All my 2009 Germany pictures can be seen at:
http://www4.rdstokes.com/Resources/2009%20Germany

The advancements in the city of Prague

I slept while Serena drove and Ashley navigated our way into Prague. At the boarder there are some old guard booths but for the most part, you can continue traveling without even a blink much less a passport stamp. Their Autobahn was good as Germany’s and only had one minor strech with a little construction. We did pull off to get the vignette sticker which is suppose to cost 220 crowns; I think we got ripped off as Serena paid with Euros for a total of 12. No matter, they did a great job and took us right to the square where... there was no parking! But then, this is what we expected as my research said. We found a parking spot about 2 miles away, up a very steep hill, from the city square but didn't have crowns to pay. So, we went drove on and lucked out at another parking lot with a money changer across the street. So now we're set for the afternoon and down the hill we went walked to the Charles Bridge. This bridge was a traffic jam of people as it took us 20 minutes to cross.

Once on the other side, we found a great meal for about $65 USD and an Internet connection where everyone got caught up on their emails/social networks.

Across the street was the building where Jews were held for deportation before being sent off to concentration camps. There is also a synagogue where they had all the deported people's names written on the walls, a room of children's drawings from the time period, and out back a cemetary with hundreds of headstones piled on top of each other as the Jewish were not allowed to bury their dead anywhere else for centries.

During our walks, Ashley tells us about being here just after the Berlin wall fell. She said that every building was dark or dirty gray from the air polution. The city was pretty much abandoned nor did anyone travel to the side of town we're now parked; the buildings were just boarded up. Tourists were no where to be found as well as no one owned a car. She was amazed at the changes that occurred since obtaining it's freedom.

We moved on to Old Town Hall (what I would call a square) where we sat in view of the Astronomical Clock Tower, Ashley checked out the apartment that she once stayed in, we sat around until the clock chimed and the animated characters danced around.

By now it was 7:30 pm and we were heading toward our 8 pm reservation that a friend, Dee Hill who use to live in Prague, suggested. We walked the completely wrong way, got lost, saw all the other restaurants in the city, before coming upon Palffy Palace Club. It was a REALLY SWANKY restaurant! It is one of those out of the way restaurants that you really had to know about in order to find/patron. It also reminded me of the restaurant in "The Cook, The Thief, and His Wife" as it had all the same atmosphere and snobby, but attentive, waiters. Oh, this place had green drapes where as the movie had red drapes. Since Dee and I saw the show together, I think that's why she sent us there...

Of course, the food was excellent! The service was really good! And the evening was nice sitting on the patio. Serena and I shared Poached Cod Fish and an appetizer of Lamb on Gingerbread. Emma's meal, an appetizer of Ravioli looked and sounded the best (I didn't get to try it,) and Ashley's Chicken was definately the runner up for second best. Mmmm.... The whole meal cost us 3300 crowns.

Now back to our bus and out of Prague at 11 pm with a destination of the same hotel as from last night. Instead of finding E50 which goes back to Munich (our destination on Friday,) we find some other highway... E48. Here in Czech, the GPS doesn't work; it doesn't even tell you which way your going! So we don't know if left or right is north, south, west, or we hope not east. And the map we have has so little detail that we can't be sure where we're at. Instead of taking the easy way and driving back to Prague to find the right highway, we head down this little road that goes through some small mountain pass. After about 1 1/2 hours of driving around, making lots of wrong turns as well as u-turns, we find E50! (Unfortunately, getting lost in Czech was not as big of a deal as we all would have hoped for.)