Friday, June 6, 2014

Trip to Prague Castle that is Surprisingly Splendid

The sight across the cliff of the Prague Castle rightly summed up our visit to Czech. Surprisingly Splendid !

Been to quite some number of castles/forts in Rajasthan, India, what I thought would lay ahead at Prague's Castle area would be predictable. By all means, it was not.
Prague Castle Area

Prague Castle area - Splendid !
While we had a remarkable Road Trip to Prague and an equally incredible day spent at the Old Town of Prague, yet  we weren't sure that what would lay ahead us, would be as special as it was. Prague's Castle area is refreshingly different !

 ** Prague is Refreshing, Prague is different ! **

First things first. Prague Castle area is not just about a single monument (the Castle). It's about several grandiose buildings, lush green gardens, well kept monastery, bustling square and last but not the least, the Castle.

Take Tram 22 for the Castle area. While Trams are indeed the best way to commute, it is important to be aware that, it is better to start uphill for the Castle area and Lesser Town. Because, if you do so, you'd save some precious time and energy that you'd love to have by your side to soak in the mesmerizing beauty of Prague! So start early for the Day, and head straight to the point up north to the stop Prohorlec. Then across the splendid panorama of Strathov Monastery you can spend an hour or two gazing its architecture and around. Be sure though, about the timings of the Monastery, else you could miss the splendor inside! There are some options around to spend your time in its convent and library. There's a decent restaurant also, good for some snacks on the go. You'd definitely realize that Prague is refreshing and is quite different. In some sense, your perception about Prague would change.

Prague - Strathov Monastery
Prague - Strathov MonasteryStrathov Monastery
**  Walking Tours for Breathtaking Views **

While on the descent, there are some mesmerizing points for the views of the city, which are definitely not to be given a miss. These points are generally not visited around that often.  If the day is clearer, the views get even better. There is a restaurant around, but as the case is with these prime places, the food is not worth the price.
Clean Skies - Excellent Views
The lush green mountains lead you to some scintillating views of the city. The caveat though is to, just follow(read piggyback), the many walking tours that lead you to these views. As you soak in the beauty, next in line are Castle Square and the Castle itself.
Prague - Breathtaking
Prague - Breathtaking !
Prague - Breathtaking !
Prague - Breathtaking !

** Gardens **

But before that, do make use of the splendid gardens on your way to the Castle. They are clinically maintained , and with beautiful building on their bay, they make a strong contention for spending some time. As you walk downhill for the Castle , you'd pass by the Castle Square.
Prague Castle area - Beautiful Gardens
Prague Castle area - Beautiful Gardens
Prague Castle area - Beautiful Gardens
Prague Castle Area - Architecture Marvel
Prague Castle Area - Across many gardens
Beauty all around
Beauty all around
Glorious buildings - Prague Castle Area
** The Castle Square **

The Castle Square is the feather of the cap of this journey. It's a bustling place which is full of energy of the visitors. The cobbled street, excellent view of the city on one side and the Castle on the other, is a great combination altogether. In short, it is an eclectic mix of architectural grandeur and flowing human energy. There are a lot of spots fit for photography.
Prague Castle Square
Prague Castle Square

** Guards' Changing ceremony **

The Guard changing ceremony is a treat at the Castle square. There are specific timings and it is highly recommended that they be checked out at the reception itself. Generally the 'ceremony' takes place around noon. Smartly dressed guards change their positions in a high intensity rhetoric. Their immaculate sartorial traditions with their smart military moves against the august Castle is a treat. It's a must if you are in Prague. Lot of euphoria gathers around the time the ceremony and people strive for their special photography moments. At times, you may feel that it's a bit stretched though.
Prague - Beautiful
Prague - Beautiful
** The Castle **

The castle is a grand architectural marvel. There are a some places open for visitors, for this place that is currently the seat of the president of Czech. Few of them qualify as paid entries too. It is important to decide the interests and then head in according to available time. Once you are through visiting the Castle, the journey for the downhill begins, There aren't many places of tourist interest hereon, with typically old houses lining the street. There is a famous 'Vaishnavite' restaurant too serving good Indian vegetarian food.
Splendid Views - Prague
Splendid Views - Prague
Splendid Views - Prague
Splendid Views - Prague
** Souvenir Shopping **

There are a lot of souvenir shops downhill the castle. They are expensive, but at the same time offers good choice. There are few vintage cars offering few hours ride of the city too.
Downhill Prague
Downhill Prague
** Off to Charles Bridge **

After the end of the tour for the Castle , heading to Charles Bridge can be a great next option. (Covered in coming posts)

** Food **

If you are looking for some good food at not so great prices, then it's better to be at the downhill the castle. The restaurants atop are overly expensive and for sure not worth the price you pay.

*** Travel Facts ***

Stay Duration :        3 days at Prague
Stay Place:              MH Apartment, Prague, Recommended
Travel Companion : Better Half
Travel Phases :        3 days, spent exploring different things
Arrived through:      Agency Bus from Vienna via Brno, Recommended
During:                    Sept, 2013

*** Did you like this Post, Did I miss something about Prague, or rather anything you'd like to share about the post or Prague. Looking forward to your comments on this Post. ***

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