A Travellerspoint blog

Czech Republic

The Magic and Mystery - Prague

Our time in Prague started with an amazing lunch. Cestr, a Czech steak house was magnificent experience! The restaurants meat is aged for 72 days in house. Needless to say it is soft and tender. I opted for a slow cooked neck piece in a paprika sour cream sauce and Lewis had beef slow roasted in a hot pepper sauce. It was a delicious and the sides of salad and hand-cut fries with perigord sauce (Madeira, truffle, butter sauce) rounded this out perfectly. At the time I had no idea what perigord sauce was I just knew it was delicious. It now makes seems why I couldn't put what finger on what that extra flavour was while eating it...truffle.

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Lewis had his first Czech beer...he found his love for beer again! He didn't so much enjoy it in Deutschland but apparently Czech beer is in a different league. Our waiter was attentive and so proud of the kitchen with everything being made in house, the in-house ageing and the lack of waste. We topped off dinner with dessert...Czech pancakes with cheese curd and strawberry glaze and master dark beer ice-cream. The ice-cream was exceptional and had caramel and coffee undertones. I savoured every mouthful.

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We headed from our long, long lunch to play another EXIT game. This time we were in a alchemy chamber and had to find the philosopher's stone. We got out in just over 50mins. (Yay! Not even close to losing this time!) This place was awesome and we loved the game more than our last one. The place had a hidden room and awesome little puzzles along the way. It's pretty easy to get really into the game. You have to play one of these strategy games when you get a chance!

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We made it to Charles Bridge (it was chaotic!) hyped from our strategy game. We found a fresh Trdelnik while waiting for our guide, Peter for our alchemy castle walk. The Trdelnik was freshly baked from over the ashes and really put the ones sold in the markets at home to shame.

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The first thing we learnt about was the bridge. It's construction at 1357 9 July 5.31am. This date and time was chosen on purpose due to its number pyramid or numerical scale. The same day the planets were all perfectly aligned. These were all good omens for the bridge and the kingdom...obviously it worked as the bridge is still standing today. Our tour was excellent. We still talk about our tour now, a week later, it was that good! Peter took us to different areas in the old quarter and around and through the castle ground explaining stories, fables and history of the area and Prague itself. We talked about how Prague was built in the area where supposedly the emerald from the devils crown fell when he was dropped from heaven and fell to hell. The emerald created a crater and this is where Prague is built...in this crater.

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We met a brilliant artist named Reon and went into his magical cave gallery. His mystical works of the people of the kingdom of Argondian were beautiful. He reminded me of a wizard and the magical cave he worked in and showed his pieces in helped show this. The tour was in an area that was quiet and away from the chaos in the old town. This helped add to the magic and made us feel like we had Prague to ourselves. We learnt about alchemy and how it was more than changing metals (to gold) and stones that meant living forever.

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We also learnt about how the castle is on the site of where pagans use to do rituals and sacrifices. This is apparently one of the reasons the massive cathedral is built in the castle grounds. On some of the doors for the houses in Czech Republic I saw three letters and 2014 written in chalk on some of the doors. These are marked on the door to show that they have been blessed by the local priest. It is so he knows which houses he has blessed.

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The views from the castle of Prague were spectacular and showed the city glow perfectly. We headed out to the Prague Beer Museum after our tour with our guide Peter so Lewis could sample some more of the Czech Beverage. This place was a bar that had over 30 beers on tap. They let you sample a few based on what you usually like and go from there. It was pretty incredible to see all the beers they had and each one had its own special glass.

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The next morning we headed to Cafe Savoy for apple strudel and vetrnik pastry (choux pastry with caramel and vanilla cream and caramel glaze). They both hit the spot.

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We headed to the old town with the crowds to do a quick walk tour. While waiting for our tour a huge group of football fans walked through the main square to another teams home ground for the first derby game. Apparently things can get a little crazy with these two teams. Riot police were guiding them to the stadium while they chanted like crazy. The police were ready for anything to occur they had shields, dogs and helicopters circling. We struggled through the tour due to our lovely guides broken English..Focusing and listening to broken English is hard work. Unfortunately neither one of us could handle it and struggled through the hour and a half. The astronomy clock was beautiful but the show on the hour always had 100's if people and was definitely underwhelming. O the hour the circle of 12 apostles rotate and some one plays a trumpet. The date calendar underneath the clock was much more exciting it changes everyday and lets you know for which saint day it is.

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After our tour we attempted a bit of shopping and went to Nase Maso, a butchery that is meant to have the best meatloaf ever and hamburgers as well. The meatloaf was delicious! It was juicy and seasoned to perfection. The mustard sauce that was tangy without being bitter added to this perfect yet simple meal. The hamburger was cooked medium-rare and was nearly just as good as the meatloaf. The patty is also what they use for their tartare. This gives you a good idea of how good the meat is. We attempted to go back again the next day as we had both dreamed of the meatloaf but sadly being a sunday it was closed (in Europe most things close on a Sunday).

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Our last day meant a mission to Kutna Hora to see the stunning Sedlec Ossuary (Bone Church). The bone pyramids and the central chandelier made of bones from every part of the body was stunning. The bones were stored in the underground chapel after a cemetery was abolished. The pyramids were created by a half-blind monk in 1511 and further baroque modifications were carried out in the early 18th century. The places primary message is Momento Mori -with the hope of resurrection. Basically the bones are aiming to get to the crown on top of them... or rising to the eternal life in heaven with God. They are a reminder that you to will be at that place soon too and aiming for the crown.

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We also visited the Cathedral of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist which part of the same monastery. The place was huge! It was awesome to go up in the roof and see part of the structural of the building.

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Our final evening in Prague we headed back to the castle (it's the world's largest castle complex so takes some time to get around) and took some photos of the jaw-dropping view of Prague. The lights were on inside the cathedral when we arrived and so the windows glowed. The result was stunningly beautiful and magical. It was he windows in the cathedral glowed when we arrived due to a few lights. This was a treat that I won't forget.
The windows summed up our time in Prague...magical. The place warmed on me the longer we were there. I'd say we will be back to explore more of the amazing parts we missed.

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Posted by chellebelle 11:24 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged food prague church astronomy alchemy reon Comments (2)

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