After taking an early morning flight from London Gatwick to Prague’s Vaclav Havel airport we transferred to the city centre by bus and metro. Arriving into a winter wonderland of thick snow we made our way to the Best Western Hotel Pav, our home for the next three nights.
Settling in to our room, we were soon ready to start exploring the city. We walked down to the Vltava river from where we had some splendid views of Prague Castle and other elegant buildings lining the river bank.
As we approached the famous Charles Bridge we could see that it was crowded with tourists, artists, buskers and street vendors all admiring the magical views from the bridge across the wide expanse of the river. At each end of the bridge there is a tower, the bridge connecting the old town from the lesser town (Mala Strana). 75 statues adorn the bridge some of them replicas where the originals have been washed away in floods.
A few minutes walk from here we came to Wencelas Square, it’s actually more of a broad avenue than a square and is lined with hotels, shops and banks. The square lies in the heart of the new town (Nove Mesto), new being a misleading term as the square was laid out in 1348 by Charles IV, originally as a horse market. At the top of the square is the National Museum with a statue of St. Wencelas on his horse looking down on it, and to the left stands the Prague State Opera.
After a rest back at our hotel we enjoyed dinner in an authentic Beer Hall along the same road as our hotel which was crowded and atmospheric. Portions were huge so we only ordered a main course each accompanied by large tankards of the local beer.