Velka Amerika and Old Town Square Christmas Market

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This weekend, we decided to take a break from our studies and go out and explore.  Our housemates had heard good things about the “Grand Canyon of Prague,” Velka Amerika, so we decided to make a day of it and check it out.

We had to take a bus to the metro, and then road the metro to the end of it’s line.  When we got off we were at a giant bus depot and metro station.  There were different stands with food and goods everywhere and across the road was a mall.  We had 45 minutes before our next bus came so we decided to grab a snack.  We finally got to try Trdelnik, a sweet pastry that is rolled over a metal stick and cooked over hot coals and then coated in a sugary nut mixture.  We had seen them everywhere but never tried them until yesterday.  It was great!

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Our bus finally came and we had to pay 24 crowns to ride.  Our public transportation passes didn’t work because they are only good for within Prague’s city limits.  Everyone getting on was able to pay the bus driver directly and then our 50 minute ride commenced.

The bus ride was enjoyable because we got to see a whole new side of this country.  There were some areas that looked quite rundown, other places were huge green pastures, and there were also some normal looking country homes.  Our eyes were opened to the world outside of the city center.

When we arrived at our stop, we had to walk up a hill for about 25 minutes because the bus stop that was closer to the canyon was not in service due to it being Saturday.  The hike up the country road was one of my favorite parts of the day.

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The canyon was visible by a parking area right off the road we were walking on.  We rushed up the small dirt path to the first view of the canyon and wonder struck us all.

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We ended up walking around the entire canyon, stopping at different view points, finding natural clay to play with, and just generally enjoying the beautiful view.

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The canyon was created from limestone mining.  There were small caves lining the walls and a dirt road that we saw people walking on.  We figured out how to get down to the road, but we were somewhat intimidated by the huge, extremely heavy metal doors that stood in our way.

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So at this point, we decided it was time to call it a day.  We had to wait at the bus stop for the bus to come for a pretty long time because the weekend schedule only had it coming once every three or so hours.

We all made it back at last and were starving and freezing.  We went to a restaurant in Wenceslas Square to warm up and get some good food.  Jordan tried Grog and we both got Goulash for the first time.  It was so good!  Jordan’s came in a rye breadbowl, and mine came with bread dumplings.  I love dumplings. 🙂

IMG_2232Next, we took a short walk over to Old Town Square for their Christmas Market.  Since it was the first day they were holding it for the season, it was as busy as Black Friday!   But it was well worth fighting the crowds to see the many vendors selling crafts, homemade foods, artisan honey, and so much more.  We are planning on going back to get some of the amazing food on Friday for lunch.  I was particularly eyeing the Chocolate fondu parfait.  Just imagine, instead of yogurt in a parfait, they had chocolate.

Our friend Amanda was intrigued by little slices of a loaf of marzipan and she got one to try.  We decided it was interesting to try but not something we were crazy about.  The best part of the Christmas market were all the lights lighting up the square and the christmas choir that was singing in one area.

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We were so happy that we could get out and see some cool sights this weekend!!

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