In a last minute thought, we booked a frenzied weekend to Prague. Fly out Saturday morning and fly back Sunday night. This crazy plan was inspired by the famous Prague Christmas markets - outdoor tents set up all over the quaint city selling crafts, mulled wine and hot fresh made goodies galore!
We spent Saturday strolling the markets and seeing the sights in Old Town. The streets are all cobble stones and the sidewalks are all mosaic marble with a different pattern for each street. The buildings are fascinatingly old, gothic styles, all beautifully preserved and the streets wind around the base of these beauties making for great walks.
Saturday night we hit the oldest beer hall in Prague, U Fleku. Sitting at long tables, in crowded smokey rooms (yes, they still smoke indoors in Prague - seems like everywhere else doesn't anymore!), squeezed amongst strangers with a two-man-band playing the tuba and accordion. A guy walks around with a massive tray of beer steins filled with their homemade brew, just passing them out and putting a little tick on your ticket for each one he gives you. It was quite an atmosphere! And we topped it off having traditional Czech dinner there - beef with bread dumplings and pork and potato dumplings and some sauerkraut.
On Sunday morning, we went to the Prague castle - the biggest castle in Europe. After a stately tour, we headed back to town to cap off our shopping at the markets and to relax for the remainder of the day.
Our dinner before heading off to the airport was entirely market food - ham sliced right off a pig roasting over a fire, a fried massive piece of dough brushed in garlic butter with cheese and ketchup, churros con chocolate (yes, wrong country, we know) and dough cooked over a fire around a metal rolling pin then rolled in sugar and crushed almonds and walnuts. (We had a big sausage with ketchup, mustard and a slice of rye bread on Saturday!)
Finally I wanted to mention the tree in the background of the photo. It was real and the star of the markets. The pictures don't do it justice.