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79(.<, *A,*/ 9,7<)30*


Bohemian rhapsody


Jane Watkins discovers how to enjoy Prague year round


Spring Why go in spring? Watch the city shake off the winter snows and


bloom into life. Queues are still small or non-existent so enjoy the space to stroll across the Charles Bridge and enjoy the statues (don’t forget to rub the foot of St John of Nepomuk to guarantee you’ll return)—it’s highly atmospheric as the sun sets too, but remember that the bridge itself is minimally lighted so you’ll see less after dark. And you’ll be able to get a better view of the Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall to watch the procession of the Apostles on the hour every hour


What should I see/do? Now’s a good time to visit the Jewish Quarter— the tiny cemetery is very moving as is the Pinkas Synagogue, which records the names of all the Jewish residents of Prague killed by the Nazis during the Second World War. Explore the city’s parks, such as Petrin Hill, which has amazing views of the city (you can get up to the top on the funicular if the hill itself is too daunting). Or take a boat trip for a different view of the city


What should I eat/drink? Fill up on rohliky rolls to get you through the day


A day to celebrate Traditionally, on Easter Monday, men give their wives a gentle whipping with willow sticks to make them fertile—the women retaliate by throwing water over the men


Summer Why go in summer? The days are long and it’s won-


derful to be able to eat on a terrace by the River Vitava at places such as Mlynec, a Michelin-starred restaurant that has a spectacular location right next to the Charles Bridge. However, everywhere will be thronged with tourists so this may be the time to get out into the surrounding countryside. If you’re a beer lover, visit Pilsen and take a tour of the Pilener Urquell brewery, where pilsener was invented. The charming town will also be a European City of Culture for 2015


What should I see/do? Enjoy an open-air perform- ance in one of Prague’s squares, streets and gardens. One of the most famous classical concerts takes place by Krizik Fountain in the Exhibition Ground— the water dances and is lit up in time to the music. Prague is a very walkable city so get out there and explore—however, at any time of the year, it’s best to have sturdy footwear as many streets are cobbled.


What should I eat/drink? Lots of beer obviously! In many Czech bars, the servers will automatically bring you a refill if they see your glass is getting empty—they won’t be offended if you indicate you don’t want it. To eat, sample the chlebicky, a kind of open sandwich—the Czechs are obsessed with them


A day to celebrate July 6 is Jan Hus Day—the Czechs head out into the hills and roast sausages


78 Country Life International, Spring 2014


5,,+ ;6 256>


How to get there British Airways and EasyJet fly to Vaclav Havel Airport (1hr, 50 mins)


Where to stay Vienna International Hotels & Resorts (VI)(www.vi-hotels.com) has six hotels across the city, including the gorgeous Belle Epoque Le Palais and the family-friendly angelo Hotel. We stayed at the more funky andal’s Hotel, which is well located for public transport. If you visit Pilsen, VI’s hotel there is just across the road from the brewery


www.countrylife.co.uk/international





Map: Fred van Deelen; Image Broker/Robert Harding; Pietro Canali/SIME/4Corners


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