Prague, Wonderful Praha

Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2008

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

He says:

What a wonderful city... I love this place and the attachment has only grown by the day. Sure there are things that drive me nuts, such as the overpriced and crowded tourist sights, the Starbucks and the thousand drunk pom's on every corner (in fact I guess I could just say I hate tourists, I know what you're thinking but there are tourists and then there are TOURISTS).  However, the beauty, charm and friendliness of Prague can't be understated. What I especially love about the place is the fact that you can wander down side streets and alley's and find the most beautiful houes, parks and gardens that are totally empty despite the million plus tourists a couple of blocks over... My favourite parts of Prague have not been Charles Bridge, Old Town Square or the palace but the places in-between... I would say that over the past 6 days we have covered the majority of the 4 quarters on foot (and a little bit beyond) and every street has been special, spectacular and/or beautiful in its own right.

The extremely good and cheap beer dosen't hurt either...

My feeble attempts at trying to communicate with the locals have been
pretty feeble, but I have managed to get by and now know how to say
Hello, Thankyou, beer and Yes and No, which I think is all that is
really needed. I am also getting pretty good at charades. These skills
should become all the more important as we head into regional Czech
tomorrow for a week or so.

We really have done a lot while we have been here and it's hard to decide on any individual highlights as we have done so much and it has all been pretty special, but in no particular order I would have to say:
1. Taking the cable car up Petrin Hill at 10:30 last night and looking over Prague castle with next to noone around;
2. exploring back streets and alleys;
3.    Trying to communicate with someone who has a totally different concept of language to yourself;
4. braving the Prague drug dealers, skin heads and teen dropouts (including watching some unfortunate being beaten along the way) to climb a hill in the South West of the city and being rewarded with the best views we have seen of the city and River; and
5. Finally, I would have to say, what I am doing right now, which is sitting in Kampa Park (between the river and Prague Castle in Little Quarter (my favourite quarter) digesting yet more meat and beer on a fantastic spring day, listening to the river and watching the eclectic crowd that has been drawn to the park on such a day. In just our little area we have a group of German teenagers getting slowly drunk on 20 crown 0.5l beers (about $1.30), a group of Italian schoolkids causing mischief, some Czech emos all taking turns in taking photos of themselves in more depressed poses, a few older czech couples asleep in the sun and any number of gorgeous girls taking their first opportunity to sunbath.

Which brings me to my next point, which is that I have decided that Czech girls are either stunningly beautiful or brutishly ugly, with nothing inbetween. There just seems to be no middle ground. I got served by, what I honestly think, was the most stunning girl I have ever seen at a hotdog stand and then was horribly scarred by the ugliest woman I have ever seen at the cable car station, all within a couple of hours.

Tomorrow we head to Plzen for a couple of nights, this is my only selfish destination as it is where Pilsner Urquell is brewed. We are staying in the oldest beer hall/pub in town, which should be a blast, if Gaynor can handle it...

She says:

Hi all,  I'm happy to say that I am finally starting to feel human after my cold.  This may have something to do with the pills that the pharmacist gave me that claim to be Nurofen "stop grip" whatever that means.  All I know is that they contain the magical ingredient psudo-efedrine and that's all I need (Joey will understand this entirely).  I also have no idea what the instructions for dosage are so am doing the best I can to self medicate.  I'm still alive and feeling better so I guess I'm doing alright at guessing.

So...Prague...what can I say other than I totally understand where a lot of you were coming from when you returned from your travels and told me about this place.  There is so much to see in addition to all the touristy stuff (which also good but I really do hate crowds).  I think my highlight has to be walking down an alley in what seems like the middle of town, walking through a doorway and finding yourself in the most beautifully manicured terrace gardens.  One down-side of this would have to be the steps, I have never climbed so many stairs in all my life (a fair few of you can imagine the whinging I've put Tom through) but it all pays off in the end with the amazing views once you've climbed to the very top.  Another thing that I love is all the cobblestone streets they are just so much prettier than concrete & tarmac (although my ankles would disagree).

As Tom said, tomorrow we make our way to Plzen on the train.  I am looking forward to it ... will let you know how I "handle" it....

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