PRAGUE DAY 2
On our second full day in Prague, May 12th, we headed back to Prague Castle to watch the changing of the guard at noon, with band accompaniment. When we arrived at the courtyard a little before noon we were surprised that there weren’t very many people waiting. When I heard a trumpet sound we went towards the music and realized we had been waiting in the second courtyard, instead of the first courtyard. That’s what happens when we follow my directions ;). We were still able to peak through a gateway to see the ceremony and part way through we moved around to the first courtyard, where we could see the band playing from castle windows.
After the changing of the guards ceremony we visited the Powder Tower, the last exhibit included in our long tour tickets. The Powder Tower isn’t very tall and doesn’t have much of a view, but inside there are displays, mostly about the military and their uniforms. It was fitting to combine the changing of the guard and the powder tower into one visit.
Afterward we headed down the hill in search of the Church of St Nicolas, near the Charles Bridge (the church on the same side of the river as the castle, not the one in the Old Town Square). We had read that the Baroque interior was worth seeing, and it really was amazing! Definitely recommended!
After visiting the Church of St Nicolas, we set off to Petrin Hill.
After climbing Petrin Hill, with short breaks to rest, we reached Petrin Lookout Tower, which is an imitation of the Eiffel Tower. We decided not to climb the tower, since you have to pay an admission fee. Instead, we found a bench near a playground and sat and ate our picnic lunch. The walk back down the hill was beautiful, on a winding path through wildflowers and cherry trees. Lucie, from Pension Lucie, told us about a Czech tradition that takes place on Petrin Hill on May 1st each year. May 1st is International Labor Day, but for people in the Czech Republic it is also “Love Day.” According to tradition, on May 1st you should kiss your significant other under a cherry tree, for a year of good luck and good health. Petrin Hill is filled with cherry trees, and apparently this year they set a record, with thousands of couples visiting the hill to crowd under the trees and kiss.
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