The castle on the hill
Or maybe I just used it all up yesterday when I found my camera.
The plan for today was to head to Prague Castle and see what was going on there. I stopped a the supermarket again, re-stocked, and headed toward the castle. I crossed the Charles Bridge again and took a few photos of the castle from there. Now, it didn't really occur to me that the castle was on a hill overlooking the town. This finally hit me when I reached the several stories of steps that led up to the castle. It actually wasn't that bad to climb up, but I still think about it whenever I use the stair machine at the gym.
I made it to the gates of the castle and bought my ticket, which gave me access to everything the castle had to offer.
Entrance to Prague Castle
The guards here, dressed in blue, give the castle a bit of a British feel - just like the guys in England, they won't bat an eye at you. The major structure in the castle area is, without a doubt, St. Vitus Cathedral. This large cathedral, originally constructed over 1000 years ago, towers over the other buildings in the area, and is the most impressive. Going inside, you can feel yourself going back in time with the old stone columns around you. It is also possible to climb to the top of the cathedral, which offers amazing views of all of Prague. Who am I to pass up such an opportunity?
Most of the buildings in the castle area are open to the public, if you have the full ticket (which was very cheap for a student!). I came to St.
From the top of St. Vitus Cathedral
George's Basilica and checked that out next. All the buildings here have a very old feel to them, I really did feel like going to Prague sent me back in time. Finally, I was ready to head inside the Old Royal Palace. This is the part where things got a little weird...you see, the Old Royal Palace, among other things, contains an area dedicated to art. I didn't know this when I entered, but because I was there I figured I would check it out. The signs strictly say no photography, so I had my camera put away when I ran into one of the security guards there.
This guard, who spoke no english, started making a gesture like he was taking a photograph. Was he accusing me of taking a photo of something? He gestured for me to follow him.
View from Prague Castle (St. Vitus Cathedral)
I tried asking him what was going on, but he was unable to understand me. We walked for a bit, and then he pointed to a picture. Was this what he thought I took a picture of? After seeing that I was not moving, he went and stood by the picture, and gestured for me to stand there. Then, he made the photo gesture again. I finally caught on that he wanted to take a picture of me in front of this piece of art. Seeing as he wasn't going to let me go, I gave him my camera and he took my photo. Thinking back, I am not sure why I even gave him my camera, but I was more puzzled by why this guy wanted to take my picture in an area where it's forbidden to do so.
He would give my camera back after each photo he took, but as I walked through the palace, he would stop me from time to time for a photo.
One of the pictures the security guard took
The paintings did not look like anything special to me, but the guy was having the time of his life. When we would near another guard, he would act as if he were patrolling the area. The whole thing was just really weird...finally, I was able to ditch him and get out of there. I guess I can say that I am one of the few to have photos of random pictures in the Old Royal Palace of Prague, but...why? I never did figure out what the guy's deal was. I just wanted to get out of there.
Leaving the palace, and still a little freaked out, I walked through Golden Lane - an alley that once had many different shops of different trades...back in the day. Leaving the castle grounds, I headed back to where I began my tour of the palace through the gardens below.
After 22:00 the crazies come out!
As I approached the main gate, I saw that the changing of the guard procession was taking place. That was a neat thing to see.
After crossing back over the Charles Bridge, I headed into the more modern area of Prague. For some reason, I was hoping to get some good deals on clothes or something while I was there. I thought the whole city was cheap, but this area was actually really expensive. On the way over there though, I stepped off the curb and landed in a not-so-pleasant way on the cobblestone street. My foot felt funny after that, but I kept walking. I didn't realize that this was the beginning of something bad.
As night fell on Prague, I (as always) headed out into the city at night. I found that, on the Charles Bridge, everyone comes out at night. It was even more lively, with musicians, performers, and everything in between. There was even one guy, as you can see in the picture, who was blowing fire. Interesting town.