Christmas Markets Cruise Through Germany and Austria Day 1

Have you dreamed of getting into the Christmas spirit in a festive fun way? Imagining colorful booths filled with amazing gift ideas and International foods that melt in your mouth? How about shinning ornaments you won’t find anywhere else but at an European Christmas Market? I did, so when a good deal came through for a Viking Cruise on the Danube River I jumped at the chance and got it booked.

We started this fabulous trip on Lufthansa Airlines, which I need to mention because of  the great service they offered. The aircraft still has a little leg room too very rare these days. Boarding was quick and organized and the flight attendants were some of the best I’ve seen in a while. In fact to spoil the passengers a little they had baskets filled with all kinds of European candy bars. Doesn’t get better than that!

Arriving into Prague we decided to take a pre tour there before the cruise. After passing through customs easily we looking forward to get to our hotel, drop off our bags and hit the town.  First stop was a little shopping and sightseeing.  Unfortunately getting through customs in Prague is a very time intensive event.

Entrance into the Prague U Prince Hotel in Prague's Old Town Square

Prague U Prince Hotel has become my absolute fave in Prague!

Prague U Prince the best Christmas present to ourselves

As the Cedaz taxi dropped us off at the Prague U Prince Hotel we couldn’t believe our good fortune in what a great location this was in.  The hotel literally sits in the Old Town Square where Tyn Church is and directly across the street from the Astronomical Clock.  Its perfect and was quite lively with an outdoor café (yes outside even in the dead of winter due to warm heaters everywhere).  The rooms are adorable and for two singles I liked the way the beds situated, one was next to the wall just after the entry hallway, the other about 4 feet up on the other side of the room. For some reason it felt you had more privacy.  Couldn’t believe that we have a view of the Astrological clock from our room, although you had to hang your head out the window to get the best view.

Outside of the Hotel U Prince in Prague

Here is our room, on the third floor to the left of the corner.

Tyn Church in Old Town Prague from our window at the U Prince Hotel

The view from our room was perfect, I don’t think there is a better view anywhere.

Prague astronomical clock on a cold winter day

Prague astronomical clock on a cold winter day

Time to see Prague at Christmas

Throwing our luggage in the room we quickly left the hotel to take the Procession Road to Prague Castle.  The Procession Road is the route that Royalty would take to the castle, which is now lined with cute little souvenir shops, café’s and night clubs.  By the way Prague is big on Jazz clubs which in the old town area seemed as if there was one on every street. The Christmas decorations added to the medieval atmosphere of this old city. Prague’s streets are cobbled rock and I imagine with snow it would look like a virtual wonderland. Exactly what I am looking for this season, so yes, I’m hoping for snow, a lot of snow!

Royal emblem found along Prague's Royal Road

Royal emblem found along Prague’s Royal Road

One of the many shops along Prague's Royal Road, this one had a lot of silver and glass animals

One of the many shops along Prague’s Royal Road. I wanted the horse in the back sooooo bad!

Once we got to Prague Castle we signed up for a tour of St. Vitus Cathedral.  What a fascinating place! Equally artistic stained glass comparable to Paris’s Notre Dame . The Cathedral was once used for the coronation of Czech kings and the their royal tombs are still there today. Mass is held here on Sunday’s and is given in three languages, Czech, German and English.  There are some very ornate statues and paintings but my favorite is the one that is outside the cathedral.  A beautiful golden mosaic that tells the story of one of their kings.  Across from the cathedral are the government building and jousting court.  Being a horse owner myself I was very interested in the inside court and imagining the horses running on the wooden floors with knights galloping their horses with spears in hand to knock one another off their fearless horses.  Also, in this building is a small but ornate church and the throne room.

 A view of Prague Castle from the Charles Bridge

A view of Prague Castle from the Charles Bridge

Outside St. Vitus Church with spires at Prague Castle

Outside St. Vitus Church with spires at Prague Castle

Stained glass surrounding the alter at St. Vitus Cathedral

Stained glass surrounding the altar at St. Vitus Cathedral

Just down from the government building is the Golden Lane a picturesque street where the artisans and workers of the past lived and worked in small buildings connected to each other.  Now colorfully and individually painted the small shops have been renovated into cute little boutique shops and a pretty good renaissance weapons and armory museum at the end of the lane. It has a hall with suits of armor, lots of historic weapons and exhibits. This whole area the perfect place for picture-taking.

Colorful buildings at Prague Castle's Golden Lane

Colorful buildings at Prague Castle’s Golden Lane

After walking a little more through the castle grounds we took the stairs back down into town and started our walk back to the hotel.  Of course we did have to go inside a few of the shops on the way back, you know because it was so cold. Just couldn’t help ourselves from buying Prague’s deep cut crystal and cute little nesting dolls.

Golden Lane Military Museum

Golden Lane Military Museum

Time for a good nights sleep so we can be fresh and ready to explore more of Prague tomorrow!

One Comment:

  1. Still on my list, a river cruise on the Rhine! Sounds like such a relaxing, interesting time!

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