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Prague and Italy
PRAGUE- 5 NIGHTSCELEBRITY REFLECTION- 6 NIGHTSAUGUST 8-21, 2018
We arrived in Prague exhausted from our missed connection in Amsterdam leaving us there for another 6 hours. By the time we found the driver and checked in it was dinner time so we went across the street to have a bite of middle eastern food and some local beer. We were staying for five nights which allowed us a lot of time for sightseeing and sightseeing we did.
Our first stop in the morning was to go to the tourist office which was located in the main square which was only 7 minutes walking distance. The tourist office was located in the town hall and that is where we purchased a 3 day Prague Pass, which allowed us free entry to all the major sights. The cost was 90.00 per person and was well worth it.
We decided on our first day that we would visit the Astrological Clock which was located on the main square and we took an elevator to the top of the tower where we had fantastic views of the city. After that we decided to go to U Prince which has the oldest rooftop terrace in the world and rated one of the top 15 rooftop restaurants in the world. We enjoyed a couple of drinks and a wonderful cheese plate while taking in the wonderful views of the city. After our drinks we ventured off to the Jewish Quarter and toured on our own. There are six different sites to visit so you should allow at least four hours to see it all. We visited 4 synagogues, ceremonial hall, and end the tour with a visit to the Old Jewish Cemetery. For anyone interested in religious history, Jewish or other, this tour is a must.That evening we decided to have some traditional Czech cuisine for dinner…goulash and roasted port shoulder and it was delicious!
On our second day we ventured out to Prague Castle in New Town. We used our Prague Pass to get there by tram and we left at 8:30am to get there before they opened at 9:00AM because the lines get very long and we didn’t want to waste the day. When you go into the castle you can definitely feel the atmosphere of old times with the guards at the entrance, the golden lane with all the small houses and WOW, what a Cathedral with all of the most beautiful stained glass that I have ever seen. Please allow yourself at least five hours for the visit. At the end of the tour we walked down the hill and has some lunch before we made our way to the Charles Bridge, which is a must see.
Day four was a rather slow day. We visited St. Agnes’s convents, Tyn Church, and did a 2 hour bus tour through the city which was included in our Prague Pass. DON”T WASTE YOUR TIME ON THE BUS TOUR! The audio machines didn’t work and we saw the sights much better by walking. For our last full day we decided to take a 6 hour tour outside of the city to the Terazin Memorial. This sight included 2 fortresses. During WWII the big fortress was used as a transit concentration camp – the Beverly Hills of all concentration camps, and yet the crematorium was indeed there, but nowadays it’s a regular provincial town. The small fortress was a political prison and now it’s a museum. Well worth the visit and very moving.
The second half of the trip was a six night cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection. This was a very busy cruise visiting 5 ports of call without any sea days.
In Cinque Terra we decided to buy an excursion from the ship which included a bus transfer to Porto Venere, with ½ hour of free time to explore, shop, and eat. It was such a quaint seaside town where sunbathers bathed on rocks. We then were transferred by ferry to a town called Monteroso which was a much larger town and the streets were packed with people and vendors. It was too much time in my mind. We were then transferred again by train this time to meet the bus to go back to the ship. If you do this leg, be aware of pick pockets.
The next day we were in Nice and decided to get a cab to Eze for 50.00 euro each way. Eze is an old walled city on top of a hill. At the very top they had the most beautiful botanical garden which you can visit for 4 euros per person and is worth every penny. The next stop was the perfume factory of Fargonard.
The next stop was Corsica. The weather was incredibly hot so we decided to make a quick visit into port. They had the most wonderful open air market that I have ever seen. The market sold cheese, olives, homemade honey, meats, and fresh vegetables. I would be incredibly fat if I lived there!!!
The fourth port of call was Sardinia and I bought a map for 2 euro and designed our own walking tour. We visited cathedrals, main squares, a botanical garden and an amphitheater which took us all the way to the top of the hill which was a long, long walk!
Naples was our last stop and the best way to end it was to hire your own personal driver/guide which is exactly what we did. I have been working with Mariano for years and he took us to Sorrento, Positano, Priano, and Ravello. Mariano was a wealth of knowledge and a very humble man. It was so great to see him!