Up early, we were on the move again to a new city and a new country – Prague was calling us! Although we’d jumped in a taxi to the hotel from the train station, we didn’t think it was actually that far to walk, so set out on the 20-minute walk with plenty of time spare, just in case.
The train ride itself was one of my favourite ever, and I could have easily taken hundreds of pictures of the hills and cute houses tucked away. I also managed to add another place on my to-visit list, because as we passed through Bad Schandau I just fell in love with it!
We arrived in Prague a bit delayed, and made the 10-minute walk to the hotel to drop our bags off and get out exploring. There’s always a risk when you book a hotel in a city you don’t know – is the hotel good, is it in a good location, am I going to be able to walk places, etc. The location of the hotel turned out to be brilliant, which made up for the pretty naff room we had. But, we were there to see Prague and so off we went to do just that!
Just a short walk from the hotel is the famous astronomical clock, and we wandered through the square there passing through the Christmas market on our way to the Jewish area of the city. As we neared upon the Jewish cemetery in the city, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A work colleague had advised that it was something really interesting to see, and I had the impression that it would be a bit like the cemetery in Paris that we’d walked through.
It wasn’t. In fact, it probably couldn’t be any further from the one we’d seen in Paris. After we’d found a place to buy a ticket for the Jewish ‘sights’, the cemetery was top of the to-see list, and we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. The tombstones were crammed in, with some as close as just a few centimetres from each other. It was only when we pulled out the guide book that we realised that there are around 100,000 bodies buried there. I guess it explains the mound…
Once we’d passed through the cemetery, we checked out a couple of the other buildings on our ticket before it got too dark. The ceremonial hall is right next to the cemetery, so it made sense to do that while we were there, and the Old-New Synagogue was at the end of the road so we tried that after. Unfortunately it had closed for the day, so we’d be back on Sunday to check that out (closed on Saturday for the Sabbath).
On our way back to the Christmas market in the square, we passed another synagogue which was on our ticket, so popped in quickly to see what was going on. Although the building is stunning, it is now decked out as a museum. While this was really interesting and educational, I still wanted to see an actual synagogue, as I’d never seen the inside of an active synagogue before. There was still time though, so we continued on to find some food.
By this point it was late afternoon, and after a tiny cereal bar for breakfast and no lunch, we were hungry. Ever since we arrived in Copenhagen the week before, I’d wanted a Hard Rock Cafe dinner, and as we were wandered back to the main square in Prague, we passed Europe’s largest Hard Rock Cafe.
It had to be done. While the food was good, we had the draughtiest table known to man after I refused to sit in the smoking area. Thankfully we were only there for a short while as the early morning was quickly catching up with us. After stopping for water and snacks for later, we made our way back to the hotel. Unfortunately for us, the water hadn’t been stocked in the right place in the supermarket, and we’d come back with 4 litres of sparkling water. Ew. After another trip back to the supermarket for still water, we turned in for the night, ready to make the most of the next day in Prague.