Prague Walking Tour Continued
Our guide Jan was waiting again with his tireless enthusiasm to lead us off to 4 more hours of hiking and an unending recital of dates and history to boggle our uneducated American minds. We started with the Charles Bridge, which is the most famous and tourist infested spot in Prague. Fortunately, not to bad at 9:30 on Sunday morning. The bridge over the Vltava River was built between 1357 and the early 1400’s, as ordered by Charles IV. During the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Austrian Hapsburgs had statues of Saints carved to promote Catholicization of the country. The Catholic / Protestant bloody history if frankly …. very depressing. I think Jesus was NOT impressed.
The Jewish ghetto in Prague existed from 1200 to 1850 when Jews were forced into ghettos and not allowed most civil rights. It is no longer a ghetto and is now home to many high end stores and hotels. The only remaining buildings from the “bad old days” are synagogues. the oldest was built in the 13th century. We managed to persuade Jan to stop for coffee in a coffee shop dedicated the Franz Kafka by promising him chocolate cake.
The rest of the tour was spent winding through dozens of streets lined with churches, buildings and palaces, in architectural styles from Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau, neo-gothic, neo Baroque , to eclectic mixes of them all. If I hear one more date today my head will likely explode. Jan left us to recover in Wencenslas Square. We bought some maps for future travels , had a light lunch and proceeded to get mildly lost in a Old Town. We should have known trouble was coming when we both thought the hotel was the opposite way Jan pointed us. Wr were rescued by a Bohemian looking Russian guy with a 3G tablet.
Wimbledon and Pilsner Urquell
We were lured into a restaurant by the men’s finals at Wimbledon and finally tested the most common Czech beer, Pilsner Urquell. It is a fairly good, if rather mild German style Pilsner (hence the name). We headed for dinner at a Thai restuarant before the match was over. I guessed correctly that with the bland Czech palate, “hot” was only moderately spicy and was pleasantly surprised to find that Thai food here is not over-sweetened like it is at home. We got back to the hotel in time to see Federer lose on the TV that was temporarily set up for the world cup in the basement. We now sit collapsed in our room, looking forward to tomorrow for which we have NO PLANS.