Prague Day 3

Trip Start May 29, 2005
1
4
28
Trip End Jul 28, 2005


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Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Prague day three,

When last we met, our fearless adventurer was wandering the streets of prague with a scotish bagpipe band.
I've pretty much covered all the major tourist bases by now and thoroughly enjoy the city. Yesterday I visited the Prague castle in the morning and took a walking tour of the old jewish quarter in the afternoon. The tour was a good one given by a local. She and the other czechs I've met have mixed feelings on the big changes of the last 15 years. They arey very happy to have moved on from communism but have a certain nostalgia for the pre-advertising days that I can understand. Also, there seems to be a feeling amongst the locals that tourists like their city too much and don't see the darker side of it. Wars, purges all the time, good stuff like that. I got a book on the history of prague as cafe reading and to arm myself against further outbursts of history knowledge from my brother. The author is quick to say he both loves his city and hates it.

Seeking to meet Hank on the far side of the river last night I followed some folks from the hostel who knew a short cut via the tram. One stop later and I'm 3 bridges and 2 miles north of where I need to be. Needless to say I didn't find hank. I headed back to the hostel in evening activity defeat only to meet a group of 4 "people" from U florida heading into their senior year. I seem to have major state school radar. I hung out with them last night and we hopped about to various subterranean cellar/pubs. Paid a visit to the bridge again last night as well. There are local would be rock stars that play american tunes on the bridge. Best renditions so far are streets of philidelphia (sprinsteen) and U2's 'One'. Pretty sure these guys have NO idea what the are singing but they know the words karaoke style.

Today I took a trip 25km SW of town via train to visit castle Karlstein, a 14th century castle on the stop of a very tall and narrow hill. Great castle, lousy tour. One of my tour group compatriots can now tell her friends that she has barfed in the Holy Roman Emperor's bedroom. It really wasn't a pretty site and the tour guide was very upset.

Which brings me to here. Thinking about moving on to Olomouc tomorrow, day after at the very latest.
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Comments

bearner
bearner on

Prague vs. other Central Euro countries
I've heard lots of people say similar things about Prague, i.e. overrun with tourists, you'll be able to communicate with more people by speaking English than you would speaking Czech, etc. Everyone tells me that Budapest, Krakow, and Vienna are even cooler than Prague. I'm curious to hear what you have to say about that once you head out that way.

Is Prague still ridiculously cheap? I can't remember if they're on the Euro now, I'm guessing not yet. When I was there, beers were something like $0.25.

Finally, (a politically incorrect bit here) have you noticed tons of disabled people and blind folks there? There were a whole bunch around when I was there. The crosswalks have the most elaborate audio cues for when to cross. One kind of clicking sound for vertical streets, another for cross streets. Also I noticed lots of blind people motoring around using what appeared to be special grooves in the street to stick their canes in. Is my memory exagerrated or are have you seen that too?

jearner
jearner on

Re: Prague vs. other Central Euro countries
Pardon the spelling as I am making do on a czech kezboard which has ys instead of zs and some other weirdness. Anyway, didnt see many if any blind people but the clicking was verz distinctive. I think the deal is that pedestrians get so much of the city exclusivelz that when a pedestrian does intersect with a car the car gets prioritz bz a long shot. Basicallz you wait 5 minutes before getting mazbe 10 secs to run across the street. And yes, the only locals I met were shop keepers. Thats whz Im in olomouc todaz but I§ll post that in a second.

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