The 1500 miles week-end: Prague

Mile 700.

I was blown away by Prague. I knew it is a beautiful city, everyone I heard talking about it was very appreciative, but I didn’t expect… this.
The night we arrived we went for a walk, without the camera. Awesome. I couldn’t believe it. The old part of town is HUGE, and brilliantly restored. Aristocratic, romantic, opulent and laid-back at the same time. Plus very discrete signs of a dark and grey communist past, which add richness to the portrait. All coated in a very funny-sounding Czech language, which I enjoyed a lot.

But let’s go for a walk. First stop, the main square of the old town Staroměstské náměstí.

First sight, the old city hall tower

then St. Nicholas church

and, piece de resistence, the building which looks like a castle from a scary movie but is actually a cathedral called “Tyn”.

To get to it you have to walk though a narrow street

and this is how it looks from the inside

with its organpipe and all.

Back to the main square, we find a big crowd

at the famous astronomic clock

where marionettes move at the hour.

It seems it is a favorite time for pickpockets as well. So we don’t stay long, and said – since we are here

let’s follow the King Kong syndrome and climb the tower.
The elevator case has won some design prize

but we walked up.

View from above shows how big the big square is,

the somewhat unusual position of the Tyn church, behind those buildings,

and the famous Castle Kafka was writing about.

Before descending, a look at a funny version of the german language 🙂

Back to the square, we find the local musical scene unfolding

First, The Lonely

singing from glenn miller to italian chansonettes, all in czech language (!) and at various instruments. very picturesque character.

Then The Crazy

a band of elderly gentlemen in the middle of the square

some looking like bums, some like math teachers,

but who started to swing

pretty strongly.

Sound and image bites:

I don’t know if police appearing was a coincidence, but I liked the photo opportunity

After the swing episode we went on through walking area streets

to the gunpowder tower

and then, finally, towards the Castle

For that you need to cross Charles’ Bridge, also known as the “artists bridge”

both musical

as well as paintorial.

On the other side of
the river, Mala Strana quarter is not bad either

including a strong baroque church.

But our way was to the top, to see the St. Vitus cathedral

a huge gothic dome erected, it seems in ~600 years.

In this context, the city panorama didn’t impress me a lot

so we entered the Golden Lane – I didn’t exactly get why it is called the Golden Lane, but the small colorful houses are very picturesque.

That was it. Back down

back over the bridge, with some nice city-river views

and a contrasting image to that lush sight.

Through the walking district,

back to the center,

for the sunset light.

We were hungry; when coming out of the small restaurant where we had a quick bite, it was already dark on the streets

at the city hall

and in the main square.

Prague put its lights on

and we went back to the Vltava river, for a night view

of the Castle.

We crossed the bridge again,

meeting this orchestra-man

Who played something like this:

On the way home, I couldn’t resist taking this picture of the Jan Hus statue with the city hall (Jan Hus is the local hero, leader of a protestant movement some 500 years ago – he was burned alive in this square)

The next morning, monday morning, there were not so many tourists

on my favorite street

and the guides

were waiting for their clients

We bade them goodbye (in our minds) and left, with a last amused look at the Czech way of adding a termination to all female names which don’t finish in “a”. For example, “J.K. Rowlingova”. 🙂

Ahoj Praha! You made your mark.

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