Prague (10/8 ~ 10/10/2014)

We had a morning city tour lead by a local guide.
The first stop was to the Prague Castle on a hill on the west bank of the Vltava River.

One of the squares in Prague Castle.
The weather was menacing, but many visitors from all over the world were here.

The Presidential palace on the castle grounds.

A building in the castle complex with an interesting facade.

From the castle grounds one can see the old town and new town across the Vltava River.

St. Vitus Cathedral on the castle grounds.
This Gothic church is the biggest and most import church in Czech Republic.

Interior of St. Vitus Cathedral - containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors.

Jewish quarter - on the east side of Vltava river and just north of the Old Town of Prague.

The Old Town Square - always bustling with many street performers.

Týn Church [pronounced "teen"], full name is "Church of Our Lady before Týn".
A landmark of the Old Town, it has been the main church of the Old Town since the 14th century.

The 15th-century's Astronomical clock on the Town Hall Clock Tower.
It strikes once a hour, and the show lasts only 11 seconds.
(If you blink, you may miss it all together.)

Our first taste of TRDLO. It was not even warm. (We should have known better by looking at his cart.)
We had a better luck the next day with Trdlo hot off the rod with caramelized sugar.

The 14th-century Charles Bridge connects the Old Town to the Little Quarter and Prague Castle.
Until the 19th-century this was Prague's only bridge crossing the Vltava River.

On the Charles Bridge looking toward the Old Town.
Many street performers entertained tourists on this bridge.

Many black statues on the Charles Bridge, each has its own unique story.

In the Little Quarter.
A street performer maneuvered a giant bubble.

Smetana Museum - housed on the 2nd floor of the wheat-colored building in the center of the picture.

Inside the Smetana Museum, lots of photos and text describing his life's story.

The National Theater.
The west side of the theater was undergoing renovation.

The Estates Theater where Mozart personally conducted the premiere of his
"Marriage of Figaro" and "Don Giovanni" in 1787.

Beautiful architecture everywhere.

Frank Gehry's Dancing House (resembling a pair of dancers, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers).
In our humble opinion, this building really does not fit with the rest of the city architecture.

One of our GCT-included dinner was at a huge restaurant that specifically catered to tour groups.
On this evening, there were tour groups from USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Peru etc.

Our main plate. The restaurant also supplied endless wine. 

Song and dance entertainment through out the evening.  It was fun.

On the 2nd morning Misha took us for a walk to Vysehrad.
From our hotel (Park Inn Hotel by Radisson) we had to climb up this hill.

Then through this fortress gate to go into Vysehrad. 

Vysehrad, the "high city".
No tourist. Very charming and very peaceful.

From Vysehrad, we could see the 14th-century Prague Castle on the other side of the Vltava river.

Antonín Dvořák's headstone in Vysehrad's cemetery.

Smetana's headstone (the tallest one in the center) in Vysehrad's cemetery.

In the afternoon, we rode this tram from our hotel to the Old Town on our own.
(The rest of the GCT members went on the tour bus to Sychrov castle.)

Our lunch restaurant - we walked for a long time in the Old Town to search for
a non-touristy restaurant that served authentic pork knuckles (not easy to find).

Mei-Ching's roast pork knuckle - crispy outside and tender inside. Yummy!
This pork knuckle looked different from the knuckle she had in KaDeWe's LeBuffet restaurant in Berlin.

Vincent's goulash (meaning "shepherd's soup") in a bread bowl.
He said it tasted different from Hungarian Beef Stew, and he liked Hungarian Beef Stew better.
Goulash in Hungary is a clear spicy broth with chunks of meat, potato and other vegetables.
Only outside of Hungary is the word used to describe a thick stew.

After an evening concert at St. Nicholas Church in the Old Town, we walked toward Charles Bridge.
We smelled sweet pastry in the air, turned our heads and saw people forming a line outside this shop.

They were selling Tradlo hot off the rod and coated with sugar that had already caramelized.
Very tasty! Much better than the one we had yesterday.

This was the man we bought a Bohemia girl puppet from for our granddaughters.
He took us for Japanese, and said how nice we were to come back to buy from him.
(We talked to him the day before, but had not settled on which one to buy.)

Prague Castle in the evening. 

The next morning, Misha (in red) and Adam were loading our bus for the long drive to Budapest.