We have likened Prague to a footy game- they came down the race and weren’t ready to play. They lost the toss (metro shut down within minutes of our arrival) so had to come from behind. Finally after succumbing to great odds, they hit the front with the last kick after the siren!
We arrived in Prague after an overnight train from Krakow. The trip was fairly painless with a private sleeping compartment which even included a shower. Well that’s Ms X ‘s story and Mr X (alias Andre the giant) may have a different tale to tell. If only he could have been able to shove those legs of his out the train window!
Prague is a late late late riser. Nothing, and we mean nothing happening at 8.15 am in the town square or surrounds. A few cafes started waking at around 10 but these travellers had to search high and low for any sort of pulse in the town. First impressions weren’t great however some towns and cities can grow on you and this one certainly did.
This is Prague’s showpiece. The Prague castle atop the castle district. Allocate lotsa time, patience and energy for visiting this baby as she expects it from you. Impressive, confusing (especially with ticketing) and diversive are the descriptors from Mr X. The masses sure were there in numbers and you just have to let yourself be taken along for the castle-ride. There was a flashback to a moment outside Notre Dame many years ago when the art of queuing was non existent- Ms X had had enough so eves so gently pushed back at some freeranging-Prague- castle-queuers! She felt much better after that.
There’s lots of churches despite this city having 80% of its population being agnostics.
The cathedral in the old town square juts out all the time to help guide you through the maze of little streets. This was always appreciated as our lodgings were at the Cathedral Apartments so we always could find our way home.
TripAdvisor again guided us with some recommendations for some places to eat off the tourist grid. Ms X loved visiting Cafe Louvre established in 1902 where Einstein and Kafka would hang out back in the day. Despite the fact that it now has a rock-cafe next door, its old world charm was felt the moment you climbed its stairs.
The Charles Bridge is where you will find the rest of the tourists who aren’t gazing over the Astronomical Clock. It’s busy and better viewed afar, not actually on it.
Now speaking of the Astronomical Clock, Prague’s 2nd centrepiece….we arrived to see it being dismantled. It is obviously getting some much needed maintenance and is slowly getting put back together, bit by bit. Will we get to see the chicken and the skeleton do their thing on one of the ‘hours’ before we leave will be the challenge. No we didn’t but we can live with that.
Some interesting markets, traditional and some very contemporary, with lots of little shops in the old town to catch you eye.
The town also had a fascination with museums and I use that word very broadly as did the Prague people. Pick a topic and they had a museum for it!
In many of the shops you would find puppets , Bohemian crystal, astronomical clock replicas and also statues of a religious figure. Ms X suddenly had a light globe moment as she recognised the statues being like the one that sat proudly on a doilie on top of the fridge in Gibson St Broadmeadows. It was the infant of Prague! This statue helped you to never ‘be in need’ and also helped out to ward off inclement weather if there was to be a special event. Ms X remembered her Grade 6 teacher putting a picture of the infant of Prague out the window on one rainy sports day (she also remembered Sr Fabian putting it in a plastic bag first….hmmmm) so a visit to see the real, dinky die original was made. So, if there’s gonna be a wedding or a BBQ, just ask Ms X for a loan of her statue.
I’ve now got my Infant of Prague but what happens when I need it to rain for the river to go up? Do I stash her away?