As we were heading towards our train, a rail employee spotted us walking around, latched onto us and was kind enough to walk us to our 1st class rail car and showed us where we could stow our luggage which was above our assigned seats. As it turned out our 1st class rail car was not very full so we were able to move to just about any other seats on the car that we chose. They had different seat configurations so we ended up picking one that fit our needs the best. Before we knew it our train was on its way headed to Prague. As it turned out this train was not one of the real high speed bullet trains. During a couple of straight runs the train got up to approximately 98 mph The trip took approximately 4.5 hours and Veronica enjoyed this type of travel immensely. We even took the opportunity to walk around the train to visit the dining car which was a little different. We did not get anything to eat at the sit down diner car due to the limited Hungarian/Czech Republic menu. The scenery was fun to see but unfortunately I could not take and photos due to the reflections/scratches on the train windows.
Below are actual photos of our 1st class rail car. There was hardly anyone else in our car.
We arrived in Prague
We arrived in Prague in the late afternoon. We grabbed our luggage from the train and went out into the station to catch up with our transfer to the hotel. We had reservations at the Art Nouveau Palace Hotel
Upon our arrival at the hotel we went to the reservations desk and were told that they were extremely busy due to an over abundance of river cruise ship customers. Next thing we knew a woman came out from the back office area and handed something to our clerk. We were then told that we had been upgraded to a suite and one of the best rooms in the hotel. Needless to say that we were really surprised. Before we left home we looked at the rooms in this hotel and knew that there were surely some really nice ones. I did not even see a suite on their web site that had a sauna...so it must have been a special room. After thanking them profusely Veronica and I proceeded to our room. When we got to our room and opened the door all we could say was "wow"...how did we luck into this.
Marble everywhere in the bathroom area
Gadzooks!!!....my own personal sauna
The bathroom area was huge
After spending a bit of time basking in the beauty of are suite we decided to venture out for a while. The architecture in Prague was amazing.
One of the original gates into Old Town Prague, this tower was first built in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 15th century. During the 17th century, the tower was used for storing gunpowder, which is where it gets its name. The royal route, the coronation route of the Bohemian kings, started at the tower, through Old Town, across the Charles Bridge and up to Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral where the kings were crowned.
Powder Tower is connected by a covered bridge to what used to be the palace of King Vladislav II who rebuilt the tower in 1475. The former palace is now the Municipal House and remains connected to the tower. Inside the tower is a spiral staircase with 186 steps leading up to the gallery where visitors can get great view of Old Town.
Municipal House is a civic building that houses Smetana Hall, a celebrated concert venue, in Prague. It is located on Náměstí Republiky next to the Powder Gate in the center of the city.
The next morning Veronica and I were out and about fairly early. We had scheduled a tour to Cesky Krumlov. We headed out of the hotel early to find the location of the meeting place to catch our bus for our tour. While we were walking in the area of the Municipal House and the Gunpowder Tower we heard a bunch of sirens going off and coming towards our direction. Before we knew it we had 3 or 4 fire department vehicles racing by us heading to an unknown location. Upon returning back to our hotel ,at the end of the day, ewe found out and smelled that a fire had broke out in the Palace Cafe, which is adjoined to our hotels' lobby. The smell of smoke in the lobby was pretty bad and they had closed down the entire cafe for an undetermined amount of time until. It was still closed down when we checked out of the hotel a couple of days later.
The town of Český Krumlov is located in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. Situated on both banks of the Vltava (Moldau) river, the town was built below a magnificent castle founded in the 13th century. The river meander and rocky slopes of the castle hill are the most important elements which along with the link to the picturesque neighbouring landscape, determine not only the impressive urban composition of the historic centre but the dominating position of the castle as well.
The Historic Centre of Český Krumlov is an outstanding example of a small Central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than several centuries. This feudal town, a former centre of a large estate owned by powerful noble families who played an important role in the political, economic and cultural history of Central Europe, was founded in the Middle Ages and underwent Renaissance and Baroque transformations. As it remained almost intact, it has retained its street layout, which is typical of planned medieval towns, as well as many historic buildings including their details such as the roof shapes, the decoration of Renaissance and Baroque facades, vaulted spaces, as well as original layouts and interiors.
It was an approximately 3 hour bus ride from Prague to Cesky Krumlov.
The grounds were well maintained and beautiful as was the fountain.
There was plenty of beauty to see and photographs to take while we were at Cesky Krumlov
This concludes part #4 of our Budapest and Prague adventures.
Stay tuned for part #5 as we continue our visit to the beautiful medieval town of Cesky Krumlov outside of Prague