Which is what we have done since arriving here 2 days ago
. Lenka and Zdenek, our rather distant relatives, have been fantastic showing us around everywhere and giving us a very good history of Prague. Up the hill to Prague Castle, buskers, artists selling their creations, tables for coffee on the street, stopping at the statue of Thomas Masaryk first president and Dad's hero. The view from the top here over the city is spectacular. Back down through the Gold Lane - a narrow space between the inner and outer walls of the castle, which varied from 4 to 8 metres width. In this tiny space dwellings had been built inside the wall, almost doll like homes. Ducking through a low door and up a narrow staircase we find ourselves walking along inside the wall, the narrow slits in the walls from which to set your bow and arrow to fire on the invaders. Inside the homes just two tiny rooms, originally these were for the staff of the castle, each is restored to original, complete with the narrowest of hard wooden beds, kitchen artifacts, the tools of their trade - the dressmaker, the herbalist, the psychic, the goldsmith, pharmacist, the tavern, and the pantry. It must have been quite a community and apparently people lived here until 1958.
A Cransky sausage for lunch of course then up the hill to the Prague Tower. Sitting high above Prague it gives a 360 view the old Prague hugging the Vltava River, more modern Prague on the outskirts. The gardens at the top beautifully laid out as are all the gardens in the city
. Fountains, ponds, statues, roses, hanging balls of geraniums on each lamp post.
At night we went to Don Giovanni, by the National Marionette Theatre, an old theatre with the hardest wooden seats, unfortunately the show not fantastic - I had no idea what was going on with the story except Don Giovanni seemed to be a womaniser that kept getting himself into trouble. I thought that dad with his silly sense of Czech humour would have loved it. I fell asleep for the second half, despite the hard seat, until the ogre came in with alot of noise and woke me up!
On the way back wandered over the Charles Bridge, still busy with tourists, the statues lit up, candlelit tables along the riverside, the churches and steeples lit up and the golden crown of the National Theatre glistening, with a waning full moon above. Wow ... what a place.
Prague is just wonderful. The most striking thing is the sense of age, coming from a country where "old" is 200 years it is like being in the midst of a medieval movie set. All the streets are cobblestone, narrow and framed with amazing old buildings set right on the pavement. The pavements are also all cobbles, smaller though at about 2 inch square, and laid in different intricate patterns. Stone arches, narrow stone steps the stone worn in the middle from centuries of people's feet. Old metal gas lamps attached to the walls provides the lighting, huge old ornate carved wooden and metal doors, spectacular churches with their steeples - the golden ornamental stars shapes on the tip shining gold. The river with it's bridges, the most famous Charles bridge lined with statues. It is spectacular and very easy to wander forever and get lost in the atmosphere.