So, Prague is done. It has passed far too quickly. Simply, it is the most beautiful city I have ever visited. We are both sad to be leaving. We would spend our final day wandering Prague, absorbing as much as we could. Wenceslas Square, the subway (again), the Old Town Square, and even the outskirts of the city (more on that later).
Today dawned with a thrum of car tyres outside. Most of Prague started their day before we did. We woke, cleaned the apartment and then ourselves. Made coffee and we were good to go. But where? The motto of ‘no time like the present to buy presents’ rung louder than the bells of the cathedral across the road and we ventured off to the (now dreaded) Charles Bridge. To those at home awaiting gifts, we have one word for you – Manufactura. Lovely place. Be sure to visit when you come to Prague. We have a 14% discount card for you…
Following a mandatory stop at Starbucks, for nothing more than to charge our camera batteries, we passed by the Czech Senate. This takes the form of a maze-like entrance, with hedges, ponds and carp providing a welcome. Cris had mentioned that Prague is a destination wedding centre, and evidence of this could be seen by rose petals on the ground. We suspected that the senate would frown on rice and confetti. A bride was being photographed on the edge of a pond. We felt that if she could stand the drizzle, then we could too. We’d seen many weddings during our stay. At least we saw many brides. It could well be that only the bride makes it to Prague and the groom stays home. Or perhaps he is barred from Prague and its many beer halls…
Almost everywhere you look, a Pilsener Urquell sign can be seen. Since these emblazon every bar, pub and restaurant, it’s a logical that the eating and drinking establishment density is quite a bit higher than anywhere else. It’s almost as if Prague was designed by university students studying history and economics – history for the, well history and architecture, and economics because everyone wants to eat and drink. And because they are students, there’s quite a bit more of one than the other.
Our subway journey started at Malostranska. Or the .green one’ as we knew it. We travelled the subway lines to their extremities, exiting now and then to better understand the city and its people. Outside of old Town and the well-known historical precinct, Prague is a sprawling city bearing witness to the era of communism by way of large concrete tower blocks the no doubt were once dull and grey, but are now painted in vibrant colours in an attempt to add colour to an otherwise drab and depressing skyline. One can only marvel at the release this and other nations have had from the iron grasp of communism.
At last sombre impression of Prague will be the vigil held by mourners for three Czech ice hockey stars killed in a tragic air crash in Russia just the day before. Hundred of people were gathered around literally thousands of candles burned in little red glass holders, each one commemorating lives cut short.
As always there is an accompanying gallery here. Sorry, the images aren’t captioned, so you’ll have to do with camera filenames.
* This blog was written on the flight from Prague to Copenhagen, and the actual post was done at a o’Leary’s Sports Bar at Kastrup Airport.