Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Day 12: Imagine (Lennon) - Never in my wildest dreams that I'd be in Prague


Tuesday, December 1st
We're now on our 3rd day in Prague, and for a change, we woke up to a great deal of sunshine. No complaints here. As always, today's agenda was decided when we woke up in the morning.


Globe Bookstore and Cafe
First on the list, Globe Bookstore and Cafe, Prague's first and best English bookstore. It was recommended by one of the TripAdvisor regulars so we just had to check it out. It only took 1 tram ride and about a 3 minute walk once we got off of Novomestska Radnice. We wanted to visit this place last night, but it was already getting pretty late when we left the Opera. Upon entering, there was a quaint little bookstore with a loft to the right side as we entered. We were advised to head towards the back where the actual cafe was located. We started our day quite late, it was already past 10am.


 We ordered Belgian Waffles, and an All American Breakfast, for a change something quite familiar. Not sure what it is, but I'm loving all the bacon I've had in Europe (from the cafe in London, and to the one here in Prague). It wassoooooo uber thin and crunchy, and not salty.


When my waffles came, I was given a teeny weeny syrup cup, smaller than a shot glass. My waffle wasn't drenched with syrup. Well, once I took my first bite, I learned why. The waffle itself was already flavorful and was already sprinkled with powdered sugar, thus, it didn't require much syrup. Breakfast was done. Yes!!!

After leaving Globe Bookstore, we walked towards the National Theatre and that's where we were picked up by tram #22. It only took a couple of stops and we arrived at Hellichova. I followed my iPhone's GPS, and we were first led towards the riverside. It was a beautiful morning, and we kept taking pictures of the area.





Lennon Wall
We then headed to Lennon Wall. This, by far, has been the most moving part of my visit in Prague. I'm a sucker for anything Lennon or The Beatles. When we approached the wall, there was one guitar player/singer who provided entertainment. He actually sounded pretty good (video link below). It reminded me so much of Strawberry Fields, John Lennon's memorial in NYC's Central Park. There was always a singer or musician who played whenever I visited the park. So what's the big deal with Lennon Wall? 

I found out that John Lennon never visited Prague in his life. So why? According to prague.net, "Prior to 1989 when Communism ruled, western pop songs were banned by Communist authorities, and especially John Lennon´s songs, because it was praising freedom that didn’t exist here...he became a sort of hero to some of the young and his picture was painted on this wall...back then the Czech people had few opportunities to express their feelings with their lack of freedom...they came to paint their own feelings and dreams on the wall."









There were many things written on the wall that stood out, and a couple of them still rings true. Stop racism. Find your peace. Nancy and I just stayed there for awhile, we watched people, and just listened to the guy who sang a bunch of Beatles songs.






Are you from Camarillo?

After leaving the Lennon Wall, we wanted to go back on the other side of the river and we found ourselves on Charles Bridge, one of the most picturesque bridges in Prague that I've seen. No cars here, but vendors and mostly tourists, I'm assuming. One of the many pictures we've taken during our trip to Europe is a picture of us holding a copy of the Camarillo Acorn (a local newspaper in Ventura County). My plan is to submit my pictures to the paper and be entered in a contest. Anyway, I held up the paper, while Nancy took the picture, and a guy approached me and asked me, "are you from Camarillo?" What gave it away? HA!!! He said he was from Ventura, and we both had good laugh since we're practically neighbors! Such a small world.
The guy from Ventura who recognized the Camarillo Acorn newspaper I was holding
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Charles Bridge 

All things Lokal
the scene at Lokal




It was already 2pm and it was time to eat lunch. We were in the Old Town Prague area, a very tourist-plagued area. I looked at Yelp and was directed to a restaurant with lots of reviews. We opted for a more traditional selection, so we chose the Goulash Soup, Fried Cheese with Homemade Tartar sauce, moravsky vrabec with braised cabbage, potato dumplings, and chicken broth with noodles. We added homemade lemonade and homemade orange soda. That was a feast - all for....drum roll...less than $20 USD!!! It was a great lunch and the unforgettables were the soup. It was served piping hot, and it was just perfect for this 45 degree day.


Goulash soup
Lemon and Orange Homemade soda


moravsky vrabec with braised cabbage, potato dumplings,


Can we say cheesy?


Not your average chicken noodle soup
Cobble stones
After our late lunch, we walked around some more towards the Jewish Quarter. One thing I didn't mention. I'm amazed at all the cobble stoned pavement. Almost everywhere we went, there were cobble stones which added such character to the place.







Wenceslas Square
After hanging around the Jewish Quarter, we took a subway (metro) to Wenceslas Square. It was another strip of stores and restaurants plus the National Museum on the tip of the square. What I enjoyed most was finding our way in to this long bookstore, it was palatial. It was Neoluxor Palace of Books. Very nice!


Wenceslas Square and the National Museum (from a distance)


Neoluxor Palace of Books



I think we need one more luggage
If you knew me, you'd know that I like to travel with a carry on luggage and a backpack. Even when I travel for work, I don't check in any luggage. I like having it with me, so I can leave the airport immediately without having to go to baggage claim. Well here's the difference with this trip when I compare it to our Europe trip last Spring. Back then, we flew Ryanair and EasyJet - both airlines were conspicuous for charging you per item or by the weight of the luggage. So for that trip, all of us had a carryon and a backpack in order to avoid any other fees associated with a checked luggage.

For this recent trip, we flew United and Lufthansa (on the way here) and we're flying Lufthansa on our way back home. Both airlines allow one checked luggage per person (up to 50 lbs each), and also one carry-on luggage per person, plus another personal bag (backpack, purse, etc.). When we fly back home, we'll be bringing goodies and trinkets for the kids, and we've come to realize that we needed another luggage, and it actually all worked out. We won't have to pay any fees for an additional luggage.

We found ourselves at Tesco near the National Theatre. It's a department store (with a supermarket, too). Once we we entered Tesco, it was so meant to be. A black and white luggage, the kind that's made to be checked in, and it also has the 360-degree spinners, was on sale for 70% off!!! Bingo! Sold! It was a hard-shell luggage and was only $20 USD. We killed 2 birds with one stone by buying this new luggage and shopped at the supermarket downstairs.

Cafe Louvre'
Funny how time flies. It's now dinner. And just around the corner from Tesco? Cafe Louvre, another recommendation from TripAdvisor members. The ambiance is what sells here. It's hard not to be reminded of Paris. The food selection wasn't too bad either.

The scene at Cafe Louvre
We ordered Roast Beef with Cream and roll dumplings. plus Gnocchi with Salmon, and basil pesto and cream. We had such a long day that it was good to unwind here, and enjoyed our meal. The desserts were so eye-catching. It was tempting to order something, but honestly, I have no more room! Yes, I skipped desserts! (clap-clap!)
Gnocchi with Salmon and Basil Pesto Cream
Roast Beef with cranberry and roll dumplings
So there you have it, that's our Day 12! Thanks for following our journey!!!





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