Ah, have I mentioned how much I love vacation?
We woke up this morning, grabbed a coffee and walked up to the Prague Castle. It’s about 1.5 miles from where we’re staying, which isn’t so bad. It was a beautiful walk over the Charles Bridge and to a different area of town.
When we arrived, there was some sort of military ceremony going on (I believe it happens each day at noon) which was interesting. Just seeing the soldiers march in the “Russian” fashion in full uniform was neat. The ceremony mostly just was a lot of stomping and sword pointing and gun showmanship — but interesting nonetheless. The photo above is of the soldiers arriving in front of the castle — the black and white made it feel straight out of the 40s, I thought.
While at the castle we explored the main cathedral, several parts of the old castle (including the dungeons, which was one of the best parts by far! You should have seen the torture devices!), a monastery and the small “village” where the staff and village workers lived. That part was interesting as you could visit the homes of, say, the blacksmith or the seamstress, which were so modest. Also, it was interesting how short the doors were! Tiny, tiny people back then!
After the castle, we meandered over to “John Lennon Wall” where the wall is covered in graffiti. The guidebooks said it was all Beatles graffiti and that it annoyed communist leaders to no end, but when we arrived the graffiti covered much more than the Beatles — some even quoted Harry Potter. There was also a busker along the wall who played nothing but Beatles tunes (obviously).
But the best treat was on the other side of the wall, where there was a hidden garden cafe that was empty. We had a marvelous lunch, and it was quite a find.
Beyond that, the day has consisted of finishing up in Prague, and we are now at a cafe sipping wine while we wait to walk to the train station for tonight’s trip to Poland.
Before we leave Prague though, I wanted to note a few random thoughts about the city — these are by no means complaints, just rather observations.
• You will never get a refill of water or wine. No one will ask if you want more. But if you’re drinking beer, they will just bring you more glasses without asking.
• Water is only five cents less than wine, and in some places beer is cheaper than water.
• Breakfast often includes cold cuts.
• The people here are much taller than in France, Italy or Spain.
• The cars here are more normal sized like you see in the U.S. (some SUVs even). Hardly any bikes or scooters, like Italy and Spain.
• There are buskers EVERYWHERE playing everything from violin to guitar to the bassoon. It’s wonderful.
To see all of my images from today, you can look over here. Enjoy! Oh, and there are photos of the “love lock bridge” here in Prague. It’s where lovers go and put their names on a padlock, attach it to a bridge and throw the key into the river as a show of their eternal love. No, we didn’t have a lock. But I do find the idea very romantic…