Friday, December 6, 2019

Backpacking Europe Part 6: Hungary and Czechia

Hello, country #9...Hungary. After leaving Athens, we were bound for Budapest! Now...we didn't have a big agenda for here. There are lots of things to see here which I do hate that we missed. It's a beautiful city with lots of gorgeous architecture. It was a friendly place and overall lovely. But our destination? The spa.

Yep! As soon as we landed at the airport, we took the bus to the town center, walked around for a few minutes, ate some brunch, and took the metro a few more stops to Gellért Spa, one of the most famous thermal spa baths in Europe.

The property (this part was the hotel) was stunning.

We walked around and looked at all the different baths, pools, and saunas before we decided where we wanted to park ourselves for a while.

Just hanging out in Hungary. :)

Even though we had just had some downtime in Greece and hated to miss more of what Budapest has to offer, I think we all agreed this was the perfect plan for our day.

We spent most of the afternoon at the thermal baths then checked into our apartment, did some laundry and housekeeping stuff, then walked to dinner. We just walked up to a restaurant that had outside dining and enjoyed some goulash. And then our 24 hours in Hungary were over.

The next morning, we traveled back to the airport which was a good ways outside of the city. And had a quick flight to country #10...Prague, Czechia.

BUD to PRG on another little prop plane. When we got to Prague, I thought my backpack was lost! Thankfully it was there, it just showed up way later than everyone else's.

We took the metro to our neighborhood, had a short walk to our apartment, then walked around the corner to the Lennon Wall. We also had lunch at the John Lennon pub.

Lots of love and peace and it was fun to see everyone adding their own artwork to the wall.

Oh Prague! So quaint and pretty. 

We used the metro a couple of times, but I thought the city was pretty "walkable" even up to area that has the castle and cathedral. I loved these streets- the sidewalks, architecture, all of it.

I just really loved this city...I need to learn a lot more about its history and culture. I would love to go visit again during the Christmas season! 

This is the main portal of St. Vitus Cathedral which was founded in 1344 (the church in 925) and then was not consecrated until 1929...which blows my mind. I love European church history. 

We went inside briefly and walked around...the stained glass and Gothic architecture were stunning. It's the largest and most prominent church in the Czech Republic.

And then we bought tickets to climb to the top of the bell tower. Only 287 steps! But it was worth it as the views were amazing. Supposedly the bell here predicted Prague's flood disaster in 2002.

After leaving Prague Castle (where the cathedral is), we went over to Old Town Square. We also walked past the Jewish Cemetery. The museum was closed as it was the Sabbath.

This is the Church of Our Lady before Týn, built in the 1400's by wealthy merchants to rival St. Vitus (from above). The two towers, named Adam and Eve, are a little bit different in size, and in between them is a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Side fact: When King George, the Hussite king, had control of Prague, he replaced the Mary statue with one of himself. After the Hussites were defeated in the Thirty Years' War (Bohemians vs. Holy Roman Emperor), the statue of him was melted and remade back into the Virgin Mary. So scandalous and interesting.

On the other side of the square is the Astronomical Clock located on the side of the Old Town Hall. At the top of every hour, the Sculptures of the Apostles spin around the clock as they are chased by the statue of death. 

We stopped for some trdelník with mixed swirl ice cream and then had a pizza dinner near the clock.

To round out our day spent in Prague, we made our way back over to the historical Charles Bridge which was built in 1357. Once we got to the other side, we were really close walking distance to our apartment thankfully.

I love Prague and I love these people. Pure happiness.

Be sure to check out the other parts of this series if you want to catch up on the trip up until this point. I would link them for you, but I'm sleepy. ;) Head to the homepage and you can get to them all easily from there. 

There are only a couple of more stops after this! We will leave Prague by train and head next to Dresden. To be continued...

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