Saturday, 11 April 2009

2006 The Long NOT Winding Road - Not A Hen Party In Sight

Yet another of our famous lazy starts followed by a slow amble to the train station. Having seen that the 10:02 arrived in Prague just 15 minutes before the 11:02 we decided to get the latter, only for it to be delayed by 15 minutes itself! A railway announcement was relayed in several languages including English. Top marks to the Czech railways. The extra time was spent wandering along the platform and taking several photos around the station and of some railway workers. Everywhere we walked we were followed by a magpie and one of the workers told us that the magpie had been fed as a young bird and so was not afraid of people (and Biker Ted's I assume). I think that the Kutna Hora station itself looks like something from a 1950's model layout.

The biggest problem of the day occurred at Prague railway station - finding our way out! Eventually the exit was located and we headed off towards the centre of town. On the way we decided to walk through a park that could be described as best avoided as it was full of drunks and the occasional needle on the ground. This was of course three years ago and things may have changed since our visit. Guzzisue got questioned about where to catch the bus for Budapest. Funny how we always seem to blend in so that we don't appear to be tourists.
Finding ourselves on the tourist trail we came across some sculptures down one of the major roads.

This particular sculpture was created by Ales Vesely and is called Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead. It was part of the Grande Sculpture 06 season in Prague with works by several artists.
As we continued walking, Ian and Guzzisue were on the lookout for a small sticker of the Czech flag to put on the Guzzi's flyscreen. Entering one of the souvenir shops they got into conversation with a young Bulgarian assistant. It transpired that she rode a Simpson and was waiting for Bulgaria to join the EU so that she could be with her boyfriend who was studying in the UK. She was pleased to meet someone who would actually talk with her as most of the time people would just ignore her.
Moving on towards the centre, stopping for the occasional photograph, including this elaborate gateway.

It was round this time that we got caught up in some excitement. Several tourist guides, umbrellas held high, parties running like schoolchildren behind them were all heading in the same direction. Naturally we followed in hot pursuit and arrived in the town centre just in time to watch the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall chime the hour.

The clock has a long history with many fictitious legends surrounding it. On the hourly chime, figures of the Twelve Apostles pass by two windows at the top of the clock face. These were only added in the mid 1800's, while the clock itself dates back to 1410.
As the clock chimed Ian had been talking to a Canadian couple and we all ventured into the Town Hall and went to the top of the tower for some good views of the Prague horizon and square.

With no particular idea where we were going we eventually ended up on the riverbank and Guzzisue taking this photo of the castle, one of the largest in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Unfortunately we did not have enough time to make our way up there to explore, so having taken a photo and some film of a cruise boat, none of us wanting to go on it for some reason,

we headed off towards the Charles Bridge to enjoy some of the artists and buskers. The buskers ranged from a jazz band to a solo violinist, to this duo that were keeping a small crowd entertained with their slide guitar blues and The New Vaudeville Band's Winchester Cathedral type vocals.

Outside one of the hotels near the Charles Bridge a large crowd had gathered. Railings had been placed around the area, a small police presence was there and a small group of cars waiting by the entrance. Being inquisitive people we decided to hang around for a few minutes to see what was happening. After 10 minutes nothing was, interest lost, we walked away. Later on that evening we saw on the news that Madonna was playing in Prague. Well if she cannot leave her hotel on time, we cannot be bothered to wait! Her loss not ours.
Another area of Prague that needs investigating is the Jewish Area. Unfortunately we ran out of time for this, so maybe another time.

To finish with, here is a small film I have edited on of our trip to Prague. "Bear" with it as there is a snippet of the two musicians in the photo. Sometimes one thing can seem just right to make the day complete and they were it. Thank you gentlemen.


Affer said...

Marvellous writing - and the movie really 'involves' the viewer; I thought I was there! I wonder if the Bulgarian girl made it to Britain? And was she disappointed? At her age, all I wanted to do was go to Paris, or Berlin....but perhaps it just the lure of fresh pastures.
Strangely, I saw a young lad on a Simson just a couple of weeks ago. Ghastly things really, I have no doubt they will become a cult!

bikerted said...

It's always an unanswered question when you know there will never be another meeting with someone. I assume the fact that she was joining her boyfriend that small street was paved with gold, the others....
How right you are Affer. the Simson does have a cult following. With Ian being a member of the MZ Owners Club there are a number of articles in the club magazine about them. Catch up on the latest cult, the Troll scooter.

Baron's Life said...

I have totally savored this piece of exquisite writing, the details were picturesque, the video clip 7:19 was very good , loved the music on it as, what a small world you managed to talk to A Canadian couple... Have also looked at Jewish Prague and they have a Hotel Bellagio there...have a look at the bellagio in Las Vegas
Bellagio Las Vegas!The picture taken by Guzzisue is great...Cheers all

bikerted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bikerted said...

Impressive hotel there Baron. It's not the one you stayed at when you was in Vegas recently per chance?
I think Ian could have stayed on Charles Bridge all day listening to the variety of music there.