I shall start off the Europe escapades from Prague as the photos of our France trip are in a laptop that I can’t find in the house! 😯
Anyway, after sending my husband off for his flight back to Singapore at CDG, I headed for my flight to Prague. Big problem we had was the huge amount of shopping we did…but we really didn’t buy a lot of things, i reckon its mainly the jackets we brought along for the unpredictable Paris weather. So all in all, we ended with 3 luggages (bought the 3rd one at the factory outlet at La Vallee). The plan was for him to bring back 2 luggages, freeing me to roam Prague with one. But we forgot about the weight limit! 2 luggages he was to bring back added to over 30kg, way over the baggage limit allowed. In the end, the airlines allowed only 26kg for him to bring back. So I had to deal with 2 luggages; although the total weight added up to 25kg, the weight was spread between 2 big luggages. BUT I forgot that my Air France flight allowed for only ONE luggage! OMG!! 🙄
So what did I do but use that brain of mine? One luggage was smaller than the other, so I transferred the contents of the bigger luggage to the smaller one and squeezed the smaller luggage into the big one! Voila! Now I have only one luggage! Back to the luggage check counter. 😎
‘Sorry, Miss, your luggage is over the limit of 20kg.’ What?? 😯 😯 Turned out the luggage weighed about 25kg! The very kind staff then said perhaps I could remove some books or items that I could hand carry and she’ll accept the luggage at 23kg. Well, I have no choice but to go back to one side and took out all those bottles of L’occitane I had bought. Back to the counter, to the same staff of course!
‘Very well, Miss. Luggage is 22.8kg and I will check that in. Just to double check, you do not have liquids in your handcarry bag?’. WHAT???? 😥 I swear I was that close to tears! ‘Hold on Madame, I have bottles of liquid in my handcarry bag.’. 😥 😥 😥 World savvy traveller? 😕
Back to the side to repack again. Finally back to the check in counter and managed to get everything in place. I am very certain, that very nice Air France staff was taking pity on me. And did I mention I got a few stares every now and then while re-packing, especially from the people who were sitting down in the area. In fact, a passenger on the same flight sure noticed all my antics and even congratulated me when I collected my luggage from the belt in Prague. 😎 😎 😎
Am I glad, I had lots of time to spare after sending my husband off and decided to check in early. By the time I got everything settled, i had like only 30 mins left. 🙄
Uneventful flight to Prague. Arrived there mid-afternoon. Changed money at the money changer at the airport, about 200 euros gave me quite a bit of Czech koruna. Then met up with the driver I had arranged with the hotel for transport. And first impression of Prague as we drove to the hotel, was it is a quiet city. Hotel I booked was Rezidence Vysehrad, which was actually a service apartment, with a balcony, nice bathroom and a kitchen.
And there’s some lavender plants!
And the park at Vysehrad that I didn’t expect would give me grief at night….
Only issue I had was there was no air conditioning. It was fine at night when it was cool but when the sun came out in the afternoon, my only mean of ventilation was to open the doors leading to the balcony. Oh and another issue was, the hotel is very close to the park at Vysehrad. On a night when weather was good, laughter and sounds carried very well to my room, and needless to say, I didn’t have a good sleep. But on the other night when it was raining cats and dogs, I had a most wonderful sleep! 😛
So by the time I settled down in the hotel, I had to go register at the conference I was to attend over the next 4 days. Reason why I chose Residence Vysehrad was because its less than 10 mins walk away from the conference centre. Gawd, the conference centre is ugly! So un-Prague-like! 🙄
Anyway, by the time I’m ready to go sightseeing, its about 5 plus. Not quite sure at what time the sky will start to turn dark. In Singapore, the skies would be dark by about 7.30pm everyday for 365 days. In Paris, the skies were not completely dark by 10.30pm. In Provence, it turned dark by 10.30pm. So being the world savvy traveller, I know that I shoudn’t be out alone in the dark in a neighbourhood I am totally new in, especially since a key is required to enter the hotel.
It turned out that Vysehrad is a bit of a tourist spot! Lucky! 😉 That meant I can pop over to the sight and run back to the hotel should it turn dark fast.
So Vysehrad is actually a castle containing the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul and a cemetery wherein lies many famous people. With just a very brief map I got from the receptionist, I headed towards where the entrance to Vysehard seemed to be. Saw a couple of people along the way; place didn’t seem too busy.
Oh, I just googled and read that this rotunda is that of St Martin and it dates back to the 11th century!!! 😡 And I passed by it without much of a glance! 😡 This means i have to go back to Prague again, no? 😀
So nothing really special came up along the walk until I saw this….
Ahhh, the basilica…So I kept walking towards the Basilica.
The basilica is just next to the cemetery. The way I was going seem to lead me to the basilica through the cemetery. You can see the tombs in the following photos. I wasn’t very comfortable taking pictures of the tombs so, sorry about that. But suffice to know that the tombs there are lovely! Some rather grand looking with lots of carvings etc. This cemetery is a really nice one because there’s a lovely piece of musical chime sounding from the basilica at every hour. Really melodious piece. The guidebook also mentioned that this cemetery is a popular one amongst the famous people because of its location at the peaceful Vysehrad and the music from the basilica makes for a real good resting place.
Hmmm, its sooty! 😐 I found out later that the soot in the air makes all these buildings sooty, thus giving them a distinctive dark coat.
I must say, I think I’m rather brave, a petite traveller, half way across the globe from home, visiting a cemetery alone in the evening. Anyway, I was glad to find the exit at the cemetery led me to the front door of the basilica.
I didn’t try entering the church ( I think I was just too chicken to probe around in a place where they might not speak English at all!). Sigh! Anyway, there was a couple at that area and they didn’t try to enter the church too, so maybe the church was closed? 🙄
So then, having lost all sense of direction, I just wandered along the path I saw in front of me. And I saw this:
And I walked and I walked and I think I got lost….
So the path I ended up walking was along these walls and it was completely deserted. Now I should tell you I had brought along a swiss knife I asked my husband to get for me. I just made sure my hand was clasped around the swiss knife in my bag in case something or someone springs on me (world savvy traveller tip #1) 😳 And I know some bodycombat! I went for classes in the gym! 👿
Anyway I knew I was lost, so I backtracked and walked back to the basilica and from around the basilica, I saw the path I had used to walk up the cemetery. So I walked down the same path and I heard a sound I like a lot – the sweet sound of a tennis ball striking the tennis racquet. Turned right and I saw a clay court with players on it! That sure made me smile as I remembered what just transpired in Paris when a certain charming Spaniard won the French Open title for the 6th time! 😀 😀 😀