Prague: and the morning and the afternoon were the first day

Prague: the first morning

Of course the first thing was to find the Top Hotel ( I sure wish we had a video of the cab ride from the airport, with all of Prague a 180-kph blur zipping by) and collapse in our room. In the morning we saw this out the window (note the tour bus, and the practicing rugby teams -- the hotel was hosting both the early childhood folks and a rugby tournament). In the usual EuroSpartan style this (these) was (were) our bed(s) and this is how it looked from the entry

The Day in Prague

After breakfast we took the bus to the Metro, and the Metro to the Muzeum stop (for 20 crowns, which is about $1), which brought up up at the top of Wenceslas square, which is really a long boulevard, with lots of flower gardens in the middle and wonderful buildings on either side. At the bottom we consulted
the map again, and just started wandering through a market and by groups of touring muscians and through amazingly picturesque narrow streets and shops. Anne was charmed by these strange elongated and whimsical people . We found what it says
here through the underpass and soon we were in Old Town Square , which was just amazing , especially the astronomical clock . There was just too much to photograph, with amazing building after amazing building -- but then when we got to the river there was the Charles Bridge, and across the river St. Vitus Cathedral and the castle . At the foot of the bridge -- and everywhere else we went, nearly -- there were concerts advertised. We especially liked this one, where apparently the organ was going to be played by some famous people and you might notice what's across the street there. Just to the right of that was the tower at the near end of the bridge . The first thing we encountered on the bridge, almost, was the New Prague Synocpated Orchestra, playing 1920s-style jazz (more jazz clubs than we've seen anywhere, by the way), and caricature artists (must have been six or so, some pretty good). And this was one of the many statues lining the bridge -- the martrydom of St. John Nepomuk (notice the shiny spots -- caused by the fact that almost everyone going by touches them for luck. We continued across the bridge , passing a ancient (but restored) water wheel and an another amazing statue which depicts Christians enslaved by the Infidels. It absolutely fascinated us -- the Christians there sure do seem to be suffering. Sort of interesting that it was just above the Kafka Museum on the other side of the road. On across the bridge and up the street past the Serbian Embassy, where some sort of parade seemed
to be forming up. Lots of wonderful old cars are used for tours. By this time we were exhausted, so we found ourselves a likely cafe and had a beer and a wonderful sandwich and consulted our map again. Onward by more wonderful archicture and streetscapes, and up those steps (this is looking back down, and this is going up, and this is Anne having taken her jacket off, and here is some of the view from the top, outside the Prague Castle and the St.
Vitus Cathedral, which is what we came up here for (here's another antique touring car). On into the castle, past the guards and the ones coming to replace them , and up to the Ca
thedral and inside -- where the windows were among the most amazing we've ever seen, but the digital camera just couldn't do them justice. I'm going to try to find some pictures on line: they are unbelievable. But so was this reliquary, , and this person overhead looking at it -- it's a statue , not a painting -- and the
organ, too. Round the back and out to the edge, where we had this view which included this , which we have no idea about. Then, feet about on their last
legs , down the stairs and back to the metro and back to our bus
station and then the hotel . Whew. Now for the reception this evening.

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