Trip Start Jul 08, 2013
23Trip End Aug 06, 2013
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At the Praha shopping mall train station, I immediately noticed many more tourists, and most of them younger than tourists I'd been seeing back east. The ticket office was full of backpackers negotiating buying 5 or 6 tickets at once. I don't know if I could travel in a group that big. How do you get time to yourself? I got two tickets for me and Erin for Vienna leaving butt early at 6:30 in the A.M. Erin is coming!!
Out side the train station, junkies mulled about the park, all scab-ankled and zombie. I kept trying to think to myself "This is not my first impression of Prague." But it kind of was. Meek wounded junkies in sad small gatherings
The walk to the loft - that's right - LOFT apartment took about 30 minutes. Not bad. Uphill with my backpack into a quieter neighborhood along clean (!) streets, red candy streetcars passed every few minutes. Loud click-ticking stoplights meant business. I was a walking baked potato but so happy to be here.
The LOFT apartment is a penthouse at the top of one an 18th century apartment building. We have two bedrooms, one on the LOFT floor, up a little staircase. All the windows are on a slant - roof, natch, and the view above the red roofs is magical, much like that of Peter Pan, I'd imagine, were Wendy Czech. I did feel like flying.
I wanted to sit around and relax but this is Prague, people. Are you kidding me? I walked back downhill and into the old town of wonder and tourists. The long mall boulevard, which seems to exist in every city, was flanked with outdoor eateries. I passed a jazz combo who were quite good; small children danced in front. At the end of the boulevard a young string quartet played covers of rock songs.
Suddenly, I was starving
I found a tourist market with fresh fruit stands among the magnets, bouncing marionettes, mugs, postcards and saw what appeared to be a good deal - a basket of delicious fruit for 4,9 euro. Sure! I brought the delicious basket to the lady, who weight it at 4,9 euro per kg and walked away with an 10 euro basket of delicious fruit. I was not too hungry to ruminate about that for the next few hours. The fruit was tasty. Later I found a cheap and messy gyro that I ate on the bench the junkies weren't using. That was also tasty and 5 euros. Euros!
The main square was packed with tourists, pushing each other out of the way to take pictures. Yes, I was one of them, but I'm way more sophisticated. Here was the amazing Astronomical Clock tower, much smaller than I'd imagined, where brides took turns having their picture taken. I want to be part of this bridal portrait club! I want my picture taken around the world in my flowing princess white gown: on a camel in front of a pyramid, jumping in the air with the Massai in Kenya, in a hand carved canoe deep in the Amazon jungle giving a high-five to a painted indigenous child, swimming with a whale shark in the Gulf of Mexico, at the top of Kilimanjaro.
Praha is one of those places where you turn a random corner, look up and gasp. It's like a treasure hunt for architectural surprises.