We made it to Prague--the first leg of our #friendimoon trip! As we climbed up out of the train station we glimpsed Wenceslas Square in the evening light--we’d be returning later in our trip for a beer and food tour--so we didn’t spend much time looking around. Not to mention we wanted to ditch our heavy bags!
It took quite some time to find our way to our Airbnb, but once we made it there we settled in and went in search of some food and drinks. The Czech Republic has always been famous for it’s beer but we were determined to find some good food there as well. The most famous dishes are the schnitzel, wiener sausages, and fried cheese with bread called “Smažený Sýr” (pronounced “sma-zhen-ee seer”) or Smazak for short. We found a small pub around the corner from our Airbnb which had both Smazak and sausages. The Smazak was...unique. The sausage and beer were quite good!
We woke fairly early and started our dedicated Synagogue Day. Prague is filled with Synagogues and amazing Jewish History, so naturally we had to start there. We walked to the Spanish Synagogue, and were instantly mesmerized by the golden lights and architecture of the great rotunda. This Synagogue was rebuilt in the place of the older synagogue, Altshul, after a massive fire.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Synagogues of Prague click here!
Making our way through the town we caught the glockenspiel in Old Town Square, browsed through some eclectic shops, and goggled at the architecture. We stumbled upon the Galerie d’Art de Prague that was displaying a massive collection from Dali, Andy Warhol, and Mucha--highly recommended (tickets here). Eventually we made it to the Vltava River and crossed Mánesův Mos (the bridge next to the Charles Bridge), which is objectively the best way to get pictures of the famous bridge itself.
While the Czech Republic isn’t known for its culinary scene, it is known for its brew scene. We made our way to the Castle side of the river (Mala Strana), and stopped for a quick meal at and a pint at Vojanuv Dvur. The beer--a Pilsner Urquell--was really good and perfect on a hot day! Since we’d already had Smazak the night before, and we skipped that particular fried food and tried the wiener sausage and schnitzel.
After our lunch we made our way slowly across the Charles Bridge. It was beautiful! Halfway down the bridge is the statue of St. John of Nepomuk. St. John was a priest famous for being thrown off the Charles Bridge after listening to the Queen's confession and not disclosing it when the King started asking questions. Since he didn’t tell the King the confession, he was sentenced to die. Now a popular tourist destination, this statue has been rubbed back to shiny gold by all the tourists passing through. Legend says that if you rub St. John’s statue you will return to Prague in the near future. Suffice to say, we rubbed the statue. Prague is awesome.
We continued on to our 2nd synagogue of the day, the Pinkas synagogue. While this originally was a functioning temple, after WWII it has become a monument dedicated to the 78,000+ Czech Jews that were killed in the Holocaust. The mood in this synagogue is dramatically different from the Spanish synagogue. It is quiet and respectful, grimly displaying the names of all those who perished during the Holocaust.
We wandered a bit more through the Jewish quarter before heading back to our Airbnb for a much needed power nap. After rejuvenating, we headed back out in search of some nightlife. Our Airbnb host recommended that we head towards the water to an area called Podskalí where in the summer the locals eat and drink onboard docked boats. So we checked it out! We called it an evening after that and headed back to rest up for our next big day in Prague!