Day 3: Oldest Pub & Men in Uniform
Prague Travel Blog› entry 4 of 7 › view all entries
Having had a good night sleep the night before (knowing that we intended to be out and about at night for the next couple of nights), we got up early and headed over to Prague Castle. We made our way to, and then crossed Charles Bridge. Charles Bridge is a stone Gothic bridge that connects the Old Town and Malá Strana - the destination we wished to reach enroute to Prague Castle. Although we had gotten up fairly early and it was not the greatest weather of the week, the bridge was still packed with people milling, listening to tour guides and buying items from the street vendors.
There were several statues placed either side of Charles Bridge (apparently 30 according to one tour guide).
When we reached the other side, we meandered along the path, following the sign posts for the castle. We walked past the Oldest Pub in Prague, almost gave myself a heart attack when I saw the man in the barred cellar window.
Then we walked up a great deal of steps... certainly more hard work than the climb up the clock tower.
So we got up to the top and were admiring the view, when we turned around to see a load of people gathered around the entrance to the castle. Wondering what the hell was going on, we followed, only to find that they were in the process of the changing of the guard. Like the tourists that we are, we followed them so we could see them waving their guns around and get pictures of the spectacle.
After that brief run of entertainment, we went and got our tickets (full access to the castle for three days) and went in exploration of the grounds. First we came across St Vitus' cathedral; I don't know what you needed to be otherwise, but we weren't special enough to get an upclose look at the stain glassed windows. We still snapped shots from the centre of the hall though and admired the level of detail devoted to them.
We looked around various other parts of the castle, getting our ticket stamped as we went along. We passed through Golden Lane and I bought some trinkets as well as a glass vase, blown using medieval methods and some herbal shampoo made from henna and various oils (something I've just run out of and am in desperate need of some more of - perhaps in this way touching the statue was right.
So after having finished our perusal of the castle, we excited out of the bottom entrance (getting to look at the dungeon on the way past) and found a small cafe just outside of the castle walls. Deciding (well I decided, rather than Kate, because I did not want to face the wrath of her mother having underfed her) that now would be as good a time as any, we went in and had a look at the menu. There was nothing that I particularly fancied on the menu, even if there was, I don't have that big an appetite whilst travelling. Odd perhaps but I'd far prefer to be walking and seeing all I can see than wasting my time with eating. heh. Because of this, I just got a fruit salad; Kate being the carnivore she is, got some sort of beef meal.
So we wondered back into the main city and did some more pootling (we're good at that), before making our way down to the Betramka Museum.
- We had worn something warmer than tshirts and skirts
- The Betramka museum had been bigger than just one room
- They did not close the Betramka museum at 6pm.
As it was, we had managed to look thoroughly at the entire museum by the time it shut and we were left alone in the gardens (in what was turning into a chilly night) until the night staff arrived to turn the outside heaters on and then eventually to let us into the hall.
The concert itself was amazing, not being a music buff like Kate, I had not known what to expect. To be honest, I thought it would be merely different musicians playing various pieces by Mozart. However, it was in fact a theatrical production. Each player dressed up as a character familiar with Mozart personally and the players enacted scenes from his life, incorporating the music into the performance seamlessly.
After it finished, it was quite dark and not entirely certain about where we had to go to get back to our hostel, we decided to get a tram (for the first time) as we knew one of them ran right by our street. Luckily the one we needed came by, just as we had reached the bus stop. We hopped on and went to talk to the driver to get our tickets, only to find the screen blacked out. It was clear, that we had missed where we were meant to purchase our tickets from (and having read in the lonely planet it was a 200.... (less threatening when you cannot remember the denomination the fine was in, but we were suitably worried suffice to say) fine, we turned to get off again, when the door shut and the tram jolted into movement. Reluctantly we sat down and the longer amount of time we stayed on the tram, the more Kate was certain everything would be fine and we could just ride the tram to our stop. Being the worry wart I am, I wasn't so certain.
Perhaps if we had actually had our tickets, seeing the unsavoury looking men staring at us would not have been quite so perturbing but the point was, we didnt and I was nervous about that anyway. Scary men staring frayed the last of my nerves and not wanting to get off in a deserted street, known for its attacks on women with said men (who seemed like the sort that would do such attacking) staring, we got off at the first busy street that we recognised.
As it turns out, this wasn't such a bad move. On our walk back, I happened upon the memorial set up to commerate the start of the Velvet Revolution. My mother had told me to look out for it, had had no expectation of spotting it amid the maze of streets but our misfortune with the tram led to my discovering it. Always good fun.