Not fully grasping the concept of the bus system in Prague, I decided to walk. All I can say is thank goodness for good footwear. As usual, I started early, and made my way to the metro. Which I finally figured out! Today, I would be seeing Vysehrad, Petrin Hill, and Strahov Monastery; this was a lofty aspiration as my map reading skills were not on point and I am glad a river runs through Prague as that helps with directions. In theory, with out getting lost, stopping to have lunch, and looking in shop windows, this walk should take you about 2 hours.
From Krizikova I took the metro to the Florenc station where I changed trains. The next train was to the Muzeum station then onto the Vysehrad stop. Once at Vyseharad, I walked for about 20 minutes, downhill to the Vysehrad complex. As a tourist, one could spend the majority of a morning or afternoon here. http://www.praha-vysehrad.cz/lang/l2 (map of the complex)
Unfortunately, I did not have all morning so I toured the Bascillica of St. Peter and St. Paul. Originally founded in 1070-1080 by the Czech King Vratislave II, the Romanesque basilica suffered a fire in the year 1249 and has been rebuilt in Gothic and later in neo-Gothic style. The basilica features an impressive stone mosaic above its entry, and its twin 58 m towers can be seen atop a hill to the south from along the Vltara River in central Prague.
Moving on, I stumbled my way down the hill and stone stops to make my way across the river to find Petrin Hill and the observation town. This my friends took me a long time, even though I was at it the entire time. You can take the stairs up to the top or you can take the funicular. My recommendation is to take the funicular up and walk down to Strahov Monastery.
The observation tower is modeled off of the Eiffel Tower, much smaller in size but the views are well worth the cost of admission and the walk up. You can see for miles and the city below; the people on the Charles Bridge look like ants. With this view, I realize why I can get lost so easily. The streets wind and twist around the block long buildings, converging all at once to an intersections where there are 6 stops.
To prepare for your trek down, you can stop for a beer or a snack at the restaurant at the bottom of the tower. Here you will find: sandwiches, cakes, gelato, beer, and water. When well feed and hydrated, make your way to the left. Signs will lead you down to the Castle, Strahov Monastery, and other attractions. Take your time with this walk, and enjoy the scenic views of Prague.
I make it to Stahov Monastery, the history goes back to the 1100’s and is worth the visit. Photography is not allowed and the self guided tour only takes about 30mins. There is a beautiful library along with rooms decorated with fresco and murals. In the same complex is the Strahov Brewery where you can grab an ale or a bite to eat.
A quick early history. “After his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1138, Bishop of Olomouc Jindrich Zdík had the idea of establishing a monastery of canons regular in Prague. With assistance from the Prague rulers and bishops, a monastery was set up in a place called Strahov, but failed to prosper. It was not until 1143, when Premonstratensians from their house od Steinfeld in the Rhineland arrived in Strahov, that the life of the monastic community started to develop successfully.” (http://www.strahovskyklaster.cz/en/history)
This day was certainly a full day of walking, and touring. Before I left on this trip someone told me I could do Prague in 2 days! They were completely incorrect! I was there for 4 days and feel like I didn’t see enough.