Prague: The story of the Parents & their patron Saint Ludwila.

Tuesday, Sept 17th

YAY! Mom & Dad's plane arrives in Vienna at 9am this morning! I'm super excited!!! Natasja and I took a spin around Praha since it would take them 3.5 hours to get to here.

On our walk we took note of the very pious beggars on the Charles Bridge, saw a lady getting a fishy pedicure and watched chilly newlyweds make a video in the Old Town Square (they held hands & twirled).

Then we started back to Miss Sophie's to wait for the call to go meet my parents at their hotel. And we waited… and waited… and then when I couldn't wait any more I called.

They were lost. 😦 Super lost. For at least an hour. I waited another hour and when I called back they were stress-driving through Prague (did I mention they HATE big city driving?). Mom was trying to read the street signs (in Czech) and I'm trying to find them on my map-app on my ipad and tell them where to turn. Meanwhile, Natasja and I are standing on a streetcorner in the 14th largest city in Europe hoping to spot them as they drive by! We… we needed some help.

Nameste Miru

Then help appeared~ in the form of St. Ludmila! (The Gothic church at Nameste Miru!) Mom says- “I can see two black steeples!” We could see them too! There was lots of excited squealing, then dad pulled off the side of the road and Natasja & I hopped in! SUCCESS!!! Finally reunited!!! It was 5pm. Mom had optimistically predicted a 1pm arrival. Whew. We directed Dad to a parking spot and decide to grab some dinner while we evaluated the (super-jetlagged) situation. Finally! They were done with 26+ hours of traveling! Yawn!

Over Beuf Bourguignon, soup and Mushroom Risotto Mom & Dad decided they were just too tired to try and find their hotel. They were going to stay at Miss Sophie's too! After checking, in we parked the car in a ramp across the street and walked down to Wenceslas Square to give the parents a little taste of the city.

Good King Wenseslas was raised by his Grandmother, Saint Ludmila (the double steepled church was named for her) and became the Duke of Bohemia. Wenseslas was known for caring for the poor and was so beloved by the Czech people that he was crowned King, after his death in 935.

We managed to keep Mom & Dad up until 8pm- then after tucking them into their bunk beds (yes… they were both on top bunks) Natasja and I went out for a Czech beer. Dang, those monks really make great beer! Tomorrow we'd get to play Prague tour guides. For now we rest.

Wednesday, Sept 18

9am we decided to take the 'rents out to breakfast at Zanzibar, (the restaurant by the fantastical monster fountain) and had great omelets and ginger tea.

Then, we tried our hand at the public transit system… That was a bit of a debacle! We bought tickets and got on a bus… headed the wrong way. So we got off and caught the bus going back but decided it wouldn't take us to old town, so we got on a tram.

A nice younger woman on the tram overheard us being confused and told us the correct tram to find! (This woman is nice for giving us directions but super nice for not swearing at the 80 yr old woman who patted her 'baby belly' and offered her the seat! She was NOT pregnant. Awkward.). We switched one last time and arrived at our destination- Malo Strana, just west of the Charles Bridge.

One of the smaller bridges, covered in 'Love Locks'. The Charles Bridge is below with Powder Tower on the right.

We made our way down to the riverbank to find some swans to feed- we had saved them a piece baguette from breakfast because Mom read about it on a website. We found 2 swans, but mostly just some ducks. So we headed across the bridge to check out the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square.

The photo on the left is me, on the Charles Bridge, approaching the Powder Tower. The center is the clock with all the hype. Gorgeous clock, but the hourly 'performance' is lackluster. The sign in Czech, Karluv Most means Charles Bridge.
Trdlnik is a yummy treat! It's bread, curled around a wide, wooden dowel, rolled in cinnamon sugar and slowly rotated over hot coals. Delish! (Photos with Adrienne in them were taken by her mom! Trdlnik by Natasja)

Natasja & I led our 'tour' through the square (there were some loud banging noises coming from inside the statue!) and to the Municipal House.

The restaurant was full, so we had warm beverages in the Ameriky Bar. Mom found it entertaining that the waiter spoke zero English but had a US flag on his uniform. The waiter didn't find it as funny… Then it was time for Natasja to head to the airport. :-/ We hugged goodbye, then she headed off to catch the Metro. We ended up heading back to the hostel 5 min. later to refresh & drop Dad off for a nap. But didn't see Natasja on the train. Bye!

At 3pm, Mom and I headed out onto the rainy city streets to explore Prague castle. Dad slept until we woke him up for dinner. You'd assume it was the jet-lag, but he considers a 'good nap' to be 6 hours.

Next time, Prague castle, Czech dinner & how we got the rental car out of accidental impound. Oops.