25 February 2014

Travel Tuesday: A Guide to Prague

February 25, 2014 2
For this weeks Travel Tuesday we are sharing our travel tips.  Want to join in?  See how at the end of this post.

I've been working on this for awhile and thought it would fit nicely into this theme.



Living in the city of Prague for many years and taking people on tours through the city has been something I've done several times.  Prague is fairly compact and you can see a lot in a short time.

If you only have one day and want to know how to spend it, here is a little guide I put together.  In future posts I'll share some restaurant recommendations, great areas to stay in and a more thorough guide of each area.  So be on the lookout for more to come! 

Compared to other European cities, Prague is inexpensive.  At this time, 
20 koruny (crowns) = $1
27.50 crowns = €1
33 crowns = £1

You can buy a 30 minute transportation pass for 24 crowns.  Purchase at vending machines, tobacco shops, and some, but not all stations, have a designated area where you can purchase tickets at a booth.  You can buy day passes, but it can save you a lot of money to buy a few 30 minute passes and validate as you need them.
Walking the city is possible.

With this guide I recommend only needing 1-2, 30 minute tickets for the whole day.  One to start your day and one to finish, depending on where you're staying.

Ticket punch machines are located on all trams and at the entrance of every metro station.  Don't forget to punch your ticket!  Many tourists don't realize they need to do this and have paid a hefty fine for this mistake!

Watch for pickpockets jamming up tram entrances and other areas.  I've seen them in action more times than I can count!  One of my most import travel tips to go along with this is to carry a messenger bag that crosses in front of your body and you can pull tight in front of you when in crowded areas.  I've been fortunate to have not been pick pocketed because of this very method.

Alright, on to your day in Prague!


1.  Start at the Prague Castle
  My suggestion is to take tram 22 to the Pražský hrad stop. There are beautiful views of the city on the way up!  At the castle, admire the gardens, see the castle guards, walk through St. Vitas Cathedral.  You can bypass the ticket lines to see inside the church, it's free!  Take a peek at The Golden Lane, my favorite area of the castle.  The street is lined with unique shops.  If you want to see more of the castle and if the lines are horrific, purchase tickets near the Golden Lane at the ticket windows there.  It's less busy!
2.  Walk Nerudova Street
From the castle, weave your way to the quaint street of Nerudova admiring the shops and small offshoot of cobblestone streets and down into Mala Strana (Lesser Town).
3.  Karlovy Most (Charles Bridge)
 Walk across the Vltava River on the famous Charles Bridge and take in the scenery.   Stop to admire the water wheel on your right, it's a favorite spot of mine along the bridge. 
4.  Old Town Square (Staroměstské Náměstí)
 Follow the crowds from the bridge through the main streets that take you to the square.
5.  Astronomical Clock on Old Town Square 
Watch this medieval clock chime on the hour.
6.  Gaze at the amazing Tyn Church on the Square  
Several of the streets off of the Old Town Square have it's own charm, shops and restaurants.  Wander down a few of them if you have time.
7.  The Jewish Quarter 
This can be a lengthy tour, however, you can walk through the streets of the Jewish Quarter and catch a glimpse of tomb stones stacked on top of one another as well as some of the buildings and synagogues.
8.  Melantrichova Street
From the Old Town Square, there is a small street across from the Astronomical Clock, with a Starbucks on the corner.  There are some great shops along this narrow street, one of my favorites being Manufaktura with traditional handmade Czech gifts or find some crystal or garnets from the Czech Republic.
9.  Havelska street market
One of the cross streets of Melantrichova is Havelska street.  A great place to find souvenirs, fresh fruit and veg as well as treats, such as spa wafer cookies.
10.  Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí)
Finish up your tour walking up the square to the Wenceslas Monument and admire the National Museum.

This can be done in a day.  It just depends on how often you stop and linger and if you want to concentrate more of your time in one of these areas.

As I mentioned, I'll be sharing a more thorough guide of each area in the future.

Have you visited Prague?  If so, what was your favorite area?  If not, would you like to visit Prague?

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Each week Bonnie, Melanie and I feature a post from the previous link up.  This week I'm featuring Tanya from The Other Side of the Road and her trip to Mauritius.  I was just green with envy when I saw her pictures of this beautiful place!!  There is something amazing about having palm trees, sand and surf just a step outside your hotel room!  Ahhh!


Want to join in on the Travel Tuesday theme: travel tips?



HERE IS HOW IT WORKS:
1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. GRAB the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Melanie & Tina in a link! 
3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT.


TIPS: 
1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!
2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!
3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!

Travel Tuesday




18 February 2014

Travel Tuesday: Day Trip, South East England

February 18, 2014 2

With the kids away on a midweek school trip to London, getting back late, we took advantage of the opportunity to explore.
 
Leeds Castle. We only stopped to catch a glimpse of the grounds and castle at a distance.
Leeds, castle, travel

I look forward to going back and exploring more.  Tickets are £21.  That gives access to the grounds for an entire year.  Not too bad if you can visit more than once.

Leeds, castle, travel
Canterbury
Canterbury, England
Such a picturesque town!
Canterbury, England
The crooked house is one of the most photographed building in Canterbury, second to the cathedral.
crooked house, Canterbury, travel, England
Above the door,
"...a very old house bulging out over the road...leaning forward, trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below..." Charles Dickens, 1849
crookedhouse

Canterbury Cathedral, the first Church of England.

Canterbury, Cathedral, England, travel
In April, the price for entrance will go up to £10.50.  I've heard and read in various places that between 4-5 pm it's possible to enter for free.  I'm sure what you can see is limited though.
It was raining cats and dogs!  We were drenched and decided to cut our time in Canterbury short.   We will definitely return to explore further. 
Dover's White Cliffs
Dover
Dover Castle
DoverCastle
The Dover Harbor.  Ferries taking cars and trucks on to mainland Europe.
DoverHarbor
A great day!  Just wish the weather had been better!
Have you visited any of these sights?

The last Tuesday of the month we have a Travel Tuesday theme.  Next week the theme is travel tips.  Be creative, define that any way you like.  It may be a general travel tip or tips to a specific place.
For my Travel Tuesday feature, I chose Sammy's post on Hervey Bay and getting mugged by whales.
I even admitted that I'm one of those sappy people that gets teary over the gentle giants at Sea World.  We'd see whales on occasion in Alaska along with many types of sea life and I had one of those moments when I was the only one on our fishing boat that saw a whale breach, in the distance.  I had to convince myself I really saw it.  So magnificent! 
Want to join in on Travel Tuesday?

HERE IS HOW IT WORKS:
1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. GRAB the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Melanie & Tina in a link! 
3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT.

TIPS: 
1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!
2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!
3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
Travel Tuesday

16 February 2014

A Year in Reflection

February 16, 2014 0

Today marks one year that we touched down in England to continue our expat life in our 5th country.

Yay for staying in one place longer than 12 months!  If you've followed us for any length of time, you know that we have moved every 7-14 months in the last 7 years.

We've definitely had some cultural adjustments and frustrating moments.  It's really all a part of the acclimation process any time you move to a new location.

It's so nice to be at this point!  So, to commemorate our year I thought I would share some of the highlights.

1. Overcoming the fear of driving on the left!  Conquered and comfortable!  Now I'm scared of the idea of driving on the right again!


 2. Making a best mate within the first week of moving in.


The bond these two share is amazing!  I've only heard them argue once and within a matter of a minute they were laughing and moving on.  Seriously, it gives me happy tears to see such a close friendship.  And because of them us moms are quite close too.

3. Neighborhood friends! 



Coming and going, sleepovers, bike riding and trampoline jumping.  It's such a fond memory of my childhood and I'm so glad my kids have this too!

4. Grocery Shopping.  I'm one of these weird people that actually enjoys grocery shopping.  It can be chaotic in the UK.  Going at the right time of day and with this little accessory makes it so much more enjoyable.


What is it, you ask?  This little wand is amazing!  You scan your club card (a type of reward card) and pick up a wand.  Scan each item and place it in a bag.  After you're done shopping, you go to a designated checkout area, scan the register and pay!  Workers are on hand if there are issues.  It is a brilliant idea and I am in love with shopping this way!

5. Amazing beauty around us from the countryside to the coast, castles to cathedrals.


6. Conversations with random people when they hear my American accent.  Sorry, no photo for this one.

7. Tea Rooms and Cream Tea (a pot of tea and a scone with clotted cream and jam).  I'm addicted!  I love a cream tea with friends or my hubby. 


8. Last, but certainly not least, traveling to Scotland, Ireland and Wales.


I'm sure there is more, but I'll spare you a lengthy list.

I'd say it's been a good year!

14 February 2014

A Day in West Sussex

February 14, 2014 0
Gina, Selena and Sarah recently came down from London to spend a day in the countryside of West Sussex.  Sarah and Selena captured some beautiful pictures, so be sure to give them a visit.

I had visions of a beautiful day, tromping through fields, driving through quaint country roads and sipping on afternoon tea.  

I just didn't envision this much rain!  Oh, the rain!!  You'd think I'd be prepared, being England and all, but it has been the most rain England has had in about 250 years!  We determined not to let it get us down and had a good time even if we did get drenched!

We started our day at the Ouse Valley Viaduct.

viaduct

Built in 1841, this viaduct was constructed with 11 million bricks on the London-Brighton railway line.  Over 100 trains pass over every day.


It's an amazing structure.  What drew me to this place was the beautiful arches underneath.


I think the kids would enjoy climbing through the archways.  Maybe when it's warmer!

Next up, Nymans Gardens.

I had visited Nymans previously and the weather was much better on that day, so I'm sharing photos mostly from my first visit.




I can't wait to see the wisteria (below) full of blooms!







Such beautiful grounds!  I can't wait to visit in the Spring!

We finished up our day in the quaint town of Steyning, sipping tea at The Cobblestone Tea House.





We finally got a break from the rain and took a short walk through town!



Something so fascinating about a thatched roof cottage!


The day went by way too fast, but we had such a great time!

Come to West Sussex and I'll show you around!

Happy Valentine's Day!



Deeper

  Deeper - adj. 1. extending or situated relatively far down from a surface: a deep pool. It's been a long time since I've ...