Sunset on the Charles Bridge Tower

After a restful though busy 3 weeks in Baltimore, we were headed to Europe for a 2 week visit - the first week in Prague for David's work and the second for a real vacation in Portugal.

As usual, I would be tagging along with David on his work trip and working myself on East Coast hours. What made this trip a little different was that our very good friends Tami and Jeff would also be visiting the city (the first time for them!) for Jeff's work!

David and I arrived on Saturday morning and would be unable to check in to our hotel room until the afternoon. We met up with Tami and Jeff in the lobby and headed out to see some of the city! We wandered up to the National Museum, which I had not visited before.

We accidentally entered the exhibit at the end, so we ended up walking backwards in time from the twentieth century backwards to the medieval period. After walking around the museum, David wanted to head to the hotel to rest for a bit while Tami, Jeff, and I went to visit the Klementinum so that Tami could see the old Baroque library. However, we arrived just after a tour had started and didn't feel like waiting, so we instead decided to climb the Charles Bridge Tower for a good view of the city.

After that we returned to the hotel to rest for a bit before going out for a nice dinner together.

The next day, we met up for breakfast with David's colleague Zaq and their partner Charlie who had arrived late on Saturday evening. I had booked us for a free walking tour of Prague in the morning that would take us around the main tourist areas of Old Town and the Jewish Quarter. I had taken this tour on our previous trip, but with a different guide so I learned some new facts on this tour as well!

After lunch, we headed up to the Prague Castle complex to explore. We went into St Vitus's Cathedral to admire the stained glass windows. We visited at a perfect time as the sun was pointing directly at one side and the cathedral walls were painted with beautiful splashes of light.

We also walked through the Royal Gardens to see the tree collection and found a peacock!

On Monday, back in the US it was Columbus/Indigenous People's Day, so I had the day off. While our spouses all went to work, Tami, Charlie, and I got together for another tourism day. We met at the Klementinum on time for the tour this time and got to see the beautiful Baroque Library and climb the Astronomical Tower.

We at some lunch and then walked over the Charles Bridge and up the hill to the Strahov Monastery/Brewery. At the Monastery, we visited another old library that I didn't even realize was there! There was also a huge display of illuminated manuscripts, so of course I was in heaven. After visiting the library, we went to the taproom to sample the beer (they had sour ale!) and we sat outside in the sunshine.

As we walked back to the hotel to rest, we took a short detour to the Lennon Wall where the graffiti that David and I added 8+ years ago was long covered up!

In the evening, we met up with Zaq (David and Jeff were both still working) and enjoyed a lovely classical music concert in the Church of St. Salvator (one of the Klementinum cathedrals). The acoustics in churches are amazing - a six piece string ensemble sounds like a much larger orchestra!

The next day my work would start at 3pm, but Tami, Charlie, and I met up again for the morning. We visited the Illusion Art Gallery where we had fun playing with perspective.

We then walked to the Municipal Library where we saw the book well sculpture, which is actually also an illusion artwork!

We had crammed in so many things for these first days, that the rest of the week, I pretty much took it easy in the mornings before working for the afternoon and evenings. David had a lot going on and was working 14 hour days while we were here, so he was very much looking forward to a well-deserved week off as we headed to Portugal!