As often happens with my plans, this one was too ambitious. What this usually ends up meaning is a change of plans near the end of our trips. No exception in 2010 – lured by my early-90s (when everyone was raving about Prague) vision of 50 cent beers and a carefree bohemian atmosphere, we trained it to Prague a day early, only to find, first of all, that our hotel would have to charge us the ‘walk in’ price of…I don’t even want to tell you; and next, busloads (I’m guessing here. There were no buses, but everybody seemed to be in groups of 40!) of all kinds of disagreeable tourists (i.e. those who takes bus tours) walking about. And, as you probably can guess, not a single beer even close to the 50 cent mark.
But really we knew all this before, I guess. Still, it was a shock to the system. The city is wonderfully beautiful though, no matter how many African safari vests and Tilley hats you care to throw into the mix. Here is Old Town Square, just steps from our hotel.
Looking for the castle we got lost and found ourselves in the State Legislature.
Which keeps peacocks….
Shortly after this little encounter with nature we happened upon St Nicolas Church, an outstandingly outlandish Baroque church.
We never really made it to our goal this day, which was St Vitus Cathedral, within the confines of Prague Castle. We did actually get there, but there was one god-awful line-up to get in, so we decided to make a return trip early the next morning. Which we did. But first we had to cross the Charles Bridge to get there.
This bridge, quiet and impressive in the early morning, turns into a non-stop line-up of portrait makers and organ grinders by 10 am. But back to the cathedral. Here is the facade, or least the parts with enough space in front to get pictures.
The cathedral, begun in the 14th century, was not actually finished till the 1920s. The interior, while being most definitely Gothic at first sight, has a pretty eclectic collection of artistic styles. My personal favorite – the Art Nouveau stained glass.
A close 2nd come the of-indeterminate-age candle holder guys. They have several and all are in different, crazy poses, like this one.
And finally a couple of photos showing the Gothic altitude of the cathedral.
One of the last things we did in Prague was go to a Cubist museum – our first. The movement was pretty big in what was then Czechoslovakia, and there are remains all over town. I really don’t get it, to be honest, but I don’t get a lot of things. The museum was mildly interesting, but the cubist cafe downstairs rocked! Well, it didn’t rock exactly, since they played mostly Edith Piaf, but it was surely the highlight of the afternoon. Here are some pictures. Everything you see is supposed to be Cubist, yes, even the staircase.