I have left lots of bits out so as not to upset anyone.Hope you enjoy.
Unclegus’s Trip to Prague
Friday 3rd March
Woke up to a pleasant but cold morning and had breakfast, organized my things ready to leave for the airport about 11.15 am. Looked out the window about 10.00am to see the heaviest snowfall Edinburgh has seen in many years, so left early for the airport.Luckly snow stopped and our flight left slightly ahead of time. Arrived in Prague at 5.30 local time and our driver was there to pick us up as we exited the customs hall. A 30 minute drive took us to our hotel
U Tri Koruna (the Three Crowns) in Zizkov, a slightly run down area just outside the main centre of Prague. The snow had started here too not heavy but persistant.The reception staff were very friendly and spoke excellent English, they checked us in quickly and gave us a map of Prague (City Walks) and a free drinks voucher for the bar/restaurant. We were shown to a large twin room in the older part of the hotel and were not disappointed with it, it was clean, reasonably decorated, with a walk in wetroom/toilet.We settled in but as it was still snowing we decided to eat in the hotel that evening. The food served in the restaurant was very good; I had a sewer of chicken ham and pork with salad and roast potatoes washed down with a beer.
After a good meal we ventured out into the lightly falling snow and visited a few of the local bars. We went into a few “Herna” bars, small local places which were friendly and served good cheap beer,unfortunetly (or fortunately for some ) we hit a small Gay bar, but drank up quick and left. Met up in a bar opposite the Ariston Hotel with a few fellow travelers including a Scots couple ,so spent the rest of the night there and headed back the 300 or so yards to our hotel for the night.
Saturday 4th March.
After an excellent breakfast (the best I have ever had in Prague)
we took the tram into the city centre to reacquaint ourselves with the city centre after all it’s been nearly 2 years since we last trod the streets of Prague. We passed the Municipal House and Powder Tower and walked to the lovely Old Town Square, a short visit to the tourist office there we then wandered down to the Charles Bridge. Decided to take a trip up the Gate Tower of the bridge and it afforded some great views and photo opportunities. Along the bridge and a little wander into the Kampa island area. from there a slow wander up to the castle area. We walked up as far as the Strahov Monastery and had lunch at the very nice Klasterni Pivovar restaurant with its excellent St.Norberts amber ale and very fine food. A slow walk down took us back to the Castle area and we had a look in the St Vitus Cathedral and had a visit to Golden lane where we had a shot of the old fashioned crossbows in the battlement area. Stop for a beer in one of the many pubs.
We had booked tickets at the Estates Theatre for a concert of extracts from Mozart operas, though the concert was very good the price of about £35 for VIP tickets for an hour long show was not in my opinion good value for money.
Tried to get a meal in the Golden Tiger (U Zlateho Tygra) but was very busy so we went to the Golden apple directly opposite, the service was good but the food a little disappointing. Went back over to the Golden tiger for a beer later on before hitting a couple of other place for a few beers and Becherovkas before heading back to the hotel
Sunday 5th March
This morning broke bright clear and very cold. We had arranged to go to the Victoria Zizkov V Ceske Boduvice football match, but due to adverse weather i.e. frozen pitch the game was cancelled. Managed to get into the ground and take a few pictures which was nice. Eventually we went into the city and had an early beer in the Branik Skipek pub in Vodickova and from there went to have a game of 10 pin bowling in V Celinci which was most enjoyable. . We had lunch in U Radnickych in Havelska beside the outdoor market. The food here is quite superb for what appears to be just a little bar; we also drank Bernard wheat beer here. Later in the afternoon we had arranged a tour of the magnificent Municiple House (Obicni Dum) and had a beer and a Becherovka in the beautiful American bar there. Sunday evening saw us head out to the Shepherdesses cottage (U Pastrky) on Belehradska.This restaurant /bar complex cooks food on open grills ,the food was very good and beer excellent. There is a small band playing Gypsy style music .I found it a little cheesy. Though the place was quite nice and the food good, I feel it was just far too quiet to have a real atmosphere, a good crowd there then it could be good fun.
After a few beers in a couple of pubs we finished the night in the Havana Club with the worst beer I have ever had in the Czech Republic ever. The Havana Club is ok if you are under 30, sadly I am not. It is not my favorite place in Prague.
Monday 6th March
We had a bit of a later start today. Visited the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) and took the special ticket for 6 of the sites, Maisel Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue, Klausen Synagogue, Ceremonial Hall and the Old Jewish cemetery. It was all very interesting but you would really have to have a Jewish background or an interest in Jewish history to get a lot out of it. The Pinkas Synagogue was very moving with all the names of those who perished in the Holocaust and the display of drawings of the children from the Nazi concentration camps even more so.
We had lunch in the no1 bar of U Karlova Mosta (By the Charles Bridge) this is a very nice place with a log burning stove. I had a venison ragout which was very nice but was spoiled by being served with deep fried potato croquettes when some nice potatoes or dumplings would have been much more appropriate.
The afternoon was spent going up Petrin hill by Funicular and having a walk in the snow, (a bit treacherous at times).some great views are afforded up here. We had a beer in U Kocourna (Tom Cat) on the way down.
Evening was spent at the excellent U Vejvodou beer hall on Jilska, sevice here is excellent as is the beer, food was more than reasonable and the whole atmosphere excellent. Talked the evening away with Germans, Argentinians, English and Praguers.I enjoyed myself so much I bought the T-shirt.
Tuesday 7th March.
We traveled to Kutna Hora today, easily purchased return tickets at the main railway station. The train left just after 10.00 am and took about an hour to get us there. I had received a lot of info from Trip Advisor about Kutna Hora and ended up collecting a few waifs and strays and guiding them to the bone church in Sedlac (about 900 meters) we saw the ossuary there which is stunning and gruesome. From there we walked the 2 kilometers into the town centre (you can get a bus).The Town is very nice with a silver mine museum and a stunning cathedral. We had lunch in the Dacicky Pivince just set back from the street Rejskova, this is a wonderful old beer hall with a big log fire. The food here was superb and I had a goulash soup served in a bread bowl, a new and very pleasant experience for me. They brew their own beer there called Dacickya and very good it is too. We returned to the train station just in time as the weather closed in and a short snow storm ensued. Once back in Prague we had a game of 10 pin bowling in the place opposite the Viktoria Zizkov football ground a short distance from our hotel
We had an evening meal in the Novomestky Pivovar (New Town Brewery) service and food excellent, I had been here a few years ago and I think the place has improved both in food quality and service, they make their own beer here and very fine it is too. The rest of the night was spent in the U Vejvodu watching champion’s league football, chatting with a few folk and pretending we were good looking and young enough to go out with the nice waitresses.
Wednesday 8th March
This was my favorite day. We went to Plzen, anyone with reasonable knowledge of beer history knows this is a shrine for all beer lovers; this was to be my second visit. We took the train from the main station in Prague about 10.15 am and got into Plzen just before 12.00 noon. From there it is just a short walk to the brewery. We had arranged a tour for 12.30 and a fine tour it was too. They have opened a new visitor centre since my last visit and very good it is too. Our tour guide was an 85 year old lady with a great knowledge of the history of beer and of the brewery, the tour of the cellars was great and tasting the unfiltered Pilsner Urquell from the big wooden barrels will live with me forever.
We had lunch in the Na Spilce restaurant in the brewery grounds. This is a great beer hall/restaurant with excellent service and great beer, though the food was not as good as my last visit. Visited the gift shop there and spent a small fortune on polo shirts, beer towels, glasses and other souvenirs.
We went into Plzen town and enjoyed a beer at the Starasla Dovna a 15 century pub, with open log fires and lanterns to light the place, amazing to experience this, beer was good too. We then walked to the main Square in Plzen to see the cathedral and then have a beer in the Plzensk Formanka bar, a large dark Kozel was our beer of choice this time. We then headed back to the train station and back to Prague.
We had evening meal in the Einstein Pizzerias near to our hotel; very good it was too, with a log burning oven and a pizza as good as several we had on a recent trip to Italy. It was getting a bit late by now so we headed into our now favorite bar U Vejvudo to watch the second half of a champions league game on the telly and have a few beers and Becherovkas, before heading tired and slightly(very) drunk to our hotel
Thursday 9th March.
This was the day we spent shopping. It was abet wet as there had been a bit of snowfall during the night but the streets and pavements were more or less clear by mid-morning. Spent most of the morning taking photos and shopping. We went to U Medvidku on Na Perstyne for a late morning snack and a beer. This is a lovely place very typically Czech, with nice food and great beer. We also visited the excellent shop there, were you can by all manner of beer related goodies (and we did).we had a walk through the old town and ended up at the U Vejvodu for a late lunch. I had the pork knee, which is fantastic, served on spit like contraption attached to a board. This tasted great and was served with several mustards and spicy sauces, but watch out for the garlic. A little bit more wandering around we headed back to our hotel to get ready for our night out The Beer Tour.
We arranged the beer tour through City Walks, it started from the astronomical clock at 7.30pm.The cost of 450czk covered 3 beers in different bars as well as a typical Czech meal in on of them. Our guide was Jana a young student and the party consisted of 2 Scots 2 English from Cheshire 2 English from Wigan 3 Americans from LA and a New Zealander, a very friendly bunch it was too. The first bar was the Black Sun, I had been in this bar several years ago and it is mainly full of tourist parties, an excellent glass of Pilsner Urquell was downed followed by another witch had to be paid for. From there we went to a bar called the Bright light. This is quite a modern bar were Krosovice was the beer served. Our meal was also served here. I had deep fried cheese with fries and a bit salad, of all the meals I have had in Prague over many years this stood out as the WORST. Our third Pub of the evening was U Templare an old fashioned bar with Gambrinus the beer on tap here. This was an excellent place to down a few beers and we duly obliged. That was basically our beer tour over but we had been having so much fun with the various people on it we all ended up at a karaoke bar with them till the wee small hours, it must have been at least 3.00 am before we got to our beds.
Friday 10th March
Believe it or not but only slight hangover was suffered the next morning, a bit later start than normal. This was our last day and our plane would be leaving at 8.45pm that evening. After a bit of a lie-in a breakfast of orange juice and tea (no solids) was taken. We decided another quick wander round Prague was in order. Took the tram into town and had a look round the National theatre area. We intended taking a tram up to the castle area but there was some commotion and a tram –jam quickly built up. We left it to sort it out and ended up in the U Bubenicku on Myslikova for a “Hair of the dog”. A small glass of Kozel soon put us back on our feet we took the no23 tram to the top of the castle area. Snacks and a beer were had in U Sevee Matouse then we wander the short distance to the stunning Loretto.A walk down to the Castle area followed and we eventually ended up in the market area in Havelska were we spent a bit of cash of a few gifts and sweets. We had a very late lunch/early evening meal in U Radnicych were again the food was very good indeed. We still had a couple of hours to kill before being picked up from our hotel, so we headed back to Zizkov and had a game of 10 pin at the bowling alley there. Once finished we headed back to our hotel to pick up our bags and get the hotel car service to the airport. Another holiday in the fantastic Czech republic over.