Sunday, June 10, 2018

Day 23, May 20, 2018.  Sunday.
Our first experience with the Prague Metro (subway) went smoothly.   Very clean and not too many riders at mid-morning.  A five minute walk to the Dancing House by Frank Gehry left us unimpressed.  It looked to me like an earthquake damaged building.  No wonder there was opposition to it before it was built.  No way does it fit in with the surrounding architecture.  A 10 minute walk to the Vysehrad Fortress which is now a park.  Quite a few steps up to the Fortress but the views were fantastic.  Within the park is a basilica which also has an adjacent cemetery containing the graves of famous composers Dvorak and Smetana.  We walked the entire length of the fortress wall.  A tram ride back to Old Town and lunch for the second day in a row at Zebra Asian Noodles.    This time panang curry in addition to the noodles with shiitake mushrooms which we ordered with duck this time instead of beef.  Sure enough our suspicions were correct--the previous days noodles came with duck not beef as the server insisted.  Food was very good which lead us back here again.  After some strolling and shopping and a brief rest in the hotel, we had dinner at San Carlos, Italian cuisine.  We had a secluded table for two and a very nice leisurely meal.  We shared a caesar salad with chicken and a margherita pizza.  A Malastran Pilsner was the third brand of pilsner I experienced in Prague and each lived up to the city’s reputation of a great pilsner town.  In case we were not full enough, on the walk back we had another stop for gelato, 3 flavors in a small cup.  A very nice end to a great trip.  Walking time 3:29, 15,391 steps.

Day 22, May 19, 2018.  Saturday.
A morning stroll through Prague with Rosemary doing some shopping.  We went to Havelska Market which was full of souvenir shops, one after another and all of them the same.  Also a number of fruit stands but each one was the same as all others.  A bit disappointing that there was not a better variety of goodies to eat.  We visited the Mucha Museum which contained a good history of Alfons Mucha and many of his beautiful original works.  I consider it a must see even though it is not large and only takes abut 90 minutes to see it.  Lunch at Zebra Asian Noodles was very good where we shared green curry and an order of noodles with shiitake mushrooms and supposedly beef.  We also order a side of grilled vegetables which have been somewhat lacking in our European eating.  More strolling through Prague and we came upon an Auto Club antique car and motorbike festival with a brass band included.  Many old cars whose brands I had never heard of.  Some bizarre cars including a 3 wheeler made of fabric.  A stop by the Jerusalem Synagogue was worthwhile to see the beautiful exterior even though it was closed for the Sabbath.  After a stop for gelato, it was back to the room for a little rest.  Dinner was an 8 minute walk to Pivo & Basilico where we had pizza and I had another Pilsner Urquell.  After all “pivo” is Czech for beer.

Day 21, May 18, 2018.  Friday.
A morning walk to Old Town Square where we took a trip up to the top of Old Town Tower.  Wonderful views of the city from all directions.  A quick lunch of good panini sandwiches followed by gelato.  We went on a guided tour of the Jewish Museum which includes 6 synagogues and the Old Jewish Cemetery.  The Old New Synagogue dates from the 13th century and includes two built-in vaults, one for donations and one for the collection of tax money for the ruling entity.  Prague’s Jewish population pre-WWII was 120,000. 80,000 Jews perished in the holocaust.  Today’s Jewish population in Prague numbers only about 5,000.  The Old Jewish Cemetery dates from the 13th century and includes 12,000 graves buried in layers covering approximately 11,000 square feet.  A truly incredible site.  Dinner at Hergetova Cihelna (pronounced see-hell-now) was outdoors right on the Moldau River.  A beautiful view of the Charles Bridge and the city but cool enough that the restaurant provides a blanket on every chair.  Dinner of pork loin, potatoes and broccolini was fair and a bit pricey.  Rosemary had chicken but I have to admit it was better than the pork.  Of course, cognac sauce on the chicken made it so.  Walking time 3:32, 15,652 steps.