Saturday, August 22, 2009

Checking out the Czechs

I had been looking forward to Prague, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Once we arrived at the hotel, we took a couple of hours to relax and orient ourselves around the hotel a bit before taking the metro into the city for dinner. The area around the hotel is all built in the rather unsightly square block style of which I’m so fond.

The city however, is something completely different. Buildings here have character, charm and class. It really is a very beautiful city.

We had a bit of an orientation tour around the city centre, which featured the town hall, the statue of Good King Wenceslas, and the art installation imaginatively entitled “upside down horse”:

After a pleasant but unremarkable dinner, we then hobbled over the cobblestones into the old town, and marveled at the buildings and astronomical clock. This was created several hundred years ago, and shows not only the time and a clever (and anti-Semitic) mechanical display, but the signs of the zodiac as well. Apparently the town was so impressed with the beauty of this clock that they put out the eyes of the clockmaker so that he could never create one for anybody else. Upset at the bizarre display of gratitude, he climbed to the top of the tower and broke the clock so that it could never be repaired.

I guess they repaired it.

After that the tour went to Charles Bridge. Wow. This is a really cool bridge that’s impossible to describe or capture with a photo. Well it’s probably possible to capture with a photo if you know what you’re doing. But I’ve given it a go. I think if you want to see what it’s really like you should maybe Google it. It’s the most beautiful stone bridge I have ever seen, actually the most beautiful bridge I’ve ever seen. Amazing views over the city and river.

I think I like Prague too.

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