Monday, 14 May 2018

Prague, Czech Republic (8 Bechynova, Prague 6)

The weather has been perfect every day that I’ve been here in Prague. Mild and sunny! Today, because of the fine weather, I’m walking down to the Charles Bridge, a very popular attraction for those who visit Prague.

From Wikipedia:  Charles Bridge (CzechKarlův mostis a historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. The bridge replaced the old Judith Bridge built 1158–1172 that had been badly damaged by a flood in 1342. This new bridge was originally called Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been “Charles Bridge” since 1870.  As the only means of crossing the river Vltava until 1841, Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas. This “solid-land” connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe.

The walking journey to the bridge, according to the GPS on my phone, will take about 45 minutes. This walk will give me more time to look at the Prague neighborhoods and admire the architecture.

When I got closer to the Charles Bridge, I decided to walk first across the Manes Bridge so I could look at the Charles Bridge from a distance before crossing it. This will also give me time to walk through a small portion of the Old Town. I saw a number of boat companies who take passengers for rides on the river. Maybe I’ll do that if the weather continues to hold up.

The bridge is very popular with tourists and was quite crowded. I can’t image how crowded it would be on the weekend in the summer months. There were a number of vendors and entertainers who occupied space on the bridge with the intention of making money from the visiting tourists.

While on the bridge I took a great picture of the Prague Castle that overlooks the bridge and the Old Town. By this time I was getting hungry and looked for a place that served hot dogs. I found a place, got my hot dog and a bottle of water, then sat on the curb. Sorry to say but the hot dog was not good, but the bun was. I only ate half of the hot dog and continued walking. I guess now I’m supplementing my diet with hot dogs rather than McDonald’s cheeseburgers.

The only other thing I wanted to see today was the Lennon Wall, a short distance away. The wall was important to those who opposed the communist regime in the 80’s. Young Czechs wrote grievances on the wall which lead to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement was called “Lennonism” and the local authorities labeled these troublemakers as alcoholics, mentally deranged, and sociopathics, and worse yet, agents of Western capitalism. Talk about fake news! Today, the wall represents a symbol of global ideas such as love and peace.

About this time I was ready to return to the flat. It was getting warmer and I had been walking around for a few hours. I decided to take a taxi back up the hill to a spot where I could walk the rest of the way to the flat. I was not looking forward to walking up the hill to where I was staying.

Once home I took a nap, even with workers tearing up a nearby street in preparation of paving it, probably over the next could of days. Surprisingly, sounds of construction do not bother me. Perhaps I was used to it living in South Waterfront as new buildings were constructed around the one where I was living for nine years.

After my nap, I used the next few hours looking for places to stay in London. A cousin is planning on visiting London next week and I said that I’d meet him there. It worked out fine for my schedule since I didn’t have definite plans for the end of May and the airfare from Vienna was less than $100. If we can’t work out the logistics for his visit, then I’ll continue with my visit to Romania and Bulgaria before my planned stay in Larnaca, Cypress in June.

Tomorrow I move to another Airbnb flat in Prague, which is a little closer to the Old Town. I’ll explore Old Town, which is rich in history, before leaving for Bratislava, Slovakia.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

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