"Every Picture Tells A Story"

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
Trip End Jun 29, 2007

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A much nicer day today - we went nowhere near the station! A chill in the air, but no rain and some sunshine later in the day. Men in kilts headed for a wedding in the centre of town and a cacaphony of various church bells chimed on the quarter hour.

We joined a 4 hour walking tour that covered all the main areas of inner Prague today, starting in the Old Town Square at the Astrological Clock built in 1490. Our guide was a young Czech girl with a strong accent - enthusiastic, but unable to tell us how to interpret the clock which told the time for a number of Czech time zones and had a second dial for matters astronomical. On the hour, twelve little carved wooden figures - one for each zodiac sign - glide past two doors that open to the delight of the tourist masses that assemble. This is also the time the pickpockets glide past too! We survived intact.

We walked through the old Jewish quarter with it's 1270AD synagogue and cemetery containing some 12,000 graves up to 12 people deep and with tombstones now packed together and cascading across quite a compact area. This part of town now also houses the swankiest street, housing the Cartiers and Louis Vuttons of Prague. We crossed over the Charles Bridge, stopped for a coffee then on to the tram to Prague Castle. With a 1100 year history, it's size qualifies it as the largest ancient castle in the world. Within it's walls is St. Vitus Cathedral - the largest church in the land - built from 1344 to 1929! There is an hourly changing of the stone-faced guards. Surprisingly, entrance to the whole complex is free and as such, there are seas of tourists at all times of the year.

All in all, it was an informative trip and good value for money.

A stone-faced waitress served us some soup and streudel for a late lunch before an afternoon rest in preparation for another assault on the hilly streets to photograph the castle lit up at night.

A quick look at McDonalds as we passed showed that prices are not regulated world-wide... a small fries was 25Kr - about AU$1.50 and a 6-pack of nuggets was 135Kr - around $9! We witnessed police intercept what we suspect were two petty thieves... an unkempt  man and a women with a dirty 'stripey' bag. They had the look of the more menacing marionettes that are sold in many of the souvenir shops here and we postulated whether they were, in fact, those that had failed 'gypsy school' and as such had not made it to Paris!

They made it as far as the back of the police car...
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