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


Autumn


Why go in autumn? The crowds will be beginning to thin out and the days will still be long enough to enjoy the city’s stark beauty. It’s a good time to go and pretend to be a Musketeer—if you’re a fan of the BBC’s hit version of Dumas’s heroes, the locations will really look familiar as the series was filmed here. Prague is a popular movie location too —you may have seen it in Wanted, Amadeus and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. At the Martinic Palace, the elaborate frescoes, faux marble and trompe l’oeils created by a production crew so delighted the owner that he kept them


What should I see/do? If you like puppets, see some beautiful examples at the Marionette Museum or try to make your own. The city’s markets are full of puppets, from rabbis outside the Jewish Cemetery to witches on broomsticks. I could have spent ages watching children screaming with joy as a whole stall of witches was activated by a clap from the owner, making them shake, cackle and light up (our cat is less than thrilled with the one I brought home)


What should I eat/drink? How could you not try the gulas, which isn’t as spicy as its Hungarian cousin, accompanied by doughy knedliky dumplings on the side to help mop up the gravy? Game becomes plentiful or you could warm up with a snack of the popular smazeny syr or deep-fried cheese


A day to celebrate September 28 is Czech Statehood Day as well as St Wenceslas Day —he’s the patron saint of the Czech state


80 Country Life International, Spring 2014 Winter


Why go in winter? Get into the seasonal spirit by visiting the Christmas markets. There are big ones in Old Town Square (above) and Wenceslas Square, although they can feel a little touristy. We enjoyed a couple of local street markets, especially the one around the corner from our hotel, which featured beautiful traditional craftwork and local street foods. Sadly, for us, we left just as it began to snow—Prague looks particularly lovely with a dusting of the white stuff. It can also get extremely chilly, so we kept the cold out with furry hats bought in the market and lots of hot wine and mead (seemed a good enough excuse to us)


What should I see/do? This is a good season to catch up on the city’s many cathedrals and museums, and use the excellent transport system to get about—try to bag one of the heated seats on the trams. To compensate for the weather, the theatre season reaches its climax so check out the ornate National Theatre, which offers top-notch drama, opera and ballet


What should I eat/drink? We loved trying all the unfamiliar foods in the market–we especially loved the cinnamon rolls or trdelníks, the pancakes (palacinky), the potato pancakes (brambo- raky) and the sausages. And you’ll never be far from a svarene vino (hot mulled wine) stall!


A day to celebrate November 17 is the Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy, recalling the anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution; December 5 is St Nicholas’s Day so don’t be sur- prised to encounter the saint in his bishop’s finery accompanied by an angel and a devil


www.countrylife.co.uk/international


Maurizio Rellini/SIME/4Corners; Gianluca Santon/SIME/4Corners


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