Steph and I gave the kitties lots of extra food and water, put out an extra litter box, and gave them lots of cuddles. We need to get the extra key fob to leave for a cat sitter, which has been a whole thing.
We caught the ThamesLink train to Luton Airport Parkway without too much issue. The ticket didn’t really say where the train could be caught, and we found it in St. Pancras after scouring the boards at King’s Cross. We hopped the bus to the airport and found out our plane was delayed 2.5 hours. That plus the lounge being closed made the wait a long and bothersome one. I would have just worked, but I didn’t bring the work computer or a headset, since we were travelling light.
We got to Prague with ultimately only 1.5 hours of delay, and Dave met us at the airport. We rode the bus, to get to the subway, then took the tram to the city center. His place is right across the way from our hotel, the Mosaic House. It is an interesting hotel with lots of art outside and in.
We walked through the old town going to a few Christmas markets. We got a mulled wine drink with a piece of fruit in the bottom that was pretty tasty, although I like the British mulled wine better. We walked by some of the historic areas including the church crypt that got shot up after a nazi assassination. We went around to find a decent bar and ended up at Propaganda. It was a small bar with a young rebellious feel, but quiet enough to have a conversation. Dave is an interesting guy, and we talked with him for hours before realizing how late it was and heading back to the hotel.
The next morning Steph and I grabbed a lovely breakfast at a place by the river that Dave recommended, which had some nice french breakfast dishes. We decided to find some of the strange elevators that are continuously running. We found the upside down horse statue and elevator with an observation deck in the middle of the city, but it was closed. Then we went to the main square with the astronomical clock. We walked around there for a bit in the Christmas markets before heading to City Hall, where they have on of the paternosters in the back. We rode those for a bit, including going through the horizontal interchange.
We walked back to the clock and watched it go off, which was neat. It was amazing for the time. We walked to the national museum and met Dave in Wenceslas square.
We ate some Christmas market food, then headed into the museum. We went through the museum for hours, as it has all sorts of amazing exhibits. We didn’t make it through the whole thing, but eventually had to leave from it getting late. Then we had a nice dinner and beers at U Fleků. Their dark beer was amazing, and I got the goulash with dumplings, also amazing.
The next day Steph and I grabbed breakfast at the same spot along the rive, and then we walked the river for a bit up to the Charles Bridge and back. It was a lovely walk and we saw lots of the old city. There were lots of birds out on the water including coots, swans, mallards, and seagulls. We also saw the water rat nutria swimming along the bank and over to some logs; which could easily have been mistaken for a beaver.
We then split up and she went to train martial arts with Dave, while I put on an audio book and walked around the city. I walked the river south for a bit, then went into the city to check out several of the smaller parks. I made my way up to Wenceslas Square and circled it, going through all the shopping arcades, and there were many.
The stores are strange an interesting and have such odd combinations of things they advertise in the windows. Below is my favorite example. They have nutcrackers, bongs, crystal swans, coca cola, lucky cats, steins, snow globes, and nested dolls.
I met back up with the others for dinner at a surprisingly good Mexican restaurant, that is on par with the good ones in the bay area. We had Dave’s wife, Petra, and kid with us. The kid was not having a good day, and the mitigation of buying him one of the light up balloons backfired in that we had him trying to bop us with the balloon all dinner. We headed back to one of the nearby Christmas markets and chatted with Dave a bit. He got us some more of the traditional Czech food and drink. Petra took the kid home and Dave followed an hour later. Steph and I spent the rest of the evening at the hotel bar enjoying our complementary drinks.
The next day Dave gave us a guide for a nice walk around the Castle. We started out with a nice long walk along the river. Then went there and enjoyed one of the museums. There was a balcony at one of the museums there with an amazing view of Prague. The rest of the castle complex was gorgeous, with the cathedral being the most imposing central part. The Gargoyles were drooling as the snow was melting off the top of the cathedral. The royal gardens were closed, and we walked a little ways down the moat. We also got to watch the changing of the guard by chance of being there at noon. We continued down the hill and saw the Lennon Wall, which is a peace monument. The road continued to the waterwheel with the Old Greg type character, and then on to the cute plaza below the Charles bridge.
We stopped by the Rubber Ducky store, then joined Dave for lunch at the Globe bookstore and cafe. Petra and the kid also joined us and we walked to the station together and they told us how to get to the airport. The flight was slightly delayed, but nothing too bad, we hit everything just right to make the train back to King’s Cross and the kitties. Lana was hiding and Archer was ready for attention just as expected.