Monday, September 12, 2011

Prague details

My initial plan was to spend 3 days touring Prague, and one of my weekly days off, making 4 days altogether. But both Frommer's and Rick Steves said I could to pretty much all I needed in just two days. I took a look at the guide books and split the difference - I'll do their 2-day trips in 3 days (really 2-1/2, since I get in early afternoon from Berlin on the first day), all of which include a lot of easy wandering and meandering, which I'm good at. And to me that's relaxing too, just checking things out without a tight schedule. So I'll leave a day earlier than planned, and use that in Budapest.

I considered going to the Karlstejn Castle one day, but it's a 45 minute train ride, followed by a 30 minute walk, a 15 minute wait (get there early), a 60 minute tour, a 30 minute walk back to the train station, and then another 45 minute train ride back. Seriously, this is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the entire country and they can't put in a bus to go from the train station to the castle? That's nearly 3 hours transit for a 1 hour tour. Maybe next time.

Another complicating factor is that Friday night is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. At the moment, I'm waiting to hear back from the Jewish community to see if I can attend services there.  

Then Saturday morning I'll have to drop my suitcase off at the train station (in the opposite direction) after I check out of my room, since I'm taking the overnight train to Budapest.

Here's what I got from the guidebooks back in April.

Day 20, Thu Oct 6
  • 1328 Train arrives from Berlin 
  • 1500-1800 Old Town: includes Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock (til 2100), Clock Tower Climb (til 1730) or Old Town Hall tour, Tyn Church, Ungelt Courtyard, Church of St James (til 1600), Museum of Medieval Art (til 1800), Havelska Market. Anything I don't finish, I can get in the next couple of days.
  • 1800-1900 Charles Bridge at sunset [1830]
  • Dinner, night TBD 
Day 21, Fri Oct 7 (Yom Kippur at sundown)
  • 0800-1200 Jewish Quarter: Museum, Old-New Synagogue 
  • 1200-1600 New Town: Wenceslas Square, Mucha Museum, Municipal House, Museum of Communism, etc. 
  • 1600-1730 boat rental on Vlatava River 
  • Dinner, night TBD 
Day 22, Sat Oct 8
  • 0800-0900 Go to Main train station to drop off luggage, return
  • 0900-1200 Little Quarter: Kampa Island, Lennon Wall, Church of St Nicholas, Petrin Hill 
  • 1200-1600 Castle Quarter: Strahov Monastery, Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, Basilica of St George 
  • 1600-1700 back to Old Town
  • 1700-2230 Dinner, night TBD 
  • 2310 Overnight train departs for Budapest 
I'm sure I'll be at the Charles Bridge more than just the one time on Thursday night.

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