Time sure flies around here, I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post and its almost 2018!
We did Prague again for Thanksgiving weekend this year but on our own terms instead of doing the USO tour. It was spectacular. We walked around 10-12 miles every day and this year the sun was shining and though it was cold it wasn’t as frigid with the sun out. The Christmas markets were coming alive and hot wine, hot mead were available at booths. We even found one that had hot spiked eggnog. And it was GOOD!
We booked two tours for the trip through Expedia:
To the Czech Bohemian crystal factory which was outside Prague about 30 min. so we got to see the countryside and villages in the hills. The little villages and houses outside Prague are just beautiful. The crystal factory was interesting, we were taken through and shown how they create figures with heating the glass in the furnace, then to the design area and watched people cutting the designs into the crystal. Very small operation but I was happy to see hands doing the work not lasers or molds run through machines. We were inspired to purchase a beautiful decanter for our bar and an ornament. (I didn’t take photos during this tour for some reason, my apologies)
The second tour was a kind of street food tour. We met our guide at the Gingerbread factory where we were given samples and yes, bought some to take with us. I felt my Czech blood stir on this tour, it started with being shown some gingerbread that was preserved and hung up in homes. Yep, we bought one. It’s rustic looking and lovely.
Then we walked to an alley which had a deli and butcher at the end and learned this is where locals stop for lunch or a snack. The deli specialized in mini open-faced sandwiches which were a Czech answer to the gross fastfood joints that were moving in to the area (McDonalds/Burger King). They were beautiful sandwiches, cheap and easy to buy over the counter. And they were delicious! We had three to try: a celery root salad, beet root puree and a layered sandwich with ham and a poached (I assume quail because it was small) egg on top. Each was stunning.
The butcher gave us some sausages and smoked/cured meat to try and wow it was good. Then we walked a bit and the guide took us through some history of the area. We had an absolutely breathtaking soup in a restaurant in a bell tower, it’s base was venison stock and it was made with a not sour sauerkraut. I’m going to try to copy it, hoping for a miracle. We also had a kind of lamb meatloaf dish with mashed potato that our guide described (correctly) as a posh shepherd’s pie. haha Finally, we ended up at Cafe Louvre which we were given a traditional meat and gravy dish with bread dumplings that was so decadent I can’t possibly do it justice and the photo will likely fall short but it was beautiful. At the end we had strudel and very happy bellies.
Other than these tours we went back to our favorite little cafe (Velkopřevorský Mlýn) at the water wheel for an afternoon cake and hot punch. This place will always be in my heart. I just love it there. They don’t seem to have good reviews for meals and prices but for a cake and hot drink it was great. We stopped at a few pubs for some Pilsner and to rest our feet during the days. The buildings in Prague just take my breath away. I love how decorative they are. There are so many statues and painted facade, gold shimmered in the sunlight. It was totally different from our trip last year when it was raining and overcast the entire time. Still beautiful then but the city just shines in sunlight. Unfortunately, this is when I fail as a blogger because I was enjoying it so much I forgot to take photos. Hopefully, we can return for one more trip and I’ll just take a heck of a lot of photos for my memory files… aka this blog.
Until then, these few will have to do.
Oh and we went up the lift to the top of the hill for the views and found so much more. They have a pretty park and rose garden which I bet is fantastic when blooming. One building there had a mirror maze that we just had to go through. It was really cool. Love surprises at the end of the trail. 🙂
Hot Chocolate from Cafe Louvre that was basically pudding! You know it’s rich when they serve it with a small glass of sparkling water to wash it down. hah! Also below, strudel and honey cake from our favorite cafe.
Prague lights up at night in such a beautiful way:
I think that about wraps up the Prague stuff. Hoping for one more trip there while we are in Europe but not sure. There’s so many places we want to still explore.
Getting into the holiday spirit, Yule is coming and just after we are off on another adventure.