Subject: Prague recommendations
Hi Ira. I am going through my notes (before writing a proper travelogue) in order to find a few highlights for you :

- We liked the Cafe Nouveau at the Municipal House (Obecni Dum). Although I would recommend you to sit inside and if you intend to get something from the cake trolley, go on a weekday. I donīt know why, but on weekends the cakes were much more expensive and richer than on weekdays.

- If you have enough time, get a train to somewhere outside Prague. You will see that there is a difference between the city and the countryside. We headed to Karlstejn. I had printed timetables for all the places we wanted to visit, so we got a train from Smichov Station. The woman at the ticket counter (mum says that she resembled an old comrade, and really she decided not to understand german, english or my pathetic efforts at czech) sold us what passed as two one-way tickets to Karlstejn, and once in the train we discovered that it was one return ticket. Although the conductor didnīt speak english, german or french, he was quite nice and sold us the missing ticket.

- Karlstejn. If you decide to go, you should book a couple of days in advance at the Prague Tourist Office in order to be able to see the Chapel of the Holy Rod. They only admit a certain number of people each day, similar to what happens at the Altamira Caves. Although the interior of the castle is not so impressive, it was a nice daytrip. The walk from the station, the landscape, ...

- We opted for an organized daytrip to Karlovy Vary. Donīt do it. It was expensive and tiring. Although it was interesting enough. There were many russian people there, I wonder why.

- The Prague Tourist Office is quite handy for buying transportation tickets (we got a week-long ticket), stamps, booking concerts (very nice girls).

- We went to Dresde, and I bought the tickets (with reservations) at the Cedok office in Na Prikope. They have bus and train tickets. You can pay with credit cards, and they speak english and german. It was really helpful, and the train tickets were cheaper than in Spain.

- There is not such a big difference in price between a concert at the Smetana Hall or an opera, and the concerts offered at the street to be held on different churches. So I would try to go to one of the big theaters (National Theatre, Rudolfinum, State Opera, Estates Theatre or Smetana Hall at the Obecni Dum).

- I think someone has recommended Vysehrad. I totally agree. Get there with the tram, walk up the hill and see the cubist villa near the river, try to find out Smetanaīs grave (easy, at the very end, an obelisk), enjoy the view over the Vltava valley...

- Get a tram to the end of the line. We did it with number 22, and there we found the place where the White Mountain Battle was fought (Bila Hora). Very nice.

And now I must get back to work. Maybe next week Iīll begin with my travelogue.

Rgds from Covadonga in Bilbao (Spain)