Thursday 29th August Early Prague Sightseeing and a Latish Concert. - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 3 - CycleBlaze

August 29, 2019

Thursday 29th August Early Prague Sightseeing and a Latish Concert.

We are up early and in the main square by 8am. We opt for an early morning walk hoping to avoid the heat and the crowds. It was pleasant walking in the cool air looking at buildings that had looked more dramatic somehow in the night lights. Apart from us there are a few people about including some Chinese couples in their wedding finery, posing for photos with amazing backdrops.  

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The building facades from the Art Nouveau era are on full display as we walk the streets with wonderful colours and images and the inevitable question lurks in the back of one’s mind- what chance that we could build apartments like that today? Several answers spring to mind.

It’s all very pretty in the morning light and it’s quiet. 

We’ve walked in through Josefov and the Jewish quarter past the ancient cemetery with its thousands of burials in many layers. 

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Czech tourism has a long distance cycle route map to give away, and we have the Greenway map from the cycle shop. 

The Post office is nearby and Ella and Frank have another postcard on the way. 

En route to make a special visit to a church across the river for a friend,  we come to the Senate and their shady garden, where a photographic exhibition of intellectually disabled people, is very moving. 

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The Castle in its enormity sits high above us, we consider the walk, but the day’s warmth keeps us near the river. There are a mix of old and new trams in this part - the “Lesser Town”,  they pass each other and squeeze through archways, whilst cars rattle over the cobbles and pedestrians make their way to the numerous bars and restaurants and tourist sights.  

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Lunch is called for and a butcher near our Prague apartment is famous for his sandwiches. It has been crowded every time we’ve passed by, but we get our order and some ham and retreat for a cup of tea and a lie down...well... rest.

There is a concert st St Nicholas church at 5pm for which we have tickets, so the rest is brief. We also want to get to the Communism Museum. It’s not far from our base at Benediktská and proves a very thorough exposition of the period. The detail is compelling with personal accounts, photographs, and physical exhibits. The effect on people’s everyday life is vividly illustrated, and Czech humour shines through. In particular, the tale of the design and building of the massive statue of Stalin which had to be dynamited (photographs forbidden) when he fell from favour shortly after. Despite our efforts, we run out of time and the last section is rushed through. 

Back through the crowds - tourists who are still chasing guides with raised umbrellas, groups of young people ready to party, families in holiday, and PLUs... 

The one hour organ, trumpet, and soprano concert is superb, with Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, and Saint -Saens  to keep us happy. The church is of the Hussite believers, whose leader, Master Jan Hus, unfortunately met his end at he stake, burned as a heretic. His influence remained, and the Reformation came later.  

We are keen to have some salad food but the  Veg place near us has run out of most things needed for a falafel bowl (specifically falafel) so we resort to Billa and make our own. Maps and routes need consulting. We do not have the detail we found on the Elbe Radweg 

Big cities need small moments, and we found some today: a shop selling all sorts of ribbon, tape and cord, buckles and fasteners, springs for chairs and other hardware, none of it plastic packaged. And another selling pencils , made in Czech Republic. 

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Prague is charming but busy. We are ready to ride again. 

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