Lesser Town? Oh Lesser Town!

Trip Start Jul 16, 2012
Trip End Aug 05, 2012

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What I did
Charles Bridge
Lennon's Wall
Infant of Prague

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Saturday, July 28, 2012

We got dropped off in the so called Lesser Town of Prague.  It is only called this because it was built later than the Old Town of Prague.  But it is not lesser in interesting things to see and do.  We walked along streets of cobblestones from the 1700's, visited beautiful symetrical French gardens in an estate that included a huge bird cage with owls in it, and walls decorated to look like the inside of a cave (apparently this was quite the rage during a certain period of history here).  From a distance, I thought the wall was covered with skulls!  It was something different.

There are lots of old churches, nunneries, embassies, and an assortment of interesting buildings.  One of the churches we visited housed the "Infant of Prague", a statue made of wax that is reputed to have been made by St. Teresa, founder of the Carmelite Nuns.  It was brought to Prague by a Spanish family and soon miracles were being attributed to it.  Today it is prayed to by women who want to get pregnant.  I stopped and said a quick prayer...for a safe journey, definitely not to get pregnant!  Although that would be a medical miracle.

One of the things on my list to see was the Lennon Wall.  Located in Lesser Town, it is a wall dedicated to John Lennon and the concept of peace.  People write Lennon quotes and decorate the wall.  I came prepared with my marker and quote and found a spot to write on.  Although some recent markers are more of the "Killroy was here" variety, the wall still mostly stays true to its original purpose.  

Next up was the walking tour of the Charles Bridge.  I had found the informational walking tour on line and it explained what each of the statues on the bridge were and their significance.  It made the walk across the historic bridge more meaningful.  The bridge is also the place to people watch.  We saw every sort of person you could imagine.  We even ran into a bachelor's party where the groom was dressed in women's lingerie and a veil!  Of course, we posed for pictures with them.  Although the statues on the bridge are now copies (with the originals safely away), it is still a cool thing to do.  At the end of the bridge opposite of Lesser Town is the road that will lead you to Old Town.  There are tons of shops along this route, with everything for sale.  It is along here that I found the garnet (one of the items that this area is famous for) ring I brought home.  If you like garnets, the selection is huge and the prices are very reasonable.  As you walk around the town, you will notice locks placed on the bridge railings.  Our guide said couples put them there to signify the couples locked love.  Best was the iron we saw locked to one bridge!  Not sure what that signified...we will always iron together?

By now it was beginning to sprinkle with the threat of a downpour.  We headed back to Lesser Town and down to the riverbank of the Danube to a restaurant overlooking the river and the Charles Bridge.  We sat under huge umbrellas on an outdoor patio as the deluge began.  We ordered drinks and dinner (which was quite good) and relaxed, ate, enjoyed the view, and waited out the rain.  There are several restaurants along this stretch of the river, and you just need to head down a side street to find one.

Once the rain stopped we headed back, first climbing up a narrow pedestrial alley with a stop/go sign like when you cross a street.  It is only wide enough for a person at a time and a line forms waiting for the green light.  We walked back through lesser town to the tram station (subway station was closed), where a friendly person helped us find the correct tram back to our hotel.  Our last day in Prague has been delightful.
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