For me and for most who have visited this historical fairyland, would probably agree that Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, if not, ‘the’ most beautiful. And I am not exaggerating. Pictures do not do it justice. I remember my tour guide saying that you would need “maybe three lifetimes to see everything that this magical city has to offer.” Only after my trip was over, did I believe her.
They say after visiting Prague, one always comes back.
The Castle District – Hradčany and view of the Prague Castle
Blue sky over Prague
A must-see installation in the Old Town Square – The Prague astronomical clock or otherwise known as the Prague orloj. Dating back from the Middle Ages and constructed in 1410, this medieval treasure is the world’s oldest astronomical clock still working today. It displays moving statues and visualization of time, Sun and Moon position with the Astronomical Dial as one of its main features, used in medieval astronomy.
Astronomical Clock Tower – Old Town Square
With its astonishing gothic and baroque-style towers, The Charles Bridge or Karlův most crosses the famous Vltava river, joining the Prague Castle district to the Old Town.
Cruising down the Vltava River
Traffic jam !
Signature cobblestone alley in Prague
It was the last day of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad as the Germans call it. The famous spa town in the region of Bohemia was bustling with many tourists and excitement over the celebrities that were believed to be staying in one of the many exclusive hotels. I was excited to see the Grandhotel Pupp, which is precisely the hotel that hosts the annual film festival. The hotel also appears in the James Bond film Casino Royale.
A very hot summer’s day didn’t stop us from exploring every corner, boutique or geyser that the town had to offer.
We visited the Mill Colonnade whose twelve statues for the twelve months of the year stand above its portico. There were also the Market Colonnade and the Park Colonnade that were equally fascinating.
Inside the Market Colonnade
No wonder they call it Czech’s very own ‘Monte Carlo.’ Simply amazing and exclusive yet not expensive at all !
A perfect weekend getaway for all !!
Just on the border with the Czech Republic we visited Dresden, a city in the State of Saxony, Germany. There were many cultural and historical buildings and residences to visit. The first one that caught my attention was the famous opera house – Semperoper. Built in 1841, it was named after architect Gottfried Semper. The house offers tourists a look at the baroque and neo-rennaissance architecture that defines most of the city’s edifices.
The Fürstenzug is a mural representing the princes that once ruled the State of Saxony. Starting with Conrad the Margrave of Meissen in the 12th century, the procession of princes goes on to King George who ruled in the 20th century. However, visitors seemed more enthralled in the motionless figure and his dog companion which was not real by the way! I did not see him flinch at once!
A visit to the Zwinger Palace was breathtaking. Built for Augustus the Strong, the palace today stands as a huge complex for four museums: the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Dresden Porcelain Collection and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon.
Taking in the view
My Eastern European tour this summer was firstly enriched by our stop in Slovakia’s capital – Bratislava. The weather and the brilliant blue sky served us well as our group set off to explore the many grandiose buildings and castles. There were no signs of the city’s Communist period – the archiecture and town squares were enlivened and built in a renaissance and baroque style. Around every corner it was easy to come across one of the city’s funny statues such as Cumil. We’re not quite sure what he is up to, cleaning the sewer or just having a rest after a hard day’s work.
Cumil. Man at Work
The soldier resting on the bench reminds visitors of Napoleon’s first visit to Bratislava in 1809.
Napoleon’s Army Soldier
A charismatic figure known as Schoner Naci wearing a top hat is ready to greet you in the beautiful city.
The highlight of the day was definitely a tour up the Bratislava Castle built in the 9th century. From the top there are great views of the city and parts of neighbouring countries such as Hungary and Austria. Known for its history with the Romans and the Celts, the castle stands as a major tourist attraction.
Thank you Bratislava ! It was lovely !! Dovidenia