Christmas Market in Prague

Hello,

at the beginning of this month we went to Prague and I visited a few Christmas markets. First I went to an english bookstore/pub (Globe), which is as cool as it sounds. The bookstore was in front (also offering second hand books) and in the back was the pub, that also serves lunch and coffee during the day. I had a sandwich and some coffee and felt some regret that I didn’t live in Prague, because they had posters announcing movie quiz nights, readings, writing evenings and other amazing things!

After my lunch I bought a book, that I carefully chose (‘Stardust’ by Neil Gaiman) and had wanted for some time. I hardly ever buy new books, since I have this theory that every book will come to me eventuelly, either through a library or in a second hand store. Really, most books turn up at second hand stores at some point (at least non fiction ones!).

After that, I went to the centre, trying to get some night photos. I wasn’t quite suceeding, since it was dark already, my hands were cold, my camera is only an amateur DSLR and I have forgotten most things that I’ve learned about night photography by now. I will definitely start refreshing my skills soon! Plus, I didn’t bring a tripod, so I tried to balance my camera on the hand rail!

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There were many swans and seagulls (I think!). At first, I thought something was wrong with my lense, but then I noticed it was pretty foggy up at the castle!

The centre was pretty crowded, actually it was so crowded that at some point some security guards and police only let a few people at a time to the main squares. The next day, when I went for lunch with my boyfriend, a lady told us that this was because of a special event at the main square regarding the Christmas tree. At the time, when I was in the centre myself, I thought it’d be that bad all the time! Prague is pretty famous for its Christmas markets.

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This is the famous Astronomical Clock. In the back you can see the Christmas tree!

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When I was cold, I got into a big toy store (Hamley’s). There even was a merry-go-round IN the toy store and many other things. When I left the store, there was a Santa sitting on the chair where the bear was sitting first, talking to children.

After that I walked from the centre to more remote places, had some coffee and then, when I went back to the hotel, I found the cutest Christmas market (plus: Trdelnik was cheaper!).

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The name of the Christmas market was at a place called Náměstí Míru, which is also the name of the metro station. The next day, I had convinced my boyfriend to go back, we returned and enjoyed the market, which hasn’t been fully open the night before.

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This special sweet called Trdelnik is very good and hard on the outside, but soft inside. We even have it in Austria nowadays. At the market stalls people were selling handmade things like soaps or knit wear, some sold souvenirs.

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After walking around a bit, we went to a cute little café called Mezi Srnky, where we had to wait outside for about twenty minutes to get a table. It is a very small and popular place, but the wait was worth it! The food was very good (we had sandwiches and pancakes). This is their Facebook page: Link

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I really enjoyed these two days in Prague! Even though the weather was bad: rainy and cold. But the food and Christmas feeling made up for it.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Hiking in Bärenschützklamm, Austria

Hello readers,

this hike is from October this year, but soon I will be posting about a recent trip also! Couldn’t find the time to properly post in the past weeks.

So, in the second week of October me and my godmother went on a trip to a gorge that’s nearby my hometown. It’s very beautiful there, even more in spring where I went there twice in my life already. But the autumn colours were also great to see!

“Bärenschützklamm” basically means “Bears (Bären) protecting (Schütz[en]) gorge (Klamm)”. Wikipedia says that it has nothing to do with bears (I don’t even think we have many!), but comes from the slawic word “pršica”… which sounds a bit like “Bärenschütz”. I’ve said it out loud now a few times to hear the similarity and well, with some (ok, a lot of) imagination it works. Luckily I’m writing at home and not in a coffee shop!

It’s easy to get there by car, there is a big parking space, and I’ve never had trouble finding a spot. There is also a train going to “Mixnitz/Bärenschützklamm” by ÖBB train (from for example Vienna, Graz or Salzburg with Graz being the closest). From the train station it’s a bit of a walk to the gorge, but it goes through a nice town and by meadows. I went by car last time, so I can’t remember how long it really takes, but I would guess like 30 minutes to the parking spot. Then you hike some time through the forest, by a nice stream and then uphill. We started at about 10 am, the sun only came out later.

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At the entrance you have to pay, I can’t remember how much, but it wasn’t a lot (under 5 euros). Unfortunately I can’t find online information about the fee (something I should stop relying on, obviously). Edit: According to Wikipedia it was 3, 50 Euros in 2017 for adults.

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The hike from the parking spot to the hut at the end of the gorge should be about 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your breaks. It goes up most of the time, with ladders and bridges. It’s 164 bridges and 2500 steps on ladders (Source).

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There weren’t many people, but it was also cold and foggy. The steps were a bit slippery at times, but it wasn’t too bad.

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Unfortunately I lost my lense cap to the gorge! I wasn’t happy about that! But luckily I still own more of them. Just feeling a bit bad about my “littering”.

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After all of those steps (so many!) you have to walk a bit further through the woods to get to a hut, that offers food and drinks. From there you can even hike a bit more if you like. We stopped at the hut and then hiked back down. In summer it’s very nice to sit outside, but we only sat there shortly, it got very cold when the sun was hidden! In summer you can even have a picnic on the meadow, if you don’t want to get anything from the hut. They also have a vegetarian dish (lentils), which is uncommon for those huts, but very cool!

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Bergfex.at says it’s about 3:30 hrs to hike the whole thing. After the hut, we walked back down (you could also hike the gorge back down, but I think no one does that, since it would be annoying to get past the other hikers!), it mostly goes downhill from there, but still very nicely through the forest.

Compared to the last gorge I went to, it was such a nice hike! There weren’t tons of people (just a few) and you could really enjoy the views!

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On the way back the sun came out and we saw colourful autumn trees, which I’m fond of. I can see an elephant on the picture, but I might be the only one! An elephant without ears.

I found another picture on my computer from a hike to the same gorge in spring (taken by a friend), so you’ll have a comparison. Much greener and less fog! 🙂

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Hope you enjoyed my little post about this great hike!