Where to begin? We had such a whirlwind trip to Prague this past weekend. Perhaps I should start with that fact that, in keeping with Hays’ Girls Tradition, Baby barfed on the way there. Milk + Car Rides = Barf. Thankfully it was an easy clean up and didn’t smell too horribly. Another odd observation we made was of how many Americans there were in Prague. I think it is because we haven’t really visited in big tourist destinations yet in our travels. It was a little overwhelming. In my complaints about said tourists my sweet husbands says, “You’ve been living in Germany too long!” He also made fun of the way I
plowed made my way through the crowds with out saying excuse me. Just embracing German culture!
In all seriousness, though, we absolutely loved Prague! There is just so much to do there. We were there for two days (one night) and we definitely could’ve added on another day or two! We may just have to go back! Good thing it is so close. Unless you are on a bus. And get stuck in a Stau. Then the 5 hour trip becomes 8.
We started off our trip on a guided tour of the city. It was three hours long. It was hot. We got sun burnt. It was during lunch. I am really, really glad we got to see all the major sights and know what we were seeing and just get a feel for the city, but I can’t say the tour was my favorite part. Another member of our group went on a bike tour of the city on our second day and she said it was a MUCH better experience. (She also did a boat tour at night which she highly recommends, too.) I think it really was more the tour/guide rather than the city itself. The city is breathtakingly beautiful and just has so much fun things to see. 🙂
Our first stop was the Prague Castle! It dates back to the 9th century and it is considered the largest ancient castle in the world. It is definitely a lot different to than the castles we are used to seeing in Germany, though!
Heading towards the castle with our first view of St. Vitus Cathedral which is located inside the castle walls.
Inside the castle walls.
St. Vitus Cathedral. It is the largest and most important church in the Czech Republic.
Some of the artwork on the castle. So beautiful and detailed.
This carving tells the story of the church’s founding. I can’t remember all the details, but I believe someone was murdered and their arm was sent back and given over to the king who then started the church in their honor?!? The important thing is that someone’s arm was given as a gift. Crazy.
Enjoying the views!
Inside the cathedral.
Beautiful stain glass!
Another view of St. Vitus Cathedral.
Our tour guide told us a (LONG) story about this statue. Something to do with someone killing a dragon. The kids just loved that there was water coming out of the dragon/snake’s mouth.
Hays Family in the Prague Castle in front of St. Vitas Cathedral! Side note: We opted to carry the young girls around this trip. We usually do strollers, but usually there are lots of stairs. Not so in Prague. So if you visit Prague definitely take strollers. The back packs were more convenient, but my back and shoulders are SO sore after two days. As my sweet husband says: It was a like a 2 day long ruck march!
The artwork in Europe! Love it!
This is where the old King’s quarters used to be in Medieval Times if I remember correctly. Another fun fact is that the current President of Czech Republic STILL has his office in this castle and his residence near by! So basically this is like visiting the White House of the Czech Republic! Which means I’ve been closer to their President than any American President! Woo.
Having a fun time!
More of the Castle grounds.
We got to see the changing of the guard ceremony which was pretty cool!
I don’t even remember the significance of this area, I just remember that my husband was hysterical over these very violent statues.
So our friends let us borrow their Rick Steve’s Dvd that has an episode about Prague on it. We watched it the night before we came and guess what? This SAME band was featured on the episode. It was seriously filmed in the 90’s and here they still are playing away! Even better in person!
A view down into Lesser Town. Apparently it is named that because it is less important. Love the red roofs!
Another view of Lesser Town.
Monastery up on the hill!
Such a dedicated Dad! Love this man!
So we were walking through Lesser Town and I saw this flag and though, “Huh… that looks familiar!”
Sure enough! 🙂 Definitely made my day! Romania was the first European country I ever visited! Hoping we can make it back as a family one of these days!
St. Nicholas’ Church in Less Town Square.
One of the Bridge Towers of Charles’ Bridge! Getting ready to head across!
Walking across Charles’ Bridge! When we came down from the castle we took the ‘Royal Route’ which is the way a king would go when they took power on up to the castle! So fun!
The statues that line the bridge are all saint of the Catholic church.
A view down the Vltava River while on Charles’ Bridge.
Another statue. If I remember correctly this is of Saint John who is the saint of bridges. He is the only one not carved out of stone.
Such a beautiful day! The weather report kept saying rain, but all we got was sunshine!
On Charles’ Bridge looking back up to the castle.
Statue of Charles IV. He became a Holy roman Emperor and is responsible for things such as the Charles’ Bridge and the Prague Castle as well as parts of the St. Vitus Cathedral!
Church of Our Lady before Týn in the Old Town Square.
The astronomical clock. It was installed in 1410. It is the 3rd oldest astronomical clock of the world and THE oldest that is still working. At the hour little doors open near the top and the twelve apostles stroll by the windows.
The Clock Tower.
Enjoying lunch in the Old Town Square!
I don’t remember what this is, but it sure is pretty!
More of the Old town Square.
A view back across the river to the Prague Castle and Lesser Town.
Enjoy the cool shade along the river on the end of our first day in Prague! (Princess had been napping!)
The world is literally her playground!
Sweet little baby girl exploring the world!
Starting out our second day in Prague after successfully navigating the subway! Woo hoo!
We spent the first part of our day lost, but we found this really pretty Jewish Synagogue while we were lost so it wasn’t completely in vain.
We also found this statue honoring Woodrow Wilson. Pretty cool!
Waiting patiently for her big sisters to finish going potty. I think we spent more on bathrooms than food during our trip to Prague!
Bug is such a trooper! She walked THE whole time. We put some serious miles on her Nike’s this past weekend and she didn’t complain at all!
One of the things that we really wanted to see while visiting Prague was the old Jewish part of town. We haven’t had the chance yet to visit a Jewish memorial. And honestly, a lot of them aren’t exactly kid-friendly. The one in Prague, however, is pretty friendly. You aren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but you can get the idea of what it was like HERE. On the walls of the synagogue are the names of the 80,000 Jews from Prague who were killed. When you hear a number such as 80,000 you know it is a lot, but it was just a whole different experience to see each name written out with such care. Knowing that that name belonged to somebody. That name had a family, hopes, and dreams. It was a truly a powerful experience that I can’t even put into words. Another part of the Jewish Town area were the museums. We briefly looked through some parts of them, but with the girls and it nearing lunch time we didn’t really get too much time. The last portion we got to see is the Old Cemetery. Basically they ran out of space and started burying people atop one another. The crowded tomb stones is just such a surreal experience.
Mr. Lily, and Princess at the cemetery.
Bug, Baby, and I there as well.
I love the flowers!
People place stones atop the grave stones in remembrance of the Jewish tradition of using stones to mark graves and other significant places in the past.
The writing is just so beautiful.
Bug even got to place a coin on one of the graves!
Having lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe in Prague! Before we came a good friend of mine told me that they had one here in Prague! I had no idea that they were here in Europe as well! Mr. and I went to the one in Seattle on our honeymoon and have our glass from there. Now we have one from Prague, too! I think we’ve decided to start a tradition of going to Hard Rock and getting a glass when we visit different cities that have the restaurants!
Remember when I was talking about the apostles walking by at the hour? Well, we ended up walking up right when it was happening! If you look closely in the open window you can see one of them!
We finished out our time in Prague with a little treat… homemade ice cream!
One thing I’ve had to learn when marrying into the Hays Family is that you can never, I repeat NEVER, have too much ice cream. These girls, though, they have that in their blood!
In fact, ice cream and Hays are so synonymous that the girls actually call Mr.’s Dad — Grandpa Ice Cream. I kid you not.
Some of our Hays Family will be here to visit us in just about a month and a half… I can guarantee there will be A LOT of pictures just like this one coming when they are here. 🙂
I ‘settled’ for this little lovely called a Trdelnik! It is a pastry that is roasted over an open flame and topped with cinnamon and sugar. Hello delicious!
I snapped this picture while I was trying to hold on for dear life going down this incredibly long and even more incredibly steep escalators down to the subway.
Waiting on our subway to go meet our bus home!
Belly full of ice cream + past nap time = One silly baby!
We had SUCH a fun time in Prague. If we ever get the opportunity to go back I would do it in a heart beat! There are quite a few things that we’d still like to go back and do. We just might have to make it work! 🙂
I obviously couldn’t included all the pictures I took on our trip on this one blog, but if you would like to see more about our time in Prague you can see the entire album of pictures HERE on our photo share site!