Day 11 – Leaving the Viking Cruise Ship and heading to Prague, Czech Republic

Leaving a cruise ship is never a fun experience. You have to make sure that everything is packed in advance and your bags are in the hallway for someone to take off the ship. Our silver lining was the fact that we weren’t headed to the airport, instead we were headed to Prague, Czech Republic.

bucket-list
Image credit: ascenicdetour.com

Like many of you, I have a bucket list. It the last couple of years, I don’t think I made any progress on it. However with this trip, I am really happy because I knocked off three items: a European river cruise, attending the German Christmas Markets and visiting Prague, Czech Republic.

Many of the passengers had outbound flights that left early in the morning; most had already departed the ship by the time we arrived to the dining room. We had our usual breakfast, said our good-byes to the staff and deboarded the ship.

The ride from Nuremberg to Prague
The ride from Nuremberg to Prague

Our private mini van was already parked next to the ship and was ready to take us. Our driver, John, helped us with our bags and he even provided us with bottled water for our approximate 3 hour trip to Prague.

The journey was mostly through open terrain, though there were a few industrial towns we passed through. In Germany, the city sign labelled Prague as “Prag” and after we crossed the Czech boarder, the city became Praha.

John was a very good driver; in fact he would ensure that our ride was comfortable as he would intentionally slow down over cobblestone streets and rough terrain. Because we didn’t experience any traffic or general slowdown, we got to the Prague Marriott hotel rather quickly.

Gingerbread House in the hotel lobby
Gingerbread House in the hotel lobby

Both the inside and outside of the hotel was fully decked out for the holidays. In fact, the staff at the front desk were all wearing Santa hats. An enormous gingerbread house graced the lobby.

Mikaela’s Mom, Maggie, was due to join up with us at the hotel. Because we weren’t sure about her arrival time, we headed out to the Prague Christmas Market in the Old Town Square.

As we were strolling through the Old Town Square, a lady pulled Peggy aside and gave her the run down of her restaurant – White Horse Prague. There were quite  few people eating outside in the enclosed area. However, the group wanted to eat inside instead.

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I was highly skeptical when I didn’t see any customers inside the restaurant. Two of the staff were folding napkins as we walked by. We then took a steep flight downstairs to a 12th century Romanesque cellar.

After lunch we exchanged text messages with Maggie and ended up meeting at the “Big Tree” in the Old Town Square.

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Mikaela and Maggie

Maggie’s brother, David, was with her when we met up with them at the Christmas Market. It was hard to believe that he flew from LA to Amsterdam and connected there to catch a flight into Prague. He didn’t look tired at all. Mikaela and Maggie were delighted to be reunited again.

IMG_3849Because I still wasn’t feeling well, I decided against going out in the evening. I ended up eating at a couple of stands at the Christmas Market near the hotel. Peggy, Maggie, David and Mikaela attended a Christmas Concert at St. Nicholas Church.

There the Vivaldi Orchestra Prague gave a great performance. David commented that while there were only eight musicians playing, the performance sounded impressive. W. A. Mozart played this organ during his stay in Prague as a guest of the Dušeks.

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David, Maggie, Mikaela, Peggy and Kari attended a Christmas concert.

 

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View of the Old Town Square from the church tower

 

 

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