More and more wandering through old cities. After filling my empty belly with the breakfast buffet at the Czech Inn, I set out on the town to see the Old Town Square, the beautiful Charles Bridge, the Jewish Quarter (Josefov), and Prague Castle. I'd been planning to do a bike tour of the city since my sweaty, aching feet were growing tired of walking hills all morning but as I searched for the bike rental place, I realized that I hadn't really seen anyone on bicycles around town except for messengers. So I hoofed it the rest of the afternoon.
The fatigue made things seem less than impressive. What I did like was the extremely ornate art nouveau building facades. Very ornate, I kept thinking. And the top corners of every building had really incredible spires. I believe the city is called "city of a thousand golden spires" or something like that. So I spent a lot of time looking up. I also sought out a building called the "Dancing House" which was designed by Vlado Milunc and the American Frank Gehry. The curvy modern design was apparently inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Note: When visiting Prague and buying a metro/tram ticket, make absolutely sure that you validate your ticket by slipping it into one of the yellow validation machines at the entrance to Metro stops or inside trams. The fine is a stiff 500Kc which is collected on the spot. I heard from at least six people who were fined just as they arrived. Welcome to Prague, gimme your money, American! (I bought a three day pass and validated it after hearing observing the similar tram situation in Krakow)
Back at the hostel, I met my roommates who were all Americans. In fact, the hostel is like living in a college dorm at some American college. I joined a couple of them, Rebecca and Ally, for dinner at Cernych Ruzi near the castle. I had a really yummy meal of goulash, salad, and cake (Thanks Melissa!) The rest of the night I walked around town til very late at night. Oh! I even ran into a prostitute! As I walked by, I thought this girl said, "Six". I was thinking, six what? Maybe she wants 6Kc because I'd run into beggars in Poland who wanted 1z all of the time (which gets you a pretzel, 1Kc gets you almost into a bathroom here). Anyhow, ten feet later I realized she said, "Sex?" So I turned around and said, Yes, of course I'd like sex. How about for six?
Okay, I said nothing and kept walking but I did see some shady tourist dude dealing with another one a few steps away. Good times in Prague.
Notes: I'm told that a lot of British men come to Praha for stag parties. I overheard one person saying that it's almost like Las Vegas for them. Cheap booze, cheap women. Small casinos on various corners. Who knows?
Tonight, I'll try to see about this Vegas business. Right now, I've gotta figure out how to get to my 6am flight to Amsterdam tomorrow.
Labels: Czech Republic