Helen (heleninwales) wrote,
Helen
heleninwales

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Our short break in Prague

I took lots of photos (more behind the cut) but mostly we wandered around looking at the outsides of buildings. If I'd had more time I would have liked to visit some of the museums and attend a concert or two, there were young people everywhere giving out leaflets advertising all sorts of concerts.

Here is the Invalidovna metro station which is the one nearest to our hotel.

Prague Metro Invalidovna station

I lived in London for a while during my youth, but Invalidovna had one of the longest escalators I can recall using, and certainly one of the fastest. You had to have your wits about you as you leapt on and off.



Escalator at Invalidovna station, Prague metro

The metro is simple to understand (only 4 lines) and is well signed. It proved to be the fastest way in to the centre of Prague. Tickets were available from machines at the entrance to the station or you could buy them in advance from newsagents and other little shops. Tickets work by period of travel time so you buy a ticket for however long your journey is. On both sightseeing days we bought a 24 hour ticket. As you head towards the trains you just stamp the ticket in a machine. This neat system makes it easy to buy tickets in advance and thus avoid queues.

Once in the narrow, twisty and confusing (to me at any rate!) streets, there were lots of gift shops that G hurried me past.

Glassware in Prague

Czech glassware, Prague

I was not actually tempted by the glassware as a) getting it home would have been a nightmare and b) we just don't use anything that fancy. I would have like to be able to look more carefully at the jewellery made with Bohemian garnets and silver and amber.

And I would really have liked to browse in the puppet shops.

Puppet shop in Prague

Another of the many puppet shops in Prague

I had puppets when I was a kid and I loved writing little plays for them. But my cast of characters was somewhat limited. These shops could provide princesses and woodcutters and wizards and old kings and old crones and just about any character you could want.

I read a potted history of Prague in the guidebook on the plane coming home and it seems to be one of those places that's had an Interesting Life, having been trampled on and passed from ruler to ruler for hundreds and hundreds of years. This memorial/display/complaint about the Soviet occupation had a military tank parked by it.

Anti-communist display, Prague

Here is one of the many statues that grace the splendid square of Prague. (Note the Albert supermarket in the background. There was one of these not far from the hotel, very useful for buying snacks.)

Equestrian statue Prague

There were also lots of more recent commemorative plaques and statues. I never realised that Doppler discovered the effect named after him while he was working in Prague, but he did.

Plaque to Doppler

Of course not all the buildings were old. There is a modern side to Prague too.

Modern Prague

But of course it's the old buildings that the tourists come to see.

Old Town Hall -- Prague

One of the splendid buildings in Prague

This is a fairly typical Prague street. Note the cobbles and tram lines.

Street in Prague

And here's another one.

A street in Prague

Note the cobbles. Comfortable shoes are recommended for sightseeing because all those cobbles are hard on the feet!


The astronomical clock was built in several stages. Thankfully the story in the guide book about the clockmaker being blinded with a red hot poker to prevent him building a similar clock for anyone else appears to be fictional!

Astronomical clock

We were just part of the tourist hordes waiting for the clock to chime!

Waiting for the astronomical clock to chime

From here we went on a guided walk up to the castle and St Vitus cathedral. There were flocks of tourists all over the place, all following their guides who brandished colourful umbrellas or a tokens on a stick so they could be spotted at a distance in the crowds.

I still have lots more pictures, but I'll see if I can upload those over the weekend.
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