Iím happy I finally had the chance to visit Prague. It would have been great if Chizzy could have been there as well, but she tricked me into going without her and Iím really glad that she did. And it wasnít like I was alone. In fact, Iíd recommend bringing along Chris, Paty, Reid and Heather anytime you need to leave the house really.
I was the first to arrive early on Thursday morning with plenty of time before the official hotel check-in so I decided to save some money by making my way to the city via public transport. Two lessons quickly learned. 1) Donít expect to break a large bill with a token iced tea purchase at the airport shop and 2) Enthusiasm in the English language wasnít quite as widespread as I expected. It was no problem getting around whatsoever and I never felt like I was misunderstood, but there was a fair amount of caveman conversations going on. And Iím pretty sure it wasnít because they couldnít carry on a conversation with you in English if they wanted to. It just seemed like the type of wariness that comes with being a massive tourist destination and dealing with lost and confused people all day.
A 20 minute bus ride and a 5 minute metro (subway) ride later, I popped onto the street right next to the main Old Town Square.
The square was very crowded in general but any photo where it looks like there is an unnecessary amount of congregation is probably related to the clock in the next photo.
Iíd heard a fair amount about this clock from Chizzy who stayed in the hotel that overlooked it when she visited. Every hour, hundreds of people would gather around to watch the magic. Looking around the crowd, I did see a little bit of the disappointment Chizzy mentioned that follows each little show but there was always a hearty round of applause as well.
A Saint for every day of the year is written on that white border.
I walked and metroed around until the check-in time but the room still wasnít quite ready, so they invited me to check out their rooftop terrace cafť while I waited.
Credit goes to Tobin for finding the hotel. As you can see the location was fantastic and the rooms were very nice and very large. I thought they gave me a double room when I first saw mine. But then I saw the enormous room Chris and Paty got and realized all was well.
I suspect these newish looking additions will soon turn dirty and blend in here.
The gang showed up later in the evening and we had some Italian for dinner in an empty restaurant. We werenít sure why it was empty exactly because the food was good and we were only a couple blocks from the main square.
This isnít the restaurant I mentioned above, but it is the crew. Notice Paty distancing herself from the yellow shirt here.
The Charles Bridge is very cool. Better than the clock, Iíd say.
The ďOriginal BudweiserĒ. Now in a convenient liter size.
I think everybody was generally happy with the lazy way we passed the time. Iíve never been one for packing in a bunch of itinerary and trying to see everything. I just like wandering around, seeing what you come across, and drinking and eating as much food as possible. And this is precisely what we did. Goulash and dumplings FTW! But it is nice to get in a tour of some kind and we did spend a bit of time with ďThe Experienced GuideĒ. We planned on taking one of the brochure tours, but we botched the location where it was supposed to start so we gave the entrepreneur with his homemade sign a try. He wanted to prove his worthiness as a guide to us and asked us to give him a quiz on his knowledge of the city before we decided to use his services. Of course, none of us knew anything about the city at all so there was nothing we could really ask him. Hell, Iíve long held the notion that tour guides probably make up half the stuff anyway. Anyway, I think he ended up being pretty legit and we ended up with a much cheaper private tour all to ourselves.
Here he is. The Experienced Guide. You really have no choice but to believe what he is saying here about this hospital.
The primary reason for the trip was the half-marathon that Reid, Heather, and Tobin were taking part in. Paty and I were on camera duty and I was given charge of Reidís camera for the event. So, I donít really have any photos of the run but Iíll link you to Tobinís site when he gets his post up. I did find a couple on my camera.
Pre-race butterflies for Chris.
They all finished the run, by the way. They are an inspiration to us all.
A bit fuzzy, but possibly the only time you will ever see Tobinís teeth in a photo so I have no choice but to include it.
Nice photo of Reid and Heather.
The Easter market opened up in the main square on this weekend. The general stuff youíd expect.
So yeah, the city is very cool.