23 June ’04, Wednesday. 10am and all was well….Everyone was up and ready to see Prague. As we approached the room at the hotel, Louise and Drew were there to meet us, and before you could say hi the rest of the family joined us and we were out the door. Our first stop, the tram going up the hill to the Prague Castle. This ride on the tram was the first for Lil Louise and Drew and I think they found it very interesting to say the least…. It was very crowded and a hot ride for all. Poor Drew was dwarfed by all the people as they crowded on, but he held his ground and clutched tight to the rail for the ride up the hill. About 10 minutes later we arrived at the castle and walked through Matthias Gates and into one of the courtyards.
Matthias Gates were constructed in 1614. Going on we visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, St Vitas (1344, French Gothic) Cathedral and the tomb of Wenseslas the Czech patron saint and good King. We climbed the 287 steps (very tight quarters going up a circular stairway) to the Great Tower and enjoyed the wonderful views all over Prague.
We even stepped inside the very large and elegant Vladislov Hall that was built between 1486-1502. A ramp on one side allowed horsemen to ride into the hall for jousting events. We walked just about every corner and stairway of this large complex. We tried to find the Crown Jewels but found only that it took 7 keys to open 7 locks and they were all in the hands of the very important people here in Prague. They were unavailable to us for an interview. After a very long 4+ hours we all felt we had a very strong need for lunch. Lucky for us we found just the right place. An Italian restaurant with a wonderful patio out back.
We all needed this break. Our next stop was St Nicholas Church on Lesser Town. A big part of Prague and the Prague skyline. Construction started in the last part of the 17th century. The 1st parish church stood in the same location back in 1283. This church is an excellent example of the Baroque Style from that era. Truly a magnificent church. Well, after a long day sightseeing, what is better than ending the day with ice cream cones? Tomorrow….see you at 10am?