Apologies, but I just had to use it despite the fact that all the t-shirts in the Czech Republic that say ‘Czech me out!’ irritated the hell out of me.
Anyway, so I did a whole lot of stuff in Prague and saw a bunch of different things. I had a great time and it’s a beautiful city although – and most people will probably disagree with me here – I don’t think that it is the MOST beautiful city in Europe. It’s certainly up there though.
What I did really love was Karlov Most [Charles Bridge]. It was just amazing. During the day it is almost always packed with people, tourists and locals, and along the sides are souvenir stalls and artist’s stands with the typical touristy watercolours and sketches, as well as musicians and some pretty talented kids with their instruments.
I went there a few times – a couple of times during the day, and then one morning I got up early planning to watch the sunrise. Of course I managed not to time it right and it much lighter than I’d hoped when I got there, but it was still magical to have the bridge to myself. The bridge is lined with baroque style statues of various saints, and links the main part of Prague with the old castle. Towers guard each side, and cobblestone streets lead up to it. Thankfully the bridge is for pedestrians only.
Despite being castle-weary, I did visit the castle – or at least parts of it. Most of it I didn’t find worthwhile for the price, but that’s mainly because I’m sick of sterile restored palace museums. What I did like up there was the cathedral – St. Vitus Cathedral. It has the most beautiful stained glass windows, although the light shining through all the glass makes the interior look kind of dusty. I’m sure there’s a trick to photographing stained glass windows well, but as yet I haven’t figured it out.
It’s a beautiful example of Gothic architecture, and the cathedral is the resting place of a number of Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. It’s certainly grand enough. A man asked me to take some photos of him in front of the cathedral and in return did the same for me. Unfortunately I’m not convinced of his photographic skills or ability to take a remotely straight photo, but at least I can show that I was there, not just my camera!
My last night in Prague was a bit crazy – a bunch of us from the hostel all went out, then met a couple of Portuguese guys that knew one of the group, and ended up at a little bar full of locals with the world’s most entertaining DJ. He was dancing like a lunatic for half the night, and we soon figured out the reason for that – frequent visits to the back room for a little bit of something extra. We ended up getting ‘stuck’ there for longer than planned when an incredible thunderstorm struck with some equally tremendous rain. We made it out about an hour or so later, when the rain slowed – it didn’t look like it was going to stop any time soon – and spent the twenty minute walk back jumping in puddles like little children…or drunken backpackers.