"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

It's a much nicer day today and we go nowhere near the station! There's a chill in the air, but no rain and some sunshine appears later in the day. Men in kilts head for a wedding in the centre of town and a cacaphony of various church bells chime on the quarter hour.

We join a four 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 is a young Czech girl with a strong accent - enthusiastic, but unable to tell us how to interpret the clock which tells the time for a number of Czech time zones and has a second dial for matters astrological. On the hour, twelve little carved wooden figures - one for each zodiac sign - glide through two doors that open to the delight of the tourist masses that assemble. This is also the time the pickpockets glide past too! We survive intact.

We walk 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 with the Cartiers and Louis Vuttons of Prague. We cross over the Charles Bridge, stop for a coffee then on to the tram to Prague Castle. With a 1100 year history, its size qualifies it as the largest ancient castle in the world. Within its walls is St. Vitus Cathedral - the largest church in the land - built from 1344 to 1929! There is an hourly changing of the stony-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 is an informative trip and good value for money.

A waitress serves us some soup and streudel for a late lunch before we garb an afternoon rest in preparation for another assault on the hilly streets. The aim is to photograph the castle lit up at night...

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

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