Archive for July 18th, 2005

18th Prague alone

Monday, July 18th, 2005

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.

Joe Williams

Monday, July 18th, 2005

This week’s unsigned highlight is Joe Williams. Based in Newcastle, UK, Joe is an acoustic singer-songwriter. His songs are intimate and memorable. The website offers free downloads, plus some works in progress and snapshots of new material. Well worth a visit.

Prague and Pohoda

Monday, July 18th, 2005

Pohoda festival was superb. Keith Flint and co finished off in true style – in torrential rain and a lighting storm. Somehow the Prodigy and forked lightning go quite well together. Especialy to “Minefields” from that Fat of the Land, which features the lyrics “This is Dangerous”. But nobody really minded the rain – we were all dancing too much.

Except for that one storm during the Prodigy set, it was beautifully sunny. And 7 beers for all the people I was camping with cost me the same as one pint at Glastonbury.

I’m writing this from Prague. It’s a little hot and a bit too touristy… but that’s just after the relative peace of Trencin and Slovakia.

I’ll write a full article when I’m back. But for now, I’m off to find a cool drink. Probably a glass of water – even if it is more expensive than Czech beer.

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