"Tea And Sympathy"

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

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Castle Steps B&B seems to be a conglomeration of apartments along our street. Our breakfast room is in the basement of another building further up the hill. This morning, we continued up that road after breakfast to the top of Petrin Hill, which is a green retreat for the locals and the view we see from our windows.
It is linked to town by a furnicular railway and contains a rose garden, walking paths, yet another museum, a mirror maze, a fortification wall and the Petrin Tower - a one quarter size replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Prague has a Metro system that we have not explored. It runs to only three lines - a cinch after Paris - but the trams have been closer, more extensive, fast and have allowed us to see the sights. I have also been apprehensive about heading underground, given what we have seen at the (above-ground) station! So we head downhill to a tram via the funicular.

Then we walk.

Back across the river to the Old Town - and we kept on walking...
Through numerous streets and back lanes, in and out of shops, all the way up the 0.75km long Wenceslas Square and back down the other side. We picked up Chinese for tea at 59Kr each (AU$3.60) and catch the next tram up to Prague Castle to dine in the surrounds of the 900 year old church. With the last leg required to get home, Rob estimates that we have walked over 10km.

With serious hills and stairs added.

Cups of tea and sympathy required! Or hot baths. Or massages.

Or all of the above.

Tomorrow is a half day around town before boarding an overnight train to Venice. Off the air now for at least 36 hours.

Some general observations from today...

* Czechs drink a lot of beer! The average is apparently 180L/year for every man, women and child. At 15Kr/500ml (AU$1.80/L) in the outer suburbs, it is cheaper than Coke and bottled water. People have refilled 2L bottles in the streets and today we see a promotional beer tram with beer samples (of about 250ml) handed out by waitresses hanging from the tram at each tram stop.

* Approximately 100% of Czechs smoke. Especially in restaurants.

* Approximately 33% of Czech women dye their hair strong shades of orange or cherry - or both.

* Most middle-aged Czech men seemed to have eaten too many dumplings in their life - probably washed down with beer!

* Western music has been on the stereos of all shops we have been in to. There has been no evidence to us of any Czech music scene.

* At 249Kr (AU$15) pashminas are now three times the price of New York's in the ongoing comparative study.

* Subway, however, was just about the same as the rest of the world.

* Surly cafe staff have apparently relocated from Paris to Prague.

* The cobblestones that cover every street and pavement need a good scrubbing with the street-sweeper that does the Bourke Street mall. The footpaths are usually paved in geometric patterns of at least two colours, are shiny from centuries of wear but would look much better with some maintenance. (They are still more beautiful than plain asphalt though.)

* Many old houses have models of something over the doorway to indicate who lived there in the days before street numbering. The violin maker, for example, had three violins.

* The street lamps are beautiful and some, we think, are gas-lit.

("Tea and Sympathy"? Bernard Fanning, of Powderfinger fame.)
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lizch on

I'm enjoying this trip around the world...
I'm really enjoying this trip around the world! Especially Prague - never been there before, but was on to my list.
Keep up the good work!

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