You remember I said I wasn't going to work?

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
Trip End Aug 15, 2008

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What to say about Prague?? This place intrigues me. I think that's part of the reason why I shall be staying here for a few months.

My initial impression of Prague was a lot like that of Vienna. A very, very beautiful city - even more so than Vienna - almost entirely untouched by the various wars that have been raging around Europe for the past few hundred years, yet the old town area seems entirely soulless. Many wide open boulevards and narrow, winding streets, with the buildings dressed up in all their finery, yet nothing really happening there, no life to the place. It came across as an elaborate shopping district and tourist centre. Which is not to say I didn't like it - far from it, I spent a very enjoyable day just getting lost and marvelling at the incredible spectacle of it all.

Had that been all I saw of the city, I think I would have been quite content to move on within a few days; however, when I explored a few of the districts surrounding the centre, I saw a different¨side to Prague. Not quite so clean and clinical, a bit rough around the edges at times and very much at odds with the centre, yet still very grand and far, far more interesting to walk around. I found much more going on in these areas, and so many diverse and interesting touches that appealed to me. This is definately a city where you really need to keep your eyes open when walking around. With the diversity of architecture, from the 12th century old town and 14th century "new" town to the cubist and art neuveau structures, and the amusing art installations by David Cerny, and even the stencil graffiti - check out if you're not familiar with it - I find that every time I walk about the city, I'm discovering something new to enjoy about it. It's also an incredibly fun city. I don't think I was in bed any earlier than 2 for the first 5 days I was here, culminating in the carnage that was the absinthe night. I think Sir Toby's hostel is partially to blame for it all, for being such a great place to stay and having a bar in the basement, and for attracting all the wonderful people I met whilst staying there!

So I've decided to stay here for 2 or 3 months. I have an apartment, I have a rubbish job. Also, it means I get to wait for the weather to warm up before heading any further north. I'm just about coping with -5° here, but I really didn't fancy the -20° they are currently "enjoying" in Poland!
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