The Prague TV tower against a beautiful blue sky. It is 18 above today, and the sun is shining.
This is another of those very long, very fast moving escalators. We wonder why the metro is so far underground? A little research reveals that “In the event of an attack on the city, they should close to turn the designated stations into hermetically sealed bunkers. The doors can allegedly withstand a nuclear blast on the surface as well as a “torrential” wave of water. Up to 300,000 people can allegedly take refuge in the system for three days.” Who knew? Although I can’t imagine being underground with another 299,999 people! These fellows gave a little preview of an evening performance in one of the many churches in Prague.
St. Charles Bridge is probably on every Prague visitor’s must-see list. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is also home to many Czech artists, musicians and souvenir vendors whose stands line both sides of the bridge. This Medieval bridge, completed in 1402 is now a very crowded pedestrian zone.
Here is a close up of the entrance to the bridge in the photo above. Just a few people! Very crowded but such great people watching, which is one of my favourite pass-times. The bridge offers a great view of the Prague Castle on the hill. As well as views of some of the other bridges along the Vltava River. Touching this statue is said to bring good luck and ensure a return visit to Prague. There are 30 statues on this 516 metres long and almost 10 metres wide Gothic bridge. The sun was setting as we leave the bridge. On the way home we peek into a Thai massage studio. I wanted to give this a try but we somehow ran out of time. Prague is famous for its marionettes. Most of the ones we see are obviously made for tourists and not that great but I find this window display of really beautiful marionettes. They had really ‘beautiful’ price tags too! There are lots of shops selling wooden products. We see Nemo every time we walk along Wenceslas Square.
The streets are jam-packed with people tonight. It is St. Wenceslas Day today which is also called Statehood Day and is a holiday. Interesting to see a blacksmith working in the square. These pastries are sold everywhere in Prague. They are call Trdelník (which means a hollowed out log) and they are made by wrapping layers and layers of dough on a cylindrical spit. It is then baked on an open fire and dusted with cinnamon sugar and crushed nuts. They look yummy just like that but many shops fill them with ice cream and all sorts of fancy toppings. Unfortunately they are not gluten free…so none for me. These little sculptures in the store window appealed, but they are too big and heavy to buy so I settle for a picture.
We walked the walls around Dubrovnik today and I took 360 photos! Don’t worry, I am not posting them all but it sure was hard to choose only a few. Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ancient city surrounded by medieval walls that are almost two kilometres long. Our first view of the walls is impressive.This is the Stradum, the main street of Old Dubrovnik.Soon we are up on the walls ready to start our walk. the guide books say that most people spend one to one and a half hours here, but we spend four hours walking the walls and enjoying the views.The walls are up to 125 m high and 6 m thick!This is one ladder I won’t be climbing!The walls enclosed and protected the buildings of the stari grad, or old town.Dubrovnik is not just a tourist attraction, it is home to many and we see potted gardens and laundry drying all around town.The harbour is full of boats of every type.Looking out towards the new part of town…and back towards the harbour.I just love all the domes and towers… and the narrow streets with all the steps…and the chimneys…and all the tile roofs. I guess I just love all of it!I googled and discovered that walking the walls involves climbing 1080 steps… but the views are worth every single one.A woman told me that this was a cute picture and offered to take it for me.This tower was featured in the Game of Thrones. There are a lot of sites from the show in Dubrovnik and we intend to find some of them this week.As the sun began to set, the colours changed.I retraced some of our steps at the beginning of the walk to take a few more pictures in the golden afternoon sun and Bob waited for me. Can you spot him?As the sun set the lights came on and the narrow side street looked even more interesting.Every space is used and many of the streets are lined with tables waiting for dinner customers, but we head home. We have been walking for eight hours and we are both tired.
Plitvice Lakes were proclaimed a National Park in 1949 and they were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979. There are sixteen lakes in the park and an incredible number of waterfalls. Over thousands of years the water has eroded and dissolved limestone rocks and the dissolved calcium carbonate reforms as tufa, a porous stone that makes barriers between the lakes. This results in new falls and cascades being constantly created.
The Plitvice Lakes Park are amazing. We soon ran out of words to describe the wonder of so many waterfalls and cascades, and the beauty the we saw all around us. The weather report said it was to be a cloudy day, but it forgot to mention the rain and mist! It was drizzling and misty most of the morning but the rain eventually stopped later in the afternoon. We only saw the sun for about three minutes! In spite of this we had a fantastic day. I think it is best is to post some of the many photos I took and let you wander through the park along with us. The reflections in the water were beautiful and I kept wondering what all this would look like on a calm sunny day?
There is water rushing everywhere!These steps, all 212 of them lead to a huge sinkhole and the Supljara Cave . Notice there are no hand rails on the boardwalks! I saw two people trip and almost go over the edge so I am sure it must sometimes happen.Here we were walking right on top of a waterfall, and it is one of the few places that had a handrail. Yes, we wore ugly plastic rain ponchos as did many other hikers. and thankfully they helped keep us warmer and drier.These are called the Big Falls.The water runs everywhere and somehow trees manage to grow in waterfalls and shallow lakes. We turn the corner and see this. and this! These falls are 28 meters tall.
There are boardwalks everywhere, even right over top of waterfalls, but as I said, no handrails .The reflections were stunning… and the colours of the lakes were amazing.Every lake was different colour.We walked through areas with interesting trees… and I really liked the roots on this tree. The water everywhere is absolutely crystal clear. There are bears, wolves, deer, wild boar, and wild cats in the park but the only animal we see is this busy little squirrel. We walked for more than six hours, about 22,000 steps which is almost nine miles and we climbed the equivalent of 84 flights of stairs. We figured it out and that is more than 1400 stairs up and as many back down. No wonder we were both tired tonight.