Monday, August 18, 2014

Last Day in Prague

We only had the morning free on our last day in Prague. There wasn't time, energy, or money left for anything big, so we headed for a corner of Old Town Prague that we had yet to visit.

The Jewish Quarter as it's known today was Prague's Jewish Ghetto. As in many European cities, Jews in Prague were culturally and legally forced into segregated neighborhoods. The Jewish Quarter today is a highly-rated collection of synagogues, museums, and Jewish cultural centers covered by one ticket.

We didn't have enough time to justify buying the big museum ticket, but we did get a sneaky peek at the most famous of Jewish Quarter landmarks: The Old Jewish Cemetery.

Old Jewish Cemetery Prague, Czech Republic
Old Jewish Cemetery
Gravestones Old Jewish Cemetery Prague, Czech Republic

This small cemetery was the only legal burial ground for Prague's Jews for more than 300 years. When they ran out of new plots, they had no choice but to begin layering new burials atop older ones. This small graveyard holds more than 12,000 burials, several layers deep and dating back to the 15th century.

It is not free to visit and most of the views of it are blocked off, but one should never underestimate what a tall, motivated tightwad traveler can do with a camera.

Across the river from the Jewish Quarter and up the steep hill is Prague's large metronome sculpture. We first saw this swinging piece at an oblique angle from Charles Bridge, but we had a much better look from the Jewish Quarter.

The metronome was built in 1991 to celebrate the proud musical tradition of Prague- and to replace a huge statue of Josef Stalin. Good call.

Prague's Metronome Sculpture
Prague's Metronome Sculpture

Obligatory Cory-Looking-at-the-Water Shot Prague, Czech Republic
Obligatory Cory-Looking-at-the-Water Shot

After the Jewish Quarter, we headed back to Old Town for one last look at some of our favorite Prague knockouts. The sun came out, but it was still winter coat weather. I couldn't resist one more sausage with sauerkraut. After all, who knows when I'll be back to sausage-loving Central Europe again?

One More Sausage in Prague, Czech Republic
One More Sausage

We made our way from Old Town back across the river to the train station to catch our ride to the airport. We walked along the river and took one last series of Castle Quarter and Charles Bridge shots. I also spotted a carp swimming lazily in the garbage and litter of the river. Aren't carp wonderful fish?

Prague Castle (top left) and Charles Bridge (right)
Prague Castle (top left) and Charles Bridge (right)

Prague Castle and Red Roofs Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Castle and Red Roofs

A Scarred Carp Enjoying the Finer Things Prague, Czech Republic
A Scarred Carp Enjoying the Finer Things

At the airport, I spent some of the last of our Czech money on a couple of Central European favorites, beer and gummi candy. Sadly, the beer was a bit disappointing out of a can and paired with Haribo candy, but the Krusovice brand was the last label on the Prague beer checklist, so it couldn't be helped.

Gummi Candy and Krusovice Beer
Gummi Candy and Krusovice Beer

We had a great time in Prague- and it wasn't just the beer and sausage. Prague is a beautiful old city, and I can't wait to go back to the Czech Republic. Next trip, we'll get out of Prague and visit the brewery in Pilsen and the Medieval red roofs of Cesky-Krumlov!

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