Schlepp in Prague

Its been hot in Vienna this summer and the work has been long every day.  So its pretty much been a routine of get up early, take the U-bahn to work, come back to the hotel around 6:30 or 7:00, go someplace for dinner, and then just back to the Marriott to sleep.  But on the weekend, we've got time to sleep in before doing something interesting.
     This trip we bought tickets on the train to Prague in the Czech Republic.  We didn't want to get up too early after a hard week of travel and work.  It was a first class express train and we left in mid-morning and arrived in mid-afternoon.  
     Here I am studying my Prague travel guide on the train. 

Prague is a big city and they speak the Czech language there.  Its a very difficult language.  On the way, Debbie tried to practice her Czech with a lady conductor.  At one point the lady just laughed and laughed because our Czech was so bad.

     When we got to Prague we dropped our luggage off at the hotel and set out to explore.  We wandered through the old part of town shopping, eating, drinking, and watching all the people.  There were lots of people from all over the world and lots of shops. 
     Eventually we got to the Charles Bridge, the oldest stone bridge in Europe.  Here I made friends with a gargoyle on one of the sculptures that line the bridge.

Next we got on a little boat and took a cruise out onto the Vltava River, which runs under the bridge and through the town.  We could see the river, 

the bridge with its tower, 

and high on a hill, the huge Prague Castle as the sun was setting behind it.  

Prague isn't like Vienna in one important way:  the stores stay open late.  Even at 11:00 there are people shopping and walking around.  
     The next morning we took a taxi up the big hill to the castle.  You can see one view in my recent dispatch.  The Prague Castle is so large it has a huge cathedral inside it.  Here's a picture of St. Vitus Cathedral.

And in the back of the castle I found a toy museum and a window full of toys and a Czech bear.  We couldn't talk very well in English or Czech, but we could growl in bear talk just fine.

By now it was time to walk down the hill, across the Charles Bridge, and through old town.  We ate at a beautiful cafe, much like those in Vienna.  But all too soon we had to get to the hotel, grab our bags, and take a taxi to the railroad station.  A few hours later we were back in Vienna, just as the rain started to fall.