Last Day in Prague

Trip Start Aug 09, 2012
Trip End Oct 07, 2012

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Thursday, September 13, 2012

Off to another early start as we wanted to hand over the car at 8am when the parking tickets are required, although the rental guy did tell us we could park in the area all day. Perhaps they have a special permit but we didn't want to risk being responsible for a fine. We got there about 8:30 in the end but the office wasn’t open until 9am so we decided to return to the café that had the free wireless and I managed to upload 4 days of blog because of the problem with our apartment’s wireless. We did get a shock when our coffee bill came as they charged us 400Kr ( about $18) for just 2 cups of coffee. Daisy hadn’t noticed that they had charged that much the night before, but at least we made good use of the internet while we were there.

We then returned to the rental car office and this time a lady served us and she was only marginally better than the bloke we had before. They need to learn a bit about customer service with a smile in this company.

We then spent a bit of time in a souvenir shop and bought a nice clock plus Daisy needed some prescription medicine so decided to see if a pharmacy would fulfil it for her. We picked the right place as the lady was very helpful and looked up the medicine on the internet and was able to give Daisy the Czech equivalent and the price was only about $7 when it costs about $30 in Australia.

We then went to the Mucha Museum which is a smaller museum dedicated to the life and art of Alfons Mucha who was one of the masters of Art Nouveau. We were ashamed of our previous ignorance of Mucha as we recognised many of the pieces of art that we saw. Like Toulouse Lautrec he did a lot of graphic design of posters plus furniture and other items. In particular he designed all the posters for famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt which were instantly recognisable. Absolutely beautiful designs and we also enjoyed an informative movie about is life. Daisy bought a T-shirt and a couple of other souvenirs in the museum shop.

It was then time to go back to the apartment and check out at noon and it turned out the apartment was free so were able to keep our bags there for the day before leaving for the overnight train to Budapest. We then unloaded a few things that we didn’t need for the rest of the day and agreed to return at 10pm before George closed the restaurant.

After having our lunch at home we set out for some walking along the Charles Bridge and we had heard there is a statue that you should touch because it will give you good luck. As we weren’t sure at first which one it was Daisy decided to touch every one until we discovered the actual one as it is pretty obvious. For starters all the tour groups are lining up to touch it plus it is a shiny brass coloured where everyone has touched it when the rest of the statue is black.

On the other side we went into the Kepler Museum. Kepler was an astronomer who came up with the discovery that the planets revolve around the sun in an elliptical orbit plus he came up with 3 laws that govern these orbits. Very interesting information but the museum only consisted of one small room with information to read and a few visual things to illustrate the theories. Definitely not a must see thing to do in Prague unless you’re really into astronomy, but the entrance fee is only about $2.50.

We then walked back over the brifge again and found the Lennon Wall which is a wall belonging to a church garden that has had graffiti on it dedicated to John Lennon since his death in 1980. Since then it also became a place for disgruntled youth to air their grievances against the communist government and was a catalyst for a demonstration/riot on the nearby Charles Bridge.

Then we walked over to the funicular going up to the Petrin Tower and paid for the trip without realising that the day ticket we bought also covered the funicular. Luckily the day was starting to clear so we had very good views right across Prague. We were getting pretty tired by now so we took the tram to the other side of the river to make our walk to the Old Town Square a bit shorter.

Then paid to go up the Astronomical Clock Tower at around 5:30pm and knowing that a trumpeter plays on the hour we stuck around to watch the crowd gather below and also watched the sun set before heading back down. Great views of the Square and Prague again, particularly of the Old Town.

As we were now quite tired we decided to head back to have dinner opposite our apartment which offered a nice view of the Charles Bridge from their outdoor balcony. We got there about 8:30pm and had a nice leisurely dinner enjoying the view until it was time to pay the bill. We hadn’t taken much extra cash out as we were leaving Prague and thought we could pay for dinner with a card but they only took cash so had to walk a short distance down to the Charles Bridge to take out some more cash out.

Just as we were leaving the apartment we heard fireworks so watched them for a few minutes as they were just a few metres away near the river. Wasn’t that nice for them to arrange a going away surprise for us?

Got to the railway station at about 10:20 so just sat around waiting for the platform to be announced. The train was apparently running 20 minutes late but we finally found out it was Platform 2 at about midnight so we walked over with no problems but when the train arrived it was in hindsight quite funny because all these tourists (including us) were running around trying to find which carriage they were supposed to be in and worried the train would leave without them. It turned out the reason we couldn’t find our carriage was because it hadn’t arrived yet. The train had come from Vienna and extra carriages were added on and ours was one of them. So we finally got on safely much to Daisy’s relief. We had a small compartment but big enough for the night with 2 bunk beds. Apparently they can fit up to 6 in one of these compartments but there wouldn’t be much room for luggage then. So this was a new travel experience for us and I thought it was OK but Daisy didn’t get the best night’s sleep.
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