This time last month I was wandering the beautiful winding streets of Prague’s old town. The old town is incredibly beautiful and I’ve never been anywhere quite like it. The small shops and seemingly permanent market stalls in the old town reminded me of Christmas markets with the scent of mulled wine and cinnamon in the air. The cinnamon rolls served in many market stalls were incredible and definitely my favourite find, particularly the ones served with a coating of Nutella in the centre.
The old town was beautiful during the daytime but really came to life at night. The shops and markets were all open late and there was live music and entertainment creating a buzzing environment. To make the most of the vibrant evening atmosphere we went on a Mysterium tour of the old town. Our tour guide, Georg, walked us around the old town stopping at historical buildings, churches and interesting areas to tell us a ghost story about each place. The Mysterium tour was unlike anything I’ve ever done before and the combination of historical sightseeing and entertainment allowed us to learn much more about the old town than walking around alone.
Crossing the river from the area of the Old Town Square takes you over the Charles Bridge and up to the castle which, up close, looks more like a palace than a castle. The turrets that are visible from the bridge are actually part of the castle’s chapel. It was a clear day and, from the top of the hill, the views of the rest of the city across the river were incredible. We made our way back towards the river through the winding streets stopping at the John Lennon Wall before crossing the bridge back to the Old Town.
The bone chapel in Kutna Hora is a drive out of the city centre but was well worth visiting. The site of the Sedlec Ossuary has been a popular burial site since before the current gothic chapel was built. Thousands of bodies were buried here during the Black Death and during the construction of the chapel many of the graves were disturbed so the chapel was built with two levels. The upper level was used for the chapel itself and the lower chapel was used to house the bones of 40,000 to 70,000 people unearthed during construction. The inside of the lower chapel is not just a storage space for bones, it is ornately decorated with bone sculptures with many of skulls and crossbones which are placed this way to represent angel wings so the souls of the dead can fly to heaven. We stayed in Kuna Hora for a full afternoon and after visiting the bone chapel we also went to St. Barbara’s cathedral and then stopped for a delicious hot chocolate at a blues cafe before heading back to the bus.
The last stop of the trip was Wenceslas Square on our way back to the train station. We stopped at Vytpona railway restaurant for lunch. In the railway restaurant, drinks were delivered by train to each table using an extensive miniature railway network around the building. The restaurant was a large room on the first floor with the kitchen in the middle and tables round the edge, all connected by rail. Trains took priority in the restaurant and there were stairs and bridges for people to walk above the tracks. You didn’t have to be a train geek to appreciate that it was really cool. I could have sat there for hours just watching the trains go by but after a fantastic weekend it was time to head home.