We had a stowaway on our trip to Europe– Tony the Tiger.   He was able to join us for some of the sights of Prague on our second day there.

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We took the subway out of the city center for some Czech dining.  This Prague subway is unique in the depth at the station we used.  The escalator at Náměstí Míru station in Vinohrady is about 100 metres long and, according to its builder, is the longest escalator in Europe.  It takes about two and a half minutes to ascend or descend the escalator if you stand still.  We were already partially down when I took this picture.

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After dinner we walked back to the city center.  We passed this tower with these unique sculptures attached.  They are identical to some in a park near the Charles Bridge (see below).

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TDF2015.07.16EuropePragueCreepy3This guy is found near the Charles bridge.

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The residence of the Czech Republic is in the Castle area of the city

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TDF2015.07.16EuropePrague34Lots of narrow street in Old Town, New Town, and Lesser Town

TDF2015.07.16EuropePrague35Interesting faux rock wall in the gardens below the Castle.

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Jul 162015
 

 

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We had a long first day in Prague.  We got up early and hit the autobahn from Ansbach to Prague in the Czech Republic.  Typical autobahn driving with 100+ mph the standard… still not fast enough for some as occasionally we would be passed by a car going much faster.  The crossing into the Czech Republic was no different than crossing state lines in the U.S.  After getting to Prague we check into out hotel and then hit the streets.  We were going to meet a guide at the castle, so we had a couple mile hike through the city.

It was a beautiful sunny day.  We had a schedule to meet the guide, so we had to make decent time through the city.  So it was through the old city, across the river, and then a good climb up the hill to the castle.  The climb was a bit hot as the sun was pretty intense and the climb was up a path with a white wall on one side and pavement.  By the time we made the top we had worked up a little bit of a sweat.  We started working our way around the castle as Mike and Maura were trying to figure out the way to where we were to meet our guide.  Our two mile hike became a little longer as we completely circled the top of the hill where the castle resides, but we did make it in time.

We took a tour of the castle area with a group of people.  After that it was a private guided tour with Thomas.  Mike and Maura had met our tour guide on a previous visit.  They had really like him, so had scheduled a few hours of private tour of Prague.  Well, we ended up having dinner with Thomas after walking all through the central city.  He finally parted with us about 10pm.  By that time we had walked over 11 miles on our tour of the city.

TDF2015.07.16EuropePrague13The cathedral which is at the Castle.

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The cathedral is a great example of Gothic architecture.

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The exterior has many different creatures placed to protect the church from evil spirits.

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Detailed tile work on one of the entrances to the Cathedral.

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The inside of the cathedral is amazing.  Pictures do not do it justice.

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Just one example of many stain glassed windows.  Very large and detailed.

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The grounds keeper uses this hawk to keep the pigeons away.

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View looking down towards Old Town from the Castle.

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View of the Castle from a garden below the hill.

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View towards Old Town from Castle side of river.

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On the Charles Bridge with Mike and Maura.

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The bridge is pedestrian only and has many sculptures flanking it.  This view from middle looking towards the old town where the entrance is guarded by one of the old gated into the city.  There still are a few of these in the city.

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Just one example of the many sculptures.

TDF2015.07.16EuropePrague5View south from the Charles Bridge.

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Another good example of the sculptures.

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Entrance to Old Town from Charles Bridge.

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Mike and Tanya as we make our way through Old Town on the narrow streets. This is a typical scene in this part of the city.  It is very pedestrian friendly.

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World famous Astronomical clock.

TDF2015.07.16EuropePrague10Quite the crowd gathers at 7pm when the clock does its thing.

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On the hour rather than sound bells, a parade of characters present themselves in the windows above the clock.

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With our guide in front of the Astronomical clock.

TDF2015.07.16EuropePrague12Old Town square.  This was very busy during the day.

TDF2015.07.16EuropePrague23You see these sun clocks on the sides of some building.  Saw these in Germany as well as Prague.

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I believe this is St. Nicholas church in Lesser Town, but I am not sure. Either way some beautiful artwork here.

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New town in Prague

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Boulevard near our hotel.

 

I was able to get a few decent night shots.  These were with the Nikon D80 without and tripod which makes for challenging photography in low light and longer exposure.  Given than I think these are not too bad.

TDF2015.07.16EuropePragueNight2View of the castle from park on east side of city.  It is light spectacularly and this picture does not do it justice.

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TDF2015.07.16EuropePragueNight6This is the boulevard near our hotel.

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