We landed in this beautiful city on Friday afternoon and, after recovering from a long trip, did a quick walk along the river close to the hotel to admire the picturesque buildings either side of the river and the many bridges crossing it. Saturday saw us trying to get a little more organised after studying what we must see here. The day started with a minor problem for me in the bathroom, or, to be more specific, the shower. You are not surprised I know! The thing is, I told the boss that the night before, when I eventually figured out the options in the shower, that I had stood in front of the shower rose on the pole but got constantly dripped on by very cold water from the dinner plate rose on the ceiling! So, this morning I was all set for a quick shower before breakfast. The one in charge of the B’s (which I can tell you for certain does not include “bathrooms”) told me to pull the top silver gadget out hard and all would be well – well it wasn’t! I got drowned on top by a voracious current of water coming from that blimmin dinner plate on the ceiling giving me such a fright I spun around which made things even worse. The boss has since told me there was only one “drip” in the shower!!
With the list of sightseeing all prepared and the map in the bag the boss decides that the bag I am carrying is much too heavy which leads him to dismantle the contents and choose some things to go in the pockets of the cargo shorts he is wearing. By the time we get in the lift the shorts are looking like they are slipping a bit with the weight of the extra contents and I have visions of him standing in his underwear in front of St Nicholas on the Charles Bridge with the shorts down around the ankles!
On the agenda was the famous Charles Bridge which was built between 1357 and the beginning of the 15th Century under the auspices of Charles IV and crosses the Vltava River. We joined half the population of Prague plus many tourists to do the walk along the famous bridge to admire the magnificent buildings either side of the river, the castle on the hill and the saints whose statues are set out along the bridge. It really is quite a magnificent site and we were all set to visit St Nicholas. However, St Nicholas is getting a makeover (and he needs it – they all do but luckily for him he has been chosen to go first!) Therefore, there is scaffolding and netting protecting him while the work is being done so we could only acknowledge him in passing. Then it was down to the John Lennon Wall under the bridge which is just a normal wall but since the 1980’s it has become a graffiti tribute to John Lennon with lyrics from some of his songs.
We then decided that it would be good to go and visit the Infant Jesus at the little Carmelite Church of St Victorious. The Infant Jesus is a small wooden waxed statue dressed in a cloak. We had heard about this and wanted to see it so we sat on a seat on a very hot day under the plane trees to study the map and then set off with me in charge of the map (but not the map reading). We got a little way into the short walk and saw a group of nuns making their way hurriedly over a crossing so I told the boss that we must be on the right track for the Church where the Infant Jesus is waiting for our visit. He, on the other hand, is convinced the nuns are making their way on this extremely hot day to the pub just by the crossing and you know, I think he was right because they disappeared completely! Once again we stopped to study the map and the glasses came out of the bag and all would have been well had I not been holding that map upside down. Luckily the boss, who I must admit is better than I at mapreading and doing all these GPS things, realised quite quickly and averted a possible falling out before we even reached the Infant! We eventually made it to the beautiful little Church which resembles a miniature cathedral with magnificent artwork and gold decorated altar and side altars.
Sunday saw us doing a little cruise on the river to see Prague from a different perspective and it was beautiful – the buildings span a myriad of architectural styles and include castles and palaces in Romanesque and Gothic styles – there are arches, colonnades and towers everywhere – some capped in gold that shines brightly in the sun. You also need to constantly look up at these buildings because there are statues and sculptures sitting high on many of them. We then went to the National Museum to view two interesting exhibitions. One was called “The Knights of the Heaven” and is a tribute to more than 2000 Czechoslovak pilots who left here in 1939 and found their way to Britain where they joined the newly created Czech Squadron of the RAF. It was a wonderful and moving exhibition dedicated to fighter and bomber pilots, technicians and other aviation personnel in the RAF and the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. It left a lump in my throat seeing all the photos of these pilots and reading some of their logs. The second exhibition was about the Celts.
It was 38 degrees here yesterday but we managed ourselves by walking on the shady sides of the streets and coming back here to the bar where I had a traditional Czech drink – puréed raspberries in homemade lemonade and the boss had a Pilsener – and they were large because, obviously we needed hydration and I can tell you I had a large straw in mine.
I have to report I had a brilliant idea to fix the drip in the shower – I have put a shower cap over the offending dinner plate shower rose. I just have to watch it doesn’t fill up with cold drips and collapse! Deary me!
Today has been another hot day and we did a walk down the river, over a bridge and back on the other side – all the while absolutely melting in the 35 degree heat but the good news is that this heat is dissipating we are told so it will cool down a little. The other good news is that we absolutely must be shedding kilos walking kilometres in this heat!! But then perhaps the thirst and the pastries are not helping that little problem! We are just off to a traditional folklore dinner – guess that won’t help the waistline either but when in Rome……