Friday, July 18, 2014

8 pictures of Prague

Obviously I can't tell you about my latest, most awesome fantastical trip ever until I finish telling you about the previous one. And I'm already getting ready for the next one which would put me 2 behind as far as blogging goes...

Prague has been on my to-do list for as long as I can remember wanting to travel. The trip was supposed to be Prague-Vienna-Budapest and it was supposed to be with my wife, but she made other plans and that was 10 years ago. (10 years which coincide with me creating this blog in the first place) So the trip was Cologne-Munich-Prague instead. People rave about Prague. It's affordable, the food is good, the beer is better, and it's got an interesting history that includes emerging from behind the Iron Curtain. But after dropping off the car and taking a taxi back to the hotel, past graffiti-tagged walls, my first experience was of street hawkers:

Hello, my friend, come into my shop and buy something.

No. I don't respond well to that kind of pressure. I prefer to lazily browse online (usually at work) then take months literally agonizing over a $5 decision. I cannot just pop into your shop and pick out a tacky magnet for my friend back home at the drop of a hat. Ooh look, you have hats! Which one looks best on me?

But if you manage to block all that out, Prague is a very nice city that still manages to retain a bit of its old, quaint charm. I could not keep my eyes off the castle atop the hill, and it was equally difficult to tear myself away from sitting atop a wall at the castle staring down at the city below, the Moldau/Vlatava forever flowing past. Climbing the hill is thirsty work, and fortunately there are many excellent pivovary to quench that thirst. There's a beautiful art-deco church amid the cemetery at the old castle and an art museum or two worth seeing. I had a nice time in Prague, and the astronomical clock gave me a huge nerd-boner (sorry Czech people!), but I can't really say that I loved it. I think I just heard one too many people raving about it. It was dirtier (graffiti) and pushier (hawkers) than I expected, and this was not even peak tourist season. Or maybe I was just dreading coming home. Still, I'm happy to have been.


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