Day 3 – Zizkov, Vinorhady and (finally!) great service at a restaurant

Day 2 in Prague was to be spent on our own – walking some of the surrounding areas and returning to some places we wanted to see before we left. I love to explore a city just walking it. We started at the main square and decided to meander our way to Zizkov tower and Vyšehrad and then make sure to head back to the Operation Anthropoid memorial as it was closed on Monday. Along the way, I wanted to check out the Vinorhady neighborhood. I’d read it was a neat local neighborhood and Vinorhady is Czech for vineyards so it must be awesome.

Retail silliness - Aimee

Retail silliness – Aimee

Retail silliness - John

Retail silliness – John

The Zizkov Television Tower is a transmitter tower built in Prague between 1985 and 1992. With its unique high-tech architecture and its stance on top of a hill in Eastern Prague, it is a sight to see, especially relative to the ancient city that surrounds it. The tower has been a source of controversy in Prague and rumored to have been used during the communist era to jam incoming Western radio and television transmissions. The main reason for me wanting to see the tower is the art added to it in 2000 by internationally acclaimed Czech artist David Černý. Fiberglass structures called Miminka (Babies) were originally placed on the tower only temporarily but became so popular that they are now there permanently. There are 10 faceless babies on the tower, climbing up and down. I’m not sure what the correct word for it is – maybe weird? Yes, it’s weird. But interesting as well.

Zizkov Tower

Zizkov Tower

Zizkov Babies

Zizkov Babies

From Zizkov we headed to the surrounding neighborhood of Vinorhady which was once covered in vineyards in the 14th century. To me it was a much more residential area of Prague. Small parks with teetering toddlers and dogs and many old beautiful buildings that looked like they were apartments. In fact, in doing research, it is where a lot of ex-pats live.

I really wanted to see Vyšehrad – which is another castle once used by Prague’s leaders. You can see the stunning spires on this grand building from miles away and I was told it was something to see up close. It was built in the 10th century – some 70 years after the establishment of Prague Castle – on top of a hill overlooking the Vltava River and across the river from the more well-known Prague Castle. It was coined the “Castle on the Heights” and was used for about 40 years before successors to Vratislav II, a prince of Bohemia’s founding Premyslid dynasty, returned to Prague Castle. Now apparently it is a quiet and peaceful place to take in the city. It is surrounded by large gardens and is open to the public.

Vysehrad Castle

Vysehrad Castle

Well, we never made it there L But we did make it close! After walking over 6 miles and realizing we’d need to cross railroad tracks to get to the park, we were hangry and decided to bag the whole thing. We were still able to see the spectacular spires from “the other side of the tracks”.

After a stop for a coffee it was time to head back to the memorial to Operation Anthropoid which – wait for it – was closed! Apparently for technical repairs. Now hangry and disappointed we decided to find the cure for all ills – chocolate of course. We headed back to our tried and true Chocoffee for a sandwich and more beautiful tap-drawn Belgian chocolate goodness. It definitely lifted my mood!

Back across one of the lesser known bridges to Mala Strana, we strode along the riverfront. It wasn’t the most beautiful day in Prague but I’d be remiss in not saying how lovely it was to hold the hand of someone I love while watching the dazzling city go by.

What is it they say about the best laid plans? Well, I agree that they often go awry but they usually result in something wonderful. Maybe I should come up with a saying to that effect. I’ll get right on it…We’d been told by our cute free-tour-guide Amanda to check out a local restaurant called Lokal for a great local (get it?!) experience. And seeing as it was just a few blocks from our hotel, it was raining and we were exhausted, we were in. Immediately upon entering and asking about a table, John was told “We’re full”. Damn these rude Czechs! Or maybe they just don’t care. Regardless, I’m not even going to link to the restaurant…

On we went, now on the lookout for someplace warm and dry and close with – you guessed it – good wine. That’s not too much to ask, right? Well, we happened to stumble on a place that offered all of those things and more – a sweet little restaurant called Tři století – Café and Restaurant. Again, I’m going to reference Trip Advisor because they were right-on again…this one was voted #94 of 5372 restaurants in Prague. We had an adorable waitress who gave us great service. We had an amazing meal. We had some wonderful Czech wine. AND we had a great conversation to go with all of it. It was the perfect ending to our time in Prague.

Tri Stoleti

Tri Stoleti

Good wine and good food at Tri Stoleti

Good wine and good food at Tri Stoleti

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