Sunday, 20 August 2017

11D8N Eastern Europe Tour with Chan Brothers Day 3 - Prague (Czech Republic)

After breakfast at the hotel, we started the city tour early. It was a cold and grey day, and we were going to be out and about for the entire day so Eva (our tour leader) told us to dress warmly. I came out in as many layers as I can manage, complete with a beanie, a scarf and gloves. 

Our local tour guide for Prague was a tall lady with a very strong accent so there were moments when I struggled to understand what she was saying through the audio guide. But eventually I got used to it and enjoyed her introduction to Prague.

The bus dropped us off near the Prague Castle and we continued on foot for the rest of the tour.

St Vitus Cathedral was extremely majestic and impressive.

We continued on through the Prague Castle grounds and visited Golden Lane. It was originally built to house the castle guards but now it houses a row of souvenir shops. Somewhere down Golden Lane, we stumbled into what appeared to be a display of the way of life of a castle guard.

We continued walking through the Prague Castle grounds en route to Charles Bridge and found ourselves at a spot with a great view of the city. All of us stopped to snap a bunch of pictures before hurrying along because the place was getting real crowded.

View from Charles Bridge. Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava River and links the Lesser Quarter (the slopes below the Prague Castle) to the Old Town. Statues line both sides of the Charles Bridge but it was so crazy crowded that I failed to take any nice pictures of the statues.

The Old Town Bridge Tower stands at the end of the Charles Bridge next to the Old Town Square. We returned at night to snap a picture of the night view along the Charles Bridge but realised quick enough that the view (which was not much) was not worth standing out on the Charles Bridge on a wintry night so we turned back within 5 minutes.

We ended our city tour at the Astronomical Clock then it was free & easy time! Some members of the tour group went for the optional tour (lunch on a boat cruising along the river) but we chose not to join them because we would like to explore Prague on our own a little more. So we headed to Palladium Shopping Mall for lunch at the Old Prague Restaurant!

Clearly ordered more than I can finish because I did not expect the pizza to be so big. Hot red wine because nothing warms me up better than hot wine on a cold wintry day.

Shopped around a little before heading out to Paris Street on the other side of Old Town Square. Lots of branded goods and luxury brands here for those who love to indulge in some shopping! I was, however, more captivated by the beautiful fairy lights on the bare branches and the darkening sky.

So darkness fell before we realised it and the temperature dropped steadily. Best time to start exploring the giant Christmas market at the Old Town Square! It was so beautiful. The lights came on, everything sparkled in the cold night, and it just felt so incredibly magical.

Walked over to Wenceslas Square where there was another huge Christmas market and shopping malls on both sides of the Christmas market. The Christmas market paled in comparison to the large amazing one at the Old Town Square but the shops on both sides were pretty decent (i.e. high street / fast fashion at reasonable prices).

We walked back to the Astronomical Clock to meet our tour leader Eva as our free & easy time was coming to an end and we had to join the tour group for our dinner. The Old Town Square was getting crazy crowded with locals and tourists and our tour group had to push past a thick crowd to reach where our coach was parked.

While I loved the beautiful lights and architecture, I was so glad to be back in the warmth of our coach bus and finally sitting down after walking for so many hours. Dinner was very average Chinese food at House of Peking and we returned back to the hotel to rest.

It was a terribly cold day and walking around so much made it even colder but Prague was really too beautiful. The lovely architecture, the Prague Castle grounds, the giant beautifully lit Christmas market. Love Prague.

Check out my post on Day 1 , Day 2Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7.

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