Getting My Feet Wet

Trip Start May 14, 2006
Trip End Aug 17, 2006

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Well, by the looks of things, I have indeed survived my first actual day alone in Europe!! I am very proud of myself for this.

This morning I slept in a little later than I had planned - I guess my body need to catch up on some much needed rest & relaxation. It wasn't until after I showered and was about to leave, that I realized I had absolutely NO idea where I was going. I forgot to buy a map & travel guide at the airport yesterday, and I had taken a taxi to my hostel - So yes, I was pretty lost. Luckily the guy working down in the office had a map to give to me & explained how the bus & metro systems worked. He pointed me in the right directions & I took off running.

I took a bus to the nearest metro stop, purchased my pass, and got on hoping I knew where I was going. When I reached what I thought my stop was, I got off & ran outside to see if things corresponded with the map - Which they did! So after getting my bearings, I went in search for a book store to find a travel guide. I had to walk a grand total of about ten feet before I found one. Before I left Belgium, I had done some research on some of the sites that Prague has to offer, but the travel guide I bought was much more detailed & included a lot more places to visit. I decided since it was already mid-afternoon that I'd only visit one place today because I wasn't quite sure what time the buses & metro stopped running, and I was definitely not about to chance it.

I chose to visit the Karl¨v Most, or in English, the Charles Bridge. Besides the castle, this is the most visited site in the city - And for good reason.

The bridge joins the historic quarters of Stare Mestro and Mala Strana. Work was begun on its construction at the time of Charles IV, near the end of the 14th century. The bridge is for pedestrian use only - It measures 516 m long, 10 m wide, and is supported by 16 Roman arches. At each end of the bridge there are two massive towers, and from what I've read, they were originally used as a pivotal part of Prague's defensive system. Thirty hand carved statues are also situated throughout the length of the bridge. All along the bridge there are vendors selling mostly art - Ranging from photographs of the city, original watercolors, handmade jewelry, wood and metal sculptures, and artists doing caricatures. It was a great place, with an even greater atmosphere - Even after the rains came a little after 6:00 pm. Luckily, I had remembered to bring along my raincoat, so I stayed nice and dry.

So, that pretty much sums up my day. More to come tomorrow!!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their weekend...
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