From Amsterdam it is just a short flight to Prague, where we will spend the next three days.
Prague is another beautiful city, full of fabulous architecture
much of it decorated:
The interiors are just as interesting:
Prague was the home of Alphonse Mucha, the father of Art Nouveau graphics, and many of the interiors of the important buildings were designed or decorated by him
Prague is also the home of some fabulous churches built long before minimalism was ever thought of
and of an equally fabulous neo-roccocco opera house
Where Gordon manages to make an appearance in the audience, looking equally as fabulous but without the roccocco influence
But it is the Charles bridge and the enormous castle that it leads to it, that makes Prague famous. The bridge lined with statues crosses the Vitava river
The Castle sitting on top of the hill across the bridge dates back to the 8th century and dominates the skyline
The guide books tell us that it is the largest coherent castle complex in the world.
What is an incoherent castle complex?
Above the castle is a Capuchin monastery which is home to one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever seen
Prague knows how to milk the tourists and charges a steep entry fee for everything. We have to pay almost $10 each to go into the monastery. The only thing worth seeing in the Monastery is the library, but no mention is made of the fact that we won’t be allowed into those rooms. The heat and humidity from all the bodies was adversely affecting the books, so all we are allowed to do is peer in from the open door, take a photo and leave. A distasteful con, made even more unpalatable because it is inflicted by a group of monks!
Prague is also famous for its art and statues, some of which feature the male penis quite prominently.
One particular statue stands alone in a square. It is made of bronze, which means that any part of it which is constantly rubbed will turn a beautiful brass color as opposed to the darker bronze color of the rest of the statue. If it is a statue of a saint, then maybe the head is rubbed or perhaps the hand , to bring you good luck. But this statue is of a regular man who happens to be wearing absolutely nothing. Never the less, people love to rub this statue for good luck. But it is not his head that people rub, nor his hands. It is the penis. I am not sure what sort of luck rubbing his penis is supposed to bring, but it appears to be only the women who rub it. Fortunately the man appears unaffected by such welcome attention, but his penis glistens a golden color in the sun
Prague was also home to Frank Kafka. There is a Frank Kafka Museum which is rather somber and dark inside. Outside the spirit is entirely different. There is a statue of two men facing each other, each with his penis in hand, as if ready for some macho male challenge.
Once the fountain is turned on, it becomes apparent that the challenge is that time old tradition of who can pee the longest and furthest. And if you want to see, just click or paste this link!
We however face a different challenge. Trying to work out what possible significance this can have to Frank Kafka
But today Prague is not famous for being incredibly beautiful. It is not famous for it’s architecture or the inspiring castle, the monastery and the museums. Sadly it has become famous as the place where twenty something year olds from across Europe (both men and women) come to get drunk. There are endless stag parties and bridal parties in the town. Each group staggering from bar to bar in T Shirts proclaiming the name of the bride or the groom. The bride frequently wears a bridal veil, her followers screaming with delight at each and every selfie being taken. The groom and his followers are all in shorts, t shirts and flip flops, carrying large mugs of beer. They want to take selfies but can’t manage to point their phones in the right direction.
Quite why they all come to Prague is unclear. It maybe because here you can get beer that has a 12% alcohol content. Three pints and you are totally incapable of performing any task in the upright position.
It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is, the streets, and the squares are packed with the young, the loud, and the unruly
There are of course a few older tourists to be spotted. They don’t travel in packs wearing identical outfits, like the young, but they have equally conspicuous attire
Prague was on my bucket list. But as Harry Belafonte once sang
“There is a hole in my bucket”
Love the pictures of the buildings. Sorry about the tourists. They bring money to support historic restoration and services, but sometimes also they bring a yuk factor.
Okay, have taken Prague off my bucket list.
It is a beautiful City – and don’t forget we were there in high season. Apparently it is much nicer if you avoid July, August, September.
But then it rains a lot!
We went last year in June and had a totally different experience. We rented an apartment near Wenceslas Square and met some very interesting locals, plus our landlord was from Amsterdam and gave us the insiders tour of the fun side of Prague (nudge nudge wink wink). I loved Prague as it reminded me of how Amsterdam was when I lived there in the 70’s (not how it is now). David and our friend Michele did the touristy things while I wandered around the less visited parts. I joined them on an outing to Petřínská rozhledna (little Eiffel) but I walked up the hill while the others took the funicular and I got there first! The gardens at the top are quite spectacular! I found the locals friendly and welcoming and I could quite easily live there. Sorry your experience was less than stella but, as always I love reading about your fabulous travels! Thank you!