Day 3 - our final full day in Prague! The day began with me waking up to notice the insides of my ankles were covered with red dots and blotches that looked like bites. I panicked, recalling all the news coverage of bedbug infestations. I had inspected the mattresses carefully when we checked in and they looked clean and free of the tell-tale specks. Megan suggested they were flea bites, since the hostel was home to five dogs that roamed throughout - people in Prague love their dogs and don't really seem to believe in leashes. At any rate, we reported it to the manager and were assured that it was not bedbugs - but just to be sure, I sent a pic to my dear sister-in-law the NP and asked for her medical opinion. (More on this later - you'll have to wait, like I did, to find out what this was!)
I was determined to do a little research for my novel, which meant taking a tour of the Prague underground - not the Metro, but the series of tunnels and rooms buried under the heart of Old Town. I wanted to learn the history of the tunnels and be sure my depiction of them was on target, so I left Mom and Megan to browse through the art shops and crystal dealers while I took the tour offered by Prague Special Tours by Ivan Galik. The tour was led by Eva, a young Czech who was not only fluent in English and well-studied in the history of the Czech Republic, but had a great sense of humor that really added to the tour. And best of all, the tour really provided some great confirmation and details for my story!
After a return to the hostel for an afternoon nap, we decided to venture across the Vltava to show Mom Prague Castle. Fortunately, we were able to take a bus to a stop near the Castle which is up a very steep hill from the river. We were hoping to find a restaurant nearby for dinner, but after walking downhill from the bustop to the Castle, we found nearby restaurants were closed for Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day.*
Not wanting to trudge back up the steep incline, we decided to continue downhill until we found something open - and we were so glad we did! We discovered a vinyard with a little bistro along the side of the mountain. As the sun set over the city, we watched from the cool shade of a vine-covered trellis while we enjoyed a delicious dinner of grilled chicken, grilled vegetables and a baked potato. The view was absolutely spectacular!
After dinner, we continued down the hill to where we had been directed to the ladies room...only to find that the coin operated turnstile was out of order. We ended up having to 'hop' the turnstile! I'll just say, using the restroom was always an adventure in Europe!
We said goodnight and goodbye to Megan since she had plans to travel with a friend the next morning when we were flying to Rome on WhizzAir! You DON'T want to miss that story!
*"The two Byzantine Greek brothers Cyril and Methodius are very important for Czech history. They brought Christianity to the Great Moravian Empire in the year 863 and created the lithurgical Slavonic language and alphabet called hlaholice (the Glagolitic alphabet). They translated the Bible and contributed to the spread of Christianity and the Old Slavonic Language (staroslověnština) throughout Great Moravia." MyCzechRepublic.com