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Monday, June 19, 2017

Prague is a Beautiful and Walkable City for your Healthy and Meaningful Travel

How to Spend Two Days in Prague! 

Transfer to the Hotel was easy.  Our driver was waiting outside Customs in Prague as we expected.  His English was pretty good and our drive to the Maison Riverside was exciting in a Skoda.  The room was larger than expected with a nice view of the river, a separate seating area, and a powder room.  The shower was horribly small with virtually no shelving to put our toiletries while showering.

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Here are photos of our car service and Maison Riverside Room: 

Dinner the first night was at Cafe Restaurace Strelecky:

It is a sizable eatery with vaulted areas indoor, a large-windowed gallery & a bar, outside cafe on the water and a European menu. We had a delicious risotto with chicken and a house rose.  Wine in Czech Republic is not as tasty as Napa!  The view was gorgeous. The staff was attentive but would not supply tap water and included the gratuity as obligatory.  The prices for dinner was approximately $36 per couple which when considering the view and quantities was outstanding.

A walking orientation to Prague tour with Absolute Tours was arranged for day one.

We met our guide but  already paid online before arrival. No bathroom there so plan ahead.  Honza was outstanding and very passionate about his country.  His English was excellent and he was very courteous and considerate.  I am very critical of tour guides and I found him to be very knowledgeable and a good communicator.  We liked him so much that we requested him for a tour of Prague castle the following day. He treated us to coffee and made excellent suggestions of unusual  to taste.

Rx Tip: 

 if you don't want to pay for a tour download Rick Steves' podcast and complimentary maps to orient you to Prague.  Bring headphones to walk and listen. It takes about 2-3 hours.

Rx tip: 

pay for tour from TripAdvisor or Viator ahead of time to save time and dollars.

Rx tip: 

bring euros or Czech Crowns to Prague for use anywhere.  Both are accepted.

Rx tip: 

bring refillable water bottle.  Tap water is cold and safe to drink in Prague.  There are numerous spickets with drinking water everywhere.

Lunch location Potrefena Husa which was recommended by our tour guide and was outstanding.  

Sidewalk sitting is the norm in all of Europe.  We enjoyed beer, pickled cheese and schnitzel -- A typical Czech meal. 
Fact:  each Czech consumes an average of 142l of beer annually.  Beer is not expensive and is refreshing.
Fact: on June 1 2017 smoking indoors in Czech Republic is against the law.
Rx tip: Jewish quarter was closed for two days for Shavuot Festival.  Check the orthodox Jewish calendar.  If you plan to visit Roman Catholic venues, check the holy days!

The afternoon was on our own.  We walked to Vyšehrad and toured the graveyard of many famous Czechs and gardens. Vyšehrad (Czech for "upper castle") is a historic fort located in the about a mile from old town. It was built, probably in the 10th century, on a hill over the Vltava River. Situated within the castle is the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, as well as the Vyšehrad Cemetery, containing the remains of many famous people from Czech history. This is a local favorite. It is interesting how many Czechs were out enjoying the beautiful summer day, including joggers, beer drinkers and even many handicapped individuals.  The view from Vyšehrad Castle is phenomenal and it is free to visit without many tourists.

Dinner was at a pizzeria by the river which is not recommended.  Service was atrocious and food was terrible, beer was good and view of Czech evening activity was delightful as we sat on the sidewalk by  a large intersection  of bridge, cars and trams.

Day two was a visit to Prague castle with Honza.  He took us by tram to minimize the climb and maximize time.  It was fun to experience the old and new style trams.  I wouldn't have taken it myself because walking in Prague is very safe and exciting.
Sites we visited in the castle:
Virgin Mary castle
St virus cathedral
Royal palace
Golden lane

WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND visiting the restaurants at the castle vineyard.  The terrace has a fabulous view of Prague and prices are reasonable.  There is more upscale dining as well.  

We had cake and coffee for 99 Czech Crowns.  The views of Prague are phenomenal.

During the evening we toured Wenceslas square while listening to Rick Steves' walking tour.  It is an exciting area with very important history for the Czech people. The sunset over Wenceslas Square was beautiful.  

Enjoy the local cuisine of pigs knee, potato salad and beer.  We ate on the square and enjoyed a large meal with beer for $40 per couple.  The restaurant is recommended:

Our healthy vacation will start Cycling from nearby Czesky Krumlov, crossing the border to Passau and onto Vienna!

Make Meaningful and Healthy Travel Happen!  Prague is a very walkable city! 

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