Friday, December 22
Today was the first day of winter vacation! We had a great itinerary to get to Prague, with a direct flight and good times. At the gate in Sofia, they switched our seats and separated us, but on the plane we managed to get back together. The man sitting next to us in our row started up a conversation with us and we ended up talking to him the whole flight. He even offered us a ride in his company-paid taxi.
We got to the Airbnb apartment at 12:30pm and settled in. Soon after, we were out the door and within five minutes we were at our first of many Christmas markets this trip. There’s one super close to our apartment at Namesti (Peace) Square. We loved that glühwein was only 45 koruna, just over $2 USD. We also had some delicious goulash.
From there we took the #22 tram up to the castle. We wandered through the castle area and to our surprise, there was a small, but nice market, with the backdrop of the church. We took in the view over Prague as we fed Avery. The Old Town Square was not far away so we walked there and saw that market. We ate, had more glühwein, and then got on our way as the temperature began to drop. We made our way back to the apartment wandering through one more market at Wenceslas Square.
After returning to the apartment, we fed Avery and then found out the nearby market closed at 7pm, so we made a quick run out to see it with the lights on. It was nice. It also had a huge gothic church as it’s backdrop. Unfortunately, on our walk back, Avery vomited so we had some damage control upon returning. We relaxed the rest of the evening.
Saturday, December 23
The day started off a little rough. We had pre-purchased bus tickets to go to Dresden for the Christmas markets and to meet up with Greg and Carroll. We got to the bus station with plenty of time but as we waited to board the bus, we were denied entry. Avery was required to have a car seat and we didn’t bring it today. One of the bus agents was trying to help, but ultimately the bus driver said no. They gave us a refund on our tickets and we raced to figure out a new plan.
I went to the counter of a different bus company and they had space on the next bus, 50 minutes from then. We still needed Avery’s car seat, though. Brian quickly jumped in a taxi. Our apartment was only 1.5 miles away and hopefully the taxi would wait while he grabbed the car seat.
At the bus station, I anxiously waited with Avery. I texted Brian 15 minutes into this excursion to get an update, but didn’t get a response. I started to worry that something happened with the taxi plan. Ten more minutes went by and then Brian showed up, jacket off, sweaty, and some blood on his hand. It was pretty much the worst-case scenario with the taxi driver. He wasn’t going the right way to the apartment even after Brian told him and showed him on the map, so Brian got out and ran the rest of the way. He grabbed the car seat and ran back to the bus station. In the process, he hit his hand on the wall. He arrived with 15 minutes to spare and we loaded onto the bus hassle-free. We ended up arriving an hour later than originally planned, which was pretty much the best outcome after the initial disaster.
Greg and Carroll met us where the bus dropped us off and we were soon on our way to our first Dresden Christmas market. Dresden is known for these, and there’s 11 in the city this year. We got some food and glühwein and then made our way to the Historic Green Vault which we had purchased tickets for at 2:30pm. There are tons of museums in Dresden. You could easily spend a few days here checking it all out.
After the museum, we walked to the other side of the river where there was a Christmas market that stretched 800 meters long. It was crowded, as were all of the markets the rest of the day. We didn’t have a whole lot of time before our 7:30pm train back, but with the time we had, we wandered through a couple more markets, ate some good German food, drank more glühwein and finished with feuerzangenbowle, basically a flaming glühwein.
Just as we were about to head to the train station, Carroll checked our train and it was showing an hour and a half delay. We went to the station anyways, to the check for sure and unfortunately it was true, showing a 100-minute delay. We checked out some other possible scenarios instead of getting back so late, but nothing made sense. Our train finally left at 10:05pm, over 2.5 hours later than scheduled. Avery had a big vomit in the train station and then another on the train after feeding him again. It’s been frustrating not understanding why and it just sucks not knowing when it’ll happen. We finally arrived back at our apartment at 12:30pm, tired and exhausted.
Sunday, December 24
Since last night was such a late night, we made it a slow morning. We slept in, did a load of laundry and leisurely got Avery ready for the day. Avery was still really tired after we woke him up at 10am. I knew it would be a challenging day for him.
At 11:30pm, we finally got out the door and went to the Wenceslas market. While Brian was getting food for us, I stood with Avery in the stroller. A couple people started pointing at Avery and as I look down, he’s vomiting up all of his food. Great. Not a fun way to start our day. We changed him, cleaned him up and calmed him down.
For the next couple of hours, we wandered through the Old Town and also went to the Republic Square Christmas market. We tried a variety of foods and had a couple glasses of glühwein. Most shops were closed today, but we did a little browsing in the ones that were open.
Around 3:30pm we met up with the Brannigans and with Greg and Carroll. We caught up with everyone and then for the next couple of hours we each did our own thing. The Brannigans went to church, Greg and Carroll went to the castle, and Brian, Avery and I went to the Charles Bridge and wandered. There were tons of people out and about.
We all reunited at the Old Town Square market where we hung for a while. We finished the night at the Brannigans hotel room where we chatted and had some drinks. It was a nice end to the day. We tried to take an Uber to our apartment but the driver refused us because Avery wasn’t in a car seat. We speed walked back to our place to get Avery in bed asap, then skyped with Vicki and the Jewetts. Midnight now!