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CZECH REPUBLIC | Thursday, 8 May 2014 | Views [749]

It's always a bit hit-and-miss trying to synchronise with the weather and our sojourn in Prague broke even.  The train from Munich rolled it's way steadily through the farmland of southeast Germany and the forested woodlands of western Czech Republic, and the sun shone more often than not. There's a noticeable change in architecture from Bavaria to Bohemia, one that conjures up similar feelings to Transylvania, that the foreboding dark history hasn't quite been erased and elements of the goulish and goblinesque still exist in the stone and mortar and the spires of the historic old city.
After settling into the hotel, we walked down to St Wenceslas Square (yes, that good ol' king whose namesake lived 900 years before the popular song about him was penned), and whose statue stands before the amazing Natural History Museum. The balmy afternoon was popular and the 700m long Square, which is more like a long rectangle really, was packed with school groups, tour groups, tourists, locals and everyone else. We strolled through the outskirts of the old town enjoying the live atmosphere, the buskers, the music, the old town ambience and the food!
We planned to do another hop-on hop-off tour the next day to get the most out of our limited time here, but there's so many options for things to do, and the hotel foyer is littered with brochures and pamphlets. Even as the rain came down we knew we had to don the scarves and umbrellas and push on, to join the throng of committed sightseers, that undercurrent of the population that dwells in places normal people won't go to when it rains. But as we were only two, we lacked the strength in numbers and were unceremoniously devoured by hordes of the 'gawking dead' as they shuffled with their mouths agape and their eyes agog towards their leader with the red umbrella or little green flag and clipboard who was yelling in strange gutteral languages that only they could understand.
The Prague Castle and St Vitas Cathedral, both outstanding historic icons on the hillside overlooking the city, were overrun by the beasts, so we made our escape down the cobblestone roads and across the Charles Bridge, paying scant attention to a few Bohemian Crystal shops on the way back to the old town centre. More of the gawking dead had gathered beneath the famed Astronomical Clock to muse at the tolling of the bell, possibly as a reminder to stick to the shadows, stay out of the light, lest they be consumed by the need to visit the Salvador Dali exhibition, or climb the bell tower, or worse - hop on our bus! But we fled to the sanctuary of some traditional cuisine, and I filled my belly on pork knuckle, bread and wine, before giving away the idea of a river cruise in the rain.  Our horseless coach arrived in time to deliver us back to the hotel where we could rest and recover in time for coffee and cake. And as the night slowly consumes the day, we say our Hail Mary's and pack the luggage for the start of the next and final leg of this epic rail journey!

Tags: sightseeing

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