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Discussion in 'Personal' started by Startedin82, Aug 19, 2019.
Any top tips for a 3 night trip to the Czech capital? We're off there next month.
The municipal library
Maltese Sq (I think) where there's a little table and chairs on the street dedicated to Vaclav Havel with the quote "truth and love must prevail". Known as Havel's place.
I didn't get to sit there when I visited, there were a couple of elderly men sitting chatting at it.
Try to get cheap returns at the National Theatre for opera or ballet.
The astronomical clock and tower in the old Town Hall.
Cafe Louvre (I think) old cafe where intellectuals met.
Most of Prague is walkable in comfortable shoes. We did 30 miles or so in 4 days. Otherwise trams.
The changing of the guard at Prague Castle, daily at noon. It is a real "toytown" affair, instituted by Václav Havel, accompanied by an hilarious tiny oom-pah band of 8 musicians. They usually have to stop the affair to move tourists out of the way! Nothing like the British ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
When you have recovered from the laughter, the walk up Golden Lane (for which I think there is now a charge) is worth the effort. Very historic with some good cafés.
The highlight of Prague for me was the tram system, complete with a "tram jam" of some 30 vehicles, with drivers having to stop and get out to change the points at key junctions.
Rowing boat hire on the Vltava, from near the Charles Bridge, is also fun.
The castle, which is more like village than a castle. The national cemetery, which is beautiful. It has the graves of all prominant Czechs, including Dvorjak and Smetena, but it is very interesting, even if you don't know anybody there.
Be prepared, they do not accept Euros. this took my by surprise.
The underground is very simple to use, but the instructions make it look complicated. Just decide what tariff you are paying, and have coins ready. You probably want either the half hour journey (24Ck) or the day ticket. You press the button for the tariff you want, put the coins in, get the ticket, then get it stamped at the entrance to the underground before you start your journey, and off you go
Prague: never been there, but it is the city that sums up for me the extent to which the world has "shrunk" over the past 40 years.
When I was at secondary school I had a good friend, Tanya, who was Czech. Her family had been visiting the UK when the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968. Her parents were scientists. Apparently they had written and spoken out about the Russians, so ended up trapped in the UK, unable to return to Prague. They were dissidents, in effect.
It was very handy that Tanya's parents were scientists, as when we started Chemistry O Level in 1973, Tanya's mum used to do it for us.
Their house was so exotic: painted eggs on the mantelpiece at Easter and Dvorak playing on the record player - so very different from life on my council estate.
In 1974 they were suddenly "allowed" to go back, and they departed overnight.
Tanya used to write to me. Her letters read like Soviet propaganda leaflets: our wonderful Communist, this and our fabulous Communist that...
She was married at 19, and we then lost touch.
We suspected that her father was a spy: one winter evening we called at her house and could see her father half-hidden behind a curtain operating a complicated radio set-up. We suspected that the Russians had called him back home...
But back then in 1974 Prague, as a concept, seemed unreachably far away; it may have well been New Zealand. This is both due to the Soviet control and the fact that foreign travel was relatively new. I've never been there, and would like to go, and when I do go I'll be wondering if I happen to pass Tanya, unwittingly, in the street.
(The good thing was that with Tanya's mother no longer around to do the homework, I had no option but to knuckle down and get a grip, eventually passing the O Level with an A grade. )
Edit: Sorry for the rambling, and no practical advice to offer, but have a nice time @Startedin82!
The view of the castle lit up at night from the main bridge is good,
Rememeber the trams say they go to one place but the station plan inside the trams often have a different name for the same stop.
In old Prague, the other side of the bridge the churches in the square are worth a view and there is another along the road from there which is full of bling on the statues, quite a sight if you like such things.
This youtube guide gives ideas about what to avoid and sample
Take a trip to Terezin. You won't enjoy it but you won't forget it.
What I didn't realise is that I needed an extra ticket on the tram for my luggage. It seemed that tram tickets were rarely checked - but they were so cheap that people aren't that inclined to dodge them.
Petrin Hill lookout tower gives a good view if it's not too smoggy (I could feel that the air quality was not too good in some places).
Oldsomeone - "bling on the statues" - I think I know the one you mean - great description!
The Jerusalem synagogue was worth seeing.
The zoo has contours on its map - which makes sense when you see just how steep some of the paths are - I particularly liked seeing mountain goats in an enclosure which was pretty much like the side of a mountain.
The guide put my son in a cell and locked the door...'That's the cell where Gavrilo Princip [the man who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and sparked the First World War] was imprisoned for some years'... And then there is its' use as a concentration camp in WW2. Unforgettable.
Also, BTW, don't miss the Museum of Communism: https://muzeumkomunismu.cz/en/
There are lots of lovely buildings - the "dancing" one by the river below the Charles Bridge- Tanisi Dum or something like that? And there is a nice cubist style building that was used to accommodate teachers - think it's near the Jewish quarter from memory.
EDIT: my Czech spelling wasn't too bad - Tančící dům https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_House
my Prague funny:
Whilst walking from our hotel to the castle, some women in the street were handing out leaflets and wet wipes. On closer inspection said wet wipes were advertising a "museum of sex". We chuckled to ourselves but kept them.
When exploring the (very nice) castle, they were renovating in one room and some paint fell on us. "Ah!" we said; "we've got just the thing" and wiped ourselves off with sex shop wet wipes.
Knew they'd come in handy"!
Thank you everyone for taking the trouble to reply. I'm looking forward to going and your suggestions will be a great help.
I went to Prague on a day trip.
The lady I was with dumped me at the end of it.
I have mixed feelings on the place.
I went in about 1991. The wine was then available for 9 pence a glass. I discovered it was well worth paying 11 pence for better quality wine.
Your loss, Mrs Lan's gain
The new Jewish cemetery. Kafka is buried there.
The Old Jewish cemetery. Rabbi Lowe who created the Golem is buried there.
I got ripped off. In 1984 I was charged 10p for breakfast. It was the posh one...eggs and bacon. The cheap one appeared to be a lump of fat and bread.