit of a different direction, down some different streets. I have to say, some of the businesses were a bit interesting. I'm still wondering about Erotic City Supermarket......supermarket? One can only imagine what the produce and, ahem, meat aisles would be like. This one is a bit too easy.....so I'll let it go at that.
We'd been here several times already, so it was easy enough to take a seat and people watch. Or in this case doggie watch. This little pooch decided that he didn't want to walk anymore. His long suffering owner looked at us, said something in Czech, smiled, shrugged her shoulders, then picked the little spoiled guy up.......I'm thinking this is probably the norm for this pampered pooch.
We had the last of the charcuterie from the "Mediterranean Festival" in Brno, plus some pate.
The beer we got; we enjoyed the Kocour Weizenbock we had earlier, but the Kubik and the Saurus just weren;t to our taste.
Still, we enjoyed trying things that weren't Pilsners.....
And yes, I needed to try the Paprika Lays.....
I sat at the window looking down at the side street below, somewhat worried about the thin woman who looked slightly od'd. Someone came by and got a cab for her.....
As folks poured out of the pub in the basement of the building I was staying in, I thought of the quirky sense of humor we'd encountered here. Not in the daily interactions, but in the stories and....i'm not sure if I should call it public art. Stories that had what I call the "Czech twist"...... There seemed to be a sense of irony and dark absurdity to things. One can't help but get involved.....so, if you're inclined, click on the photo to the right....... It's my contribution....
Thanks for reading!