Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

DAY 2 IN PRAGUE: DANUBE RIVER CRUISE






I now know why Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise



This is a multi-part series about our Danube River Cruise.



PRAGUE DAY 2
Mr. Goo Shoes came up with a great way to start our day today........a boat ride on the river! It will be a little practice run before we start the cruise portion of our trip. I have to remind Mr. GS and our friends that, no, this is NOT the Danube River........it's the Vltava. "What river is this?" they ask, again and again. "Vul-TAH-vah," I answer, again and again. Clearly, I am the only one who is going to pass the Eastern Europe river quiz when vacation is over. Oy.

After breakfast, we walk across the street to the dock for our boat ride. It's chilly, and the "just in case" pack-able down coats we tossed into our luggage come in handy.  We buy tickets for a 1-hour boat ride, since we need to be back in time for our lunch reservations across the river. Too bad they can't just drop us off.

Beautiful Cechuv Bridge in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #cechuvbridge #danuberivercru


We pretty much have the entire boat to ourselves. If I thought the views walking along the river yesterday were fabulous, the perspective from the water is even better. It's pretty much the same stretch as yesterday, starting at the Czech bridge, and heading up the Vltava ("No, it's NOT the Danube!") towards the Charles Bridge. 

The friends we are traveling with are the ones we did the Hudson River cruise with, so they are aware that I will not sit for a minute, darting from here to there, taking non-stop pictures.  Even still, I utter a preemptive explanation. "It's for my blog," and as I say it, I'm thinking there is NO WAY I can do just a single blog post on this magnificent city. I hope my readers will forgive me for doing individual posts for each of the three days we're here.


Beautiful Manes Bridge in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #manesbridge #danuberivercruise
Manes Bridge, with Charles in the distance.


It's windy out on the river, and just the slightest bit uncomfortable, but I will not succumb and go down below. We approach the Charles Bridge and it's so picture-perfect, I'm thinking...... is this Epcot???

Beautiful Charles Bridge in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #charlesbridge #danuberivercruise
Charles Bridge


Just as I'm getting into position to capture the best shots when we sail under the bridge, the boat starts making a u-turn. What the WHAT???? Apparently, boats can only go so far. Waaaahh! That's twice in two days the Charles Bridge has been within my grasp, and eluded me.

On the other side of the river, just at the foot of the Charles Bridge, I spy the restaurant we are going to for lunch, called Kampa Park in the Little Quarter, or Mala Strana section. This cheers me up.

Kampa Park in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #kampapark #danuberivercruise
Kampa Park Restaurant

The charming Mala Strana area in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #malastrana #danuberivercruise
Mala Strana, or the Little Quarter


From this vantage point, I can zoom in on St. Vitus Cathedral, looming over the red-tiled roofs. We'll get to be up close and personal later this evening.

Magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #stvituscathedral #danuberivercruise


An hour goes by quickly. We switch modes of transportation, from boat to taxi.  In a few minutes, we arrive at Kampa Park restaurant. Based on its stellar reputation, it is one of three reservations I made before leaving home. I can't help but wonder if it is a mistake to be going for lunch, and not dinner. When we see the spectacular view from our table, I know I have erred. My bad! How amazing would this be at night? We'll never know, unfortunately. But lunch is delicious, and I forgive myself by the second spoonful of the most delectable spring pea soup. 

The view from Kampa Park Restaurant in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #kampaparkrestaurant #danuberivercruise


After lunch, we walk less than five minutes to the John Lennon wall. When Lennon was murdered, Czechoslovkia (as it was known then) was under communist rule, and many young Czechs found hope in the peaceful lyrics of his music. The night he died, young people spontaneously painted pictures of Lennon, lyrics to his songs, and political statements on the wall. Every time the authorities whitewashed it, the graffiti was painted again. Eventually, it stayed, and is now a popular stop for tourists.

The John Lennon wall in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #johnlennonwall #danuberivercruise
John Lennon Wall


The wall is in the Mala Strana area, and it's the type of neighborhood that begs to be strolled through, so stroll we do. The weather has warmed up nicely, allowing us to shed a layer of clothing. There are many little alleyways to get lost in here, and if we had more time, my goal would be to do just that.

The charming Mala Strana neighborhood in Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #malastrana #danuberivercruise
Mala Strana neighborhood


We head back to our hotel, and the others want to rest before tonight's welcome dinner. I probably should put my feet up for a bit, too, but I'm like the energizer bunny -- I keep going, and going, and going.  I'll rest when I'm back in NJ. 

Off I go to explore Old Town Square, which is a five-minute walk from the hotel. 

I actually gasp upon entering the square. The ornate architecture, and multi-colored facades knock my proverbial socks off. There is nothing like European squares in the States. My photographic skill set can't possibly capture the grandeur of what I'm seeing.  I'm sad that I'm not sharing this moment with Mr. Goo Shoes and the others.

Tyn Church in stunning Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare #tynchurch #danuberivercruise
Old Town Square


Stunning Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare #danuberivercruise
Old Town Square


There is so much to look at......such exquisite detail in every building.

I check my cell phone for the notes I took from Rick Steve's Eastern Europe book, so I know what I'm looking at. 

St. Nicholas church, with the green spires anchors one corner of the square, with the Jan Hus Memorial in the foreground.


St. Nicholas Church in stunning Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare  #stnicholaschurch #danuberivercruise


The show-stopper is the commanding Gothic structure with the tall black spires -- Tyn Church, which began construction in the mid-14th century. I appreciate its historical significance and all, but it wouldn't surprise me to see The Wizard of Oz monkeys come flying out of the windows.

Tyn Church in stunning Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare #tynchurch #danuberivercruise
Tyn Church, Old Town Square


Old Town Square is worthy of its own blog post, methinks.
 
Glancing at my notes, I'm reminded that there is a shopping area behind Tyn Church. One of Czech Republic's notable souvenirs are crystal and glass. I'm specifically interested in a store called Material, where you can make your own jewelry out of glass beads.  I meander down the alley next to the church to see if I can find it.........

I now know why Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise
Wandering behind Old Town Square


.........And, there it is! Once inside, I'm sure I somehow ended up in Venice by mistake. The glassware is striking. I'd love to buy some glasses, and a vase, and, ooooh, that pink chandelier! I manage to get a grip on myself, and accept the fact that the chandelier is not coming home to NJ. However, I am not leaving this store without making a necklace. The bead selection is overwhelming, but I make my choices and have the necklace assembled. Souvenir #1 is in the books. 

Beautiful glassware in the shop named Material in Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare  #material #danuberivercruise
Beautiful glassware in the shop named Material in Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare  #material #danuberivercruise


Holy crap - it's getting late. I better get back to the hotel and get ready for dinner. 

Tonight we are meeting the others in our tour group for the first time. We are driven to the Castle Quarter, to dine at Lobkowicz Palace, a part of the Prague Castle complex.  Walking through the courtyards takes us past the glorious St. Vitus Cathedral. As we navigate the cobblestones en-route to the castle, I'm thankful I left my glass slippers back at the hotel.

Magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #stvituscathedral #danuberivercruise
St. Vitus Cathedral


If Charles is the prince of Prague's bridges, St. Vitus is the king of its churches. It took 600 years to build, starting in the mid-1300s, and wasn't completed until 1929. Sheesh, that's a long time. All of these old churches make me think of one of my favorite books, Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. Still, I cannot wrap my brain around how these magnificent structures were built all those years ago.


Magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #stvituscathedral #danuberivercruise
St. Vitus Cathedral


We are greeted at the palace with glasses of champagne, and a trio of strings musicians. As soon as we step out onto the terrace, it is obvious why this location was selected for our dinner. All of Prague with its iconic red roofs is spread out before us in the setting sun. Dinner is served in an opulent room, accompanied by classical musicians. We're eating like royalty tonight, and I half expect the waiter to address me as Your Highness. At the end of the evening, we return to the hotel before we, and the coach we rode in on, turn into pumpkins.


I now know why Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise
View from Lobkowicz Palace: iconic red roof tops and  3 bridges


I wish I didn't have to sleep at all while in Europe, but I have to admit, I'm wiped out! Tomorrow's tours promise to be memorable, so I better get some shut-eye.

To be continued......... 



This is a multi-part series about our Danube River cruise. 

Read 10 Things To Know About River Cruising here
Read Our First Day In Prague here.
Read Day 3 in Prague here
Read A Day In Medieval Regensburg, Germany here.
Read Picturesque Towns Of Austria Part 1: Engelhartszell here.
Read Picturesque Towns Of Austria Part 2: Salzburg here
Read Picturesque Towns Of Austria Part 3: Durnstein here.
Read Scenery Of The Wachau Valley here
Read Vienna: Exploring The Old Town here.
Read Bratislava: Slovakia's Charming Capital here.
Read Budapest: The Pearl of the Danube River here.




I now know why Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise




Stay tuned for more on our Danube River Cruise -- coming soon! 



Resources:
Tauck Tours
Intercontinental Hotel Prague 
Prague Boats
Kampa Park Restaurant
John Lennon Wall 
Rick Steve's Eastern Europe (affliliate link)
Material (bead store) 



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10 comments:

  1. When it comes to architecture, Europe, particularly eastern, shines bright. Lots of times people say they’re not interested in traveling to Europe, there’s too much to see right here in the states. It’s true this country has a lot to offer, but it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Europe has such history, such grandeur, there’s no comparison.

    I love that you ventured out on your own. You really make the most of your time wherever you go!

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  2. So many beautiful photos! I totally agree that there is nothing like old world European squared in the US. I love all the architectural details. How fun to make your own necklace for a souvenir!

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  3. You nailed it with your comment about the Tyn Church spires and the Wizard of Oz monkeys flying out!! That movie is my favorite and that is exactly the type of building those creepy monkeys would hang out in! Gorgeous pictures. The Old Town Square reminds me of St Peter's Square in Italy.

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  4. So nice to see all of your photographs.
    A lovely post from start to finish!

    All the best Jan

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  5. I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thanks for sharing.
    footwear online

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  6. My aunt is in Prague right now on a river cruise. I sent her your first post and she really enjoyed it. I'm sending her this one as well.

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  7. I think you must be on a Tauck tour of the Danube as we were 4 years ago. The hotel you mentioned is where we stayed, and dinner in the Lobkowicz palace was exactly as you described. Staying where we did made it easy to get to so many places on our own and we also took the "trolley" to some out of the way places on our days in Prague before the tour started.I cannot wait to read and see the rest of your pictures of the trip as it brings back so many wonderful memories. We have many of the same pictures of Prague. Oh, and we did get a bit "lost" or turned around when in the Jewish Quarter aiming to get back to the hotel but that just added to the excitement.
    Barb from PA

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  8. Oops. I missed one of your posts---the one on Riverboats and Tauck. I will plug Tauck---we have been on 7 of their tours and really cannot pick a favorite---all were excellent.
    Barb from PA

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  9. I've enjoyed your two posts on Prague. We were there last fall and your photos bring back nice memories. I'll enjoy following along on your spring cruise on the river.

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  10. Prague is so beautiful and I love the architecture. You took such amazing photos and I loved reading about it and looking at your pictures. I bet the food was great too and I love the last photo and how nice to eat dinner overlooking everything.

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