Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Last days in Prague

We have continued our tradition of Peter staying in the hotel while I go out and explore on our last day. Yesterday we spent some more time exploring the city, then did an evening river cruise. The food was good and apart from a short rain shower, it was a lovely evening and we got to see the city at night.

We took the funicular up Petrin Hill with great views over the castle and city. Then went to Letna Park. There is a large metronome sculpture which has replaced the Stalin statue that was there during the Soviet era.

Today I went back up to the castle. I was hoping it wouldn't be too crowded on a Monday but it was as busy as the weekend. I visited the St Vitus Cathedral then escaped the crowds. We both went out for a while in the afternoon for our last wander around the city.

"Good King Wenceslas"

We leave tomorrow and are looking forward to going home, thought the temperature change has us a bit worried. The forecast for Doha is in the high thirties so it will be a shock to the system!

Sunday, June 17, 2018


As part of our airport transfer we got a voucher for a free walking tour of the city so we thought that would be a good introduction on our first day. Our tour guide was excellent, very passionate about his country and gave us a fascinating history lesson while we visited the main points of interest. We started in the Old Town Square. Unfortunately there was a non-alcoholic cocktail competition going on so we are hoping that when we go back on Monday the marquees will all be gone. Also the Astronomical Clock is undergoing restoration. There are several significant anniversaries this year so many buildings are being restored. Nevertheless there are still plenty of amazing buildings.

Concert Hall where Mozart's Don Giovanni was first performed.

We crossed the Charles Bridge to the Lesser Town (still very old).

Before numbering the houses had signs.

We climbed up to the castle and got there in time to see the changing of the guard. The church inside the castle grounds is magnificent.

The views over the city are spectacular. We found a bar in the gardens so we could rest our weary legs before heading back to our hotel.

Friday, June 15, 2018


This was our last full day in Barcelona and we packed plenty in. We started the day with a trip up Montjuic. Our transport ticket got us on to the funicular so we caught that. It only goes about half way up but luckily we found a bus which went all the way to the Castle at the top. The views to the sea and inland are spectacular.

The bus went back down the mount to the Olympic Stadium and the Museum of Olympic Sport so that was our next stop.

We weren't quite ready to go back to the hotel so we took the bus to the Metro, got off near the city centre and walked to an area we hadn't visited before. We didn't realise that Barcelona had an Arc de Triomf, but we found it.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

La Sagrada Familia

We booked our entry ticket for La Sagrada Familia for 11.30 and decided to get there a bit early in case the line was very long. It wasn't, so it gave us an opportunity to look at the outside from each side. We had only really seen one of the facades from across the road last time so it was great to just wander around it. There are so many amazing things to look at.

Entry went very smoothly, we are big fans of timed entries now. Once inside we took the time to sit and just admire the beauty. It was a sunny day again so we could really appreciate the stained glass.

We were still finding gems that we had missed last time, like the beautiful panels above the Passion Facade.

Before leaving we visited the Museum which we hadn't seen last time. That added another 45 minutes to the visit, lots of models for the original designs and a look at the workshop which is creating the models for the work still being carried out. There was also a portrait of Gaudi created by the sculptor who made the figures on the Passion Facade.

There was a picture of some interesting looking buildings on the front of the tube map we are using and we realised that it wasn't far from La Sagrada Familia so after a light lunch we headed to Sant Pau. It turns out it is a World Heritage site, an Art Nouveau hospital that was built around the same time as the Sagrada. It was a novel design with separate pavilions joined by underground tunnels.
Well worth a visit.

After another very full day we caught the Metro back to the hotel. As we were sitting waiting for the train a couple of women came and sat between us and a young woman. She got up and stood in front of us and asked us if we spoke Spanish. When we said no she told us in broken English to watch out for pickpockets. It wasn't until we got on the train that we realised she was talking about the 2 women who had sat next to us.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Our luck is still holding with the weather. Apparently it was pouring in Barcelona for most of last week but we have again had a lovely day. We decided to book our tickets to Parc Guell last night and boy were we glad when we turned up with our tickets at 11.00 to find the first available entry for people with no tickets was 5.30. It was fun entering the Parc with Peter because he had no idea what to expect. We were both impressed even though some areas are under repair.

We caught a bus back down to the old part of the city and wandered down La Rambla to the Old Market. There were lots of interesting things to eat and we finished with strawberries dipped in chocolate.

There are lots of small alleyways to explore and we spent some time a little lost but it was worth it.

The good thing about a transport card is being able to change between buses and the Metro without having to worry about buying tickets every time. We caught the Metro down to the Olympic Port and walked along the coast. We found a bar which had beer for Peter and ice cream for me.

I dipped my toes in the Mediterranean Sea.