December 25, 2009 – 10:34 pm
Bobbie’s sister Kelly is over from New Zealand, and Christmas this year is in Prague. Bobbie’s been before, but it was a first time for Jake and me – and Kelly hadn’t been to the Northern Hemisphere before, so it’s a first for her too.
We flew out first thing in the morning Christmas Eve, and it was a fairly uneventful flight. We found our hotel, and then went for a bit of an explore – but we were all pretty tired. Kelly had been on the move for days, and this bit’s meant to be a bit of a rest. We could all do with one of those.
In the Czech Republic, tradition has it that presents are opened at around 5pm on Christmas Eve, so we sat in our hotel room and swapped gifts. It’d been an early start, so after our quiet day, we had pizza and an early night… but Christmas Day was all about the tourism.
After a fortifying breakfast, we set off for the sights of Prague. The Charles Bridge was top of the agenda, and we made a beeline through the Christmas market, pausing only for a hot chocolate – and then took our time strolling across the bridge, checking out the artworks, taking some photos, and stopping to listen to some buskers.
From there, we hit the stairs that took us up to Prague Castle which is both incredibly beautiful, and swarming with tourists. You’d have thought that given the queue to walk through the cathedral, perhaps Bono himself was giving away free beer inside.
So… naturally, we kept on walking. Had we decided to brave the queue to go look inside what I’m sure is an amazing cathedral, it would have ended up being the only thing we did today. As it happens, we got to see a ton of other stuff.
It’s an amazing city – really beautiful and a great place to spend Christmas. It’s been a quiet one, but wandering around a city like this makes Christmas Day pretty special.
A tour – with beer
We finished the day off with a beer tour. Really simple stuff – us and a couple of Italian guys, being guided around three different bars in Prague, with a beer at each stop followed by a goulash meal at our final destination.
Not a brewery tour – just a couple of pubs, but a nice way to have an evening out, chat, ask a few questions and meet some interesting people.
So – all in all, a great – if somewhat restrained – Christmas Day.
Tomorrow, I think we’ll be taking it pretty easy – but we’ve booked tickets to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played by the Prague Vivaldi Orchestra, who use the original baroque instruments. Should be pretty cool.