I Will Make an Example Out of You!
Trip Start Jun 08, 2008
24Trip End Jul 09, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I eventually made it out of bed and the plan of the day was to show Johnny around Prague and maybe do a bit of exploring as well. After eating a fantastic breakfast at a little café and feeling slightly better I took Johnny on the tour. We hit all the major sights that I had already seen, Prague Castle, the Strahovska Monastery, Charles Bridge, Old Town, etc. But we also found some pretty amazing things as well, we stumbled upon a private vinery on a hill overlooking all of Prague as well as climbing the Charles Bridge Tower, they were beautiful photo opportunities to say the least.
We made our way into the New Town as well and walked up the Karlovo Namesti, a large boulevard that houses all the fancy shops as well as the major sight of the Prague Spring events. The big national museum stands at the end of this boulevard pockmarked with bullet holes. It is said that when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia they thought that the national museum was the radio station that was broadcasting anti-Soviet material and began to shoot it in an attempt to shut it down, another brilliant move by the Soviets. After lounging about on this boulevard for a while doing some people watching we decided to head out to the Vysehrad, another castle located in Prague but a little farther away. We made the long trek over and found ourselves in this large grassy park perched on a cliff overlooking the city of Prague, but not much else. Damn you Lonely Planet and your suggestions.
After walking in circles we decided to head back to the hotel; of course we decided to walk back and not take the easier and faster metro or trams. After an hour of walking we made it back to the Charles Bridge but again got lost. We decided to keep on going and found ourselves in this park called Mala Strana in the middle of the night with nothing but stairs going up. It was pitch black and completely silent as we trudged up the hill of stairs in this park, before suddenly running smack into an older man and woman. The woman shrieked in fear and I jumped up about ten feet, Johnny might have pissed himself a little bit. Turns out they were lost too, but quickly hurried away down the hill before telling us how to get out.
We ran into this Eiffel Tower looking thing and in my panicked mind I thought we had walked all the way to Paris (it sure felt like it), turned out to only be the Petrin Outlook Tower. Another hour later we made it out of the park and eventually into the hotel room. When we made it back we entertained Lala and Derek with out story before all going to bed early; they had a flight back to America in the morning and Johnny and I had a train to catch to Plzen.
We all woke up early and went our separate ways; after grabbing a bite to eat for breakfast Johnny and I decided to take public transportation to the main train station. Big mistake. All went according to plan at first; we hopped onto the tram and then transferred to the green metro line taking pride in the fact that we figured out public transportation in a foreign land. The problems began at the Muzeum transfer point when we got off the train to get on the red line and were immediately stopped by three large gruff looking men. They flashed a random badge and demanded to see our tickets.
They were talking to each other in Czech for a while staring at our tickets, causing me to believe they were going to try and scam us. One man proceeded to tell us that we had the wrong tickets and began to scream "I will make an example out of you!" over and over again; they had even gone so far as threatening to take us into their mini metro jail for failing to have the transfer point ticket. We tried to explain that we did not know we bought a wrong ticket and would pay for the other one, but they refused to allow us to move on. Then began the questioning: Why were we in Prague? Why were we on the metro? Where were we going? After answering all these questions they finally came to the point, they demanded a 700 Krown fine on the spot. No ticket or anything, just pay now in cash and go away.
The problem I have with police who demand a bribe is why don't you just say it right away and get it over with, there is no need to go through this whole threatening jail thing or example making routine. After finally paying them the bribe and then demanding a written statement that I had paid a "fine" in order to not get stopped and harassed by further police we were sent on our way with best wishes from the three metro police.
Oh how I enjoy the crooked nature of Eastern European police.