Saturday, 28 January 2017

Christmas Time In Prague

With its captivating architecture and amazing food, its impossible not to fall in love with this city. I am not long back from my first trip to Prague (I've really been back a month I'm just a rubbish blogger) and already I want to plan my next visit, mainly to get Trdelník but thats a whole other story. My boyfriend and I decided that this year we would spend a few days in Prague over the Christmas holidays so that we could explore the Christmas markets, hopefully see some snow and get really into the Christmas spirit before flying back home for Christmas day. I have decided to share how we spent our time in Prague.

Arriving in Prague- Day 1

For our time in Prague we were staying at the Art Deco Imperial Hotel which is one of the most stunning hotels I have ever stayed in. Every morning as part of our package we enjoyed a buffet style breakfast in Cafe Imperial. The cafe has been the most famous grand cafe house in the city for over 100 years and it is no surprise why. The cafe boasts a gorgeous mosaic ceiling and art nouveau tiling. It even has huge windows which were great for people watching. 

That night we decided to explore the city and of course hunt for the Christmas markets which wasn't hard because they were literally everywhere. The city constantly smelt of Christmas markets. It was also on this night that my life changed forever as we discovered Trdelník. Trdlnik is the ultimate super food. Super in the sense that it tastes unlike anything you've ever had before. When roaming the streets of Prague we constantly seen three dimensional pictures of these rolled pastries and decided to try them. Our first Trdelník experience was in the Old Town Square at one of the stalls in the market and you could watch them being made. The dough was rolled out, wrapped around the trdlo (which is basically a stick), sprinkled with lots of sugar and walnut mix and then cooked over the flames. I think we had at least two of these a day when we were there. 




Prague Castle- Day 2

On our first full day in Prague we of course decided to explore more of the city. 

Letenské sady
Letenské sady also known as Letná Park is a huge huge park on top of Letná hill. We stumbled across this park accidentally on our way to Prague Castle and I'm so glad we did because the views from the top were amazing, we could see the whole of Prague Old Town and the landscape seemed to go on forever. It was really nice to step away from the inside of the city and admire it all from a different perspective. 

Chotkovy Sady
We also visited another park which was around 5 minutes walking distance from Letenské sady. This park is very small but was still worth visiting. Again, it seemed that wherever you stood you were looking at the most beautiful views. This was also a really good spot for taking pictures of the Castle. We also found a tree swing which definitely boosted the aesthetic of my instagram. 

Prague Castle
Supposedly Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world according to my reliable source that is the Guinness Book of World Records. I wasn't sure what to expect when visiting the castle area but the best way to describe it would be like a small village. In the castle area there are museums, a church and lots of cute little shops. I would recommend that if you ever visit Prague Castle that you keep a full day free for it because there is so much to see.










Some important sights and a crazy experience- Day 3

In 50 years time when my boyfriend and I are old, grey and can't remember much, one thing that we will definitely say is '' remember that time in Prague when we went to the KGB museum...

KGB Museum 

I could probably spend this whole blog post telling you why you have to go to the KGB museum but just trust me when I say you need to. To quickly summarise, the KGB museum is on the other side of Prague across Charles Bridge and the Vltava River. It consist of two small rooms that are filled with real KGB artefacts. What made this tour so memorable was the fact that our tour guide was slightly insane. I say slightly but I really mean absolutely insane. He was very knowledgeable about everything that he was talking about and definitely provided an entertaining commentary but was very eccentric. Our guide would demonstrate how the weapons were used and definitely got into character. We even got the chance to handle the artefacts; axes and knives with Nazi blood still on them were passed around and even a freaking ballistic knife which could easily be ejected if someone accidentally pressed the trigger! Im pretty sure if this was in the UK so many health and safety rules would have been broken but yolo.

Charles Bridge

Prague is definitely not short on bridges, in fact each bridge we passed we constantly found ourselves asking '' Is this Charles Bridge?'' When we finally stumbled across it, it was clear why this is Prague's most iconic Bridge.

John Lennon Wall 

What started off as just an ordinary wall was transformed into a wall of peace and harmony. As you can probably guess it is filled with quotes, pictures and is very colourful. We visited around late morning and it wasn't too busy.

Swan Lake

As a dancer myself I was not going to go to Prague at Christmas time and turn down the opportunity to see the ballet. Thankfully my boyfriend was willing to come with me so I didn't have to go on my own.







Terezin Concentration Camp- Day 4

On our fourth day we decided to do something a little different and booked a tour to Terezin concentration camp. With our tour guide and group we travelled about an hour on the train to Terezin and from the station it was about a 10 minute bus ride into the town. We spent the full day here and were shown around the different museums, houses, cemeteries and crematorium. Terezin was not an extermination camp like Auschwitz but was mainly used for slave labour and as a transit camp before people were sent off to the other camps. What I found particularly upsetting was that it was also used as propaganda to encourage Jewish people that life in these small, close knit communities was better than the lives that they were previously living. Our tour guide explained to us that many people sold their home, all their belongings to actually buy a ticket to the camp. We were even shown the actual footage from the propaganda videos. Children would often draw lots of different things including drawings of a hope for a better future outside the camp.






Day 5

We spent most of our final day in Prague eating Trdelník and riding the tram. We also done a bit of Christmas shopping before heading home. It has only been a month but I miss this beautiful city so much and will hopefully return back soon. You can also watch my youtube video here











Love,
Mhegan
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