Sunday, January 22, 2017

And the surprise was....Prague!!!

This time last week I was in my hotel room at the Ibis hotel near Gatwick airport getting very nervous and excited about where I would be going to the next morning.  As I knew it was Easy Jet thanks to my credit card bill I did some snooping investigating on flight times.  Once I got the weather report emailed to me three days before I figured it was either Krakow or Prague.  Yes I know, I should be a detective!  

Most of Easy Jet's flights take off from the North Terminal so I went there to wait but of course mine took off from the South so I had to take the shuttle back to that terminal but still had plenty of time to get my boarding pass and go through security before the 9 a.m. flight.  My email came in about ten minutes  before 7 a.m. 

I'm not going to tell you everything I did in Prague - that will be in more detailed posts when I get home.  I will tell you however that for me anyway, Prague is a damn confusing city!  If you recall from my previous posts almost two years ago I kind of "pouted" my way around Prague last time as I was tired and grumpy.  Well this time I wasn't tired but being constantly lost got me kind of grumpy I must admit and I don't recall swearing and muttering (and yes, sometimes almost yelling) "where the f*ck am I" so much.  I didn't think I would ever find my hotel and it didn't help that locals kept sending me in different directions! 

Expedia did book me so I had maximum time there with a morning flight out and a late evening flight back. I covered quite a bit in those three days including a day trip to enchanting Cesky Krumlov.  

Here's a quick look at the highlights...

The Jan Hus memorial (he was burned at the stake in 1415 for proposing radical church reform...sigh...religion!) with St. Nicholas church in the background in the Old Town Square .

The Astronomical Clock in the Town Hall that has dancing saints and a crowing cock on the hour.

Kiosks selling pastries, ham and other meats and hot drinks.

Yes that is snow. 

Cesky Krumlov was like stepping into a fairy tale - having snow just made it seem even more so.  

There will definitely be a post just on this marvellous town! 

My hotel was in the Old Jewish area of the city so I explored that one morning - here is the Spanish Synagogue.

The Old Jewish Cemetery - so interesting

Names of people taken to the Internment is the surname and the dates are the dates of their birth and the day they were taken to the camp from Nazi records...So poignant and sad.  There were rooms of walls like this. 50,000 from Prague alone....  I will be doing a post on Jewish Prague as well. 

I crossed the beautiful Charles Bridge over to the Mala Strana...

Much quieter than it was when I was here two years ago!!

One of the many statues of the bridge.

I gave my regards to the John Lennon peace wall and toasted him (twice!) in the John Lennon pub later.

And I walked back via another bridge but not before revisiting this amazing view and saying hi to the swans. You can see the amazing Charles bridge in all its beauty. 

I couldn't leave Prague without having one of these....a trdelnik. (yes that's how you spell for how you pronounce it who knows but I pronounce it DELICIOUS!!) 

So this was a quick overview of what I got up to - believe me I took a ton of photos and have many stories to tell but just not enough time to tell them while I am on this unbelievably wonderful holiday.  
 Prague is a beautiful city, it really is.  It's not one that stirs my heart strings's not one I will dream about visiting again or be nostalgic when I see it pictured on TV.  I can't explain why really but that's how it is.  You can't control your reaction to a place.  I'm certainly glad I was given another chance to explore it however. I always give a place a second chance. 

As for the Surprise trip, I am so glad I did it.  And I would really recommend it - I think it would be a great gift for your partner as well. (as long as you went along too of course!)  Communication was good, the hotel was fine (okay the walls might have been a bit thin) although if you are used to four or five star you may have a problem with it. The website is here however this is only for the UK.  I am told the United States has a few companies including one called Pack up and Go.  As far as one in Canada I am not sure.  It was certainly a crazy feeling not to know what city you were going to be sleeping in the next night!  Would I do it again?  If I lived in the UK I would for sure but being as time is precious I likely won't do it again.  My trip cost 139 pounds which included return flight and three nights in a hotel.  I thought that was very reasonable. 

I'll be writing in depth about my time in Prague and especially gorgeous little Cesky Krumlov that did tug at my heart strings.  It is definitely on my "must return to" list! 

For this week it's off to York and Brighton with a High Tea in there as well and exploring more of London. 

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