18th Prague alone

by Tom Kerswill on July 18th, 2005
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On the 18th, I had a day of wandering around Prague, and doing fairly touristy things – like sightseeing. I didn’t really have a guidebook, so I just used my intuition a bit. It was incredibly hot. I can’t really remember much of what I did – just wandering I think. Prague was busy and touristy, and today, Monday, I wasn’t very impressed with it. Seemed more expensive than Slovakia, and a bit less friendly. And overrun by sightseers like me!

In the evening I decided to explore Prague by night. Again, it was really hard to find anywhere interesting, because the most obvious bits to go to are the touristy bits. And because I was walking on my own, about every five minutes I was offered drugs, sex, or strip clubs. It all seemed a bit seedy.

Eventually at about 11.00 I gave up and walked along the river towards Charles Bridge. The atmosphere here was much nicer, and suddenly I realised that the bridge was full of people – sitting down listening to buskers or watching fire-breathers. So I went to a little stall and sat down and just watched everything unfolding. Suddenly Prague was a good play to be.

After that I walked to the new square. I wandered for a bit and then sat down next to a group of Saudi Arabians who were sitting in the middle of the square just singing. Slowly other people came up to them, including an American who wanted to know how to sing in Saudi. More people joined in and it became really cool. Suddenly I was talking to a couple of people from Marseilles, and playing their guitar. Later we were joined by a group of Austrians, who were doing a tour of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Their next stop was Budapest.

And later there were some lads from Darlington who had come over on the plane for a couple of days (amazing that there’s an airport near Darlington… quite scary really). Plus lots of other people.

Then the police came over to the assembled group, with lights flashing, and I think they wanted to tell everyone to be quiet, but didn’t speak any English. They stood there for a bit and then drove off. Very strange. Maybe they just wanted some money.

Anyway – turned into a really good evening, and I went away feeling that I’d finally found the real Prague.

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