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Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Christmas for two: Prague
The first part of our Christmas vacation was in Prague in the Czech Republic. As I previously mentioned, we went to Prague on our first European trip together and we were excited to go back. Just as the first time, Prague was as beautiful as ever. The architecture and the way the light hits the buildings is just breath-taking.
We spent a few days wandering the streets, visiting the sites. We went to the Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, we walked over the Charles Bridge, through the Old Town Square and we even climbed the Town Hall Tower (Ok, maybe we didn't climb it exactly. There happened to be an elevator. Whatevs)
*disclaimer - most of the photos in this post were taken by Brian, he did a great job!*
The first thing we did when we landed in Prague was check out the Christmas market. The market is held in the Old Town Square, which was a short walk from our hotel. By the time we got there it was dark (it was 4pm after all) but we made sure to go back the following morning to get the full experience.
I have to say, I wasn't all that impressed with the market. The tree was beautiful and the setting was amazing - it doesn't get any more picturesque than this:
But the rest of the market was a little...blah. There were five or six types of stalls selling goods - mostly ornaments and nick-knacks and such. There was the standard gluhwein tent and a dozen or so stalls selling these beauties:
That my friend, is a little piece of heaven. Dough is wrapped around a long metal rod, basted with melted butter, rolled in a delicious cinnamon sugar mixture and then roasted over hot coals. The rods are constantly turned, evenly baking on all sides until perfectly golden brown. Once baked they are handed to you piping hot and ready for you to devour.
I spotted these the first night we were at the market and then went back to get one the following day. They were amazing - and definitely what I needed to help warm me up!
But that, was really about it. There wasn't really any excitement or authenticity in the market stalls or the stuff that was being sold. Everything started to look the same and you could tell it wasn't good quality. Bummer.
Another adventure that we went on was the Great Strudel Hunt of 2011. We actually went on the same strudel hunt back in 2007 when we first went to Prague, but we just had to find this strudel place again as the strudel was so good. We saw this place originally on an episode of Samantha Brown (ps - is she still on TV??) but she never mentioned the exact location of the shop. We did an extensive google search before our trip several years ago and spent a whole morning trying to find it. We were successful in our search and our efforts were rewarded with some delicious strudel.
We were on the hunt again, seeking out the amazing strudel. Only this time, it only took us about twenty minutes to find the place. I guess previous experience makes it less of a treasure hunt, but there was still a pot of gold at the end! A pot of gold full of apple and cheese strudels!
Next up - we head to Munich to continue our Christmas Vacation. And the Germans know how to do Christmas right!