Monday, August 3, 2015

Christmas Markets: Prague, Czech Republic (and Round 2)

Actual date of this event: 29 Nov - 1 Dec

Eeek! Prague! After our visit to Budapest, I thought that that city might have taken the top spot for most beautiful, so I was really looking forward to go back to Prague to compare them.  Five minutes into our second visit in Prague, I was wrong. All of the loveliness and beauty that I remembered from our first visit (which happened to be my first ever travel experience in Europe!) was still there! This visit (for us at least) was all about the Christmas Markets though!
Once again, we met up with our travel buddies Jill and Ryan (this time they invited us... or maybe we invited ourselves?). Jill and Ryan arrived on Friday night, so they got the AirBnB all set up, while Luke and I arrived around lunch on Saturday. We quickly dropped off our bags, then headed to the main square to eat and drink our way through the Old Town Square's Christmas Market. Prague is pretty cheap, but one must be careful at the Christmas Markets. Our order of ham turned out to be over $50. It was delicious though!

After a few hours at the market, we took a walk through a few different areas of the city, crossed the Charles Bridge, wandered in and out of a few more areas, and made a few stops to warm up in cafes. During our visit, it was VERY cold - either at or below freezing the entire time. Perfect for gluhwein drinking!

In the evening, we eventually made it to a few other squares with Christmas markets. And then pretty much spent the rest of the night taking in the atmosphere of Prague, and its quiet streets and markets. At one point, we met up with some friends of Jill and Ryan, who they knew from Singapore but now live in Holland.

On Saturday, we decided to head to Prague Castle. We climbed the steps for terrific views of the city, saw St. Vitus' Cathedral, saw the changing of the guards, and then eventually needed a warm up so stopped for coffee.

Just a few weeks before our visit (on the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution), we saw an article about how the Lennon Wall had been painted over which really upset us because it was one of the highlights during out first visit. We expected to arrive to a white wall, but people had painted on it again. The old wall about was peace and freedom, but this one just didn't look the same.

We continued walking through more areas of Prague, and eventually reached one of the larger Christmas Markets. It was time for some gluhwein and sausages.

That night, we had dinner reservations with some friends from Aberdeen who were also in Prague. It seems that we always meet up with random people at Christmas Markets... but its honestly the best way to do the markets!

We had only a few hours left in Prague on Monday, and it was the coldest day yet. We all tried our best to brave the cold as we took one last walk through the markets. Jill and Ryan had an earlier flight than us, so they headed off to the airport while Luke and I took our time making our way to the bus station to head to the airport. Little did we know that would be the last time we would see Jill and Ryan before they moved back to Houston :-(

We are so spoiled to say we have been to Prague twice - it is one of the most dreamy cities in Europe! I wouldn't necessarily say it was the best Christmas Markets, but it was fun anyway. The most fun part was spending it with our besties!!

Medovina is a traditional honey wine that can be found at the Prague markets. (we were not big fans)

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