Another cloudy day…
And more rain than yesterday…
Time to pull up my big boy pants and get out there and explore!
I actually don’t mind the rain (in moderation of course) but, boy, I hate when my shoes get wet.
I only have one pair of shoes for this trip so when they get wet I have no backup and walking around with wet shoes and socks for hours at a time does not make me a happy camper.
I know, I know – first world problems…
So, like I said, I pulled up my big boy pants and get out there today to explore a few things on this side of the river away from the old town and the swarm of tourists there.
After walking for awhile and still having quite a bit of a stretch to walk ahead of me, I finally gave in and hopped on a tram.
Now, the way the trams work here is you buy a ticket from a tobacco shop or at a metro station and then validate it in a little yellow machine on board and it’s good for 90 minutes.
You just hop on and hop off trams as you need and the driver doesn’t check the tickets.
There are, occasionally, inspectors who will board the trams to check tickets and that’s what happened on one of my tram trips today.
The first day I was here I couldn’t find any places to buy a ticket and I traveled illegally. I was always looking out at the stops to see if there were inspectors ready to board in which case I figured I’d just hop off.
It worked out that day but it sure is a sucky way to travel as you’re always looking over your shoulder and living in fear.
Anyway, that was the other day. Today I had my ticket and I had it validated so it was smooth sailing when the inspectors came on board.
Turns out, by the way, the inspectors are dressed in plain clothes so I would never have been able to avoid them anyway.
Actually as I stood in the tram the man approached me and said something in Czech. I just waved him off as I thought he was trying to sell me something or ask me for change. Then he showed a ring on his finger with some sort of symbol (transit symbol I’m guessing) and spoke English – “ticket”.
I smiled and showed him my ticket and thought back to the other day and how I surely would have been nailed.
Anyway, as I hopped off at my stop I noticed they had pulled off a group of 6 tourists who didn’t have valid tickets.
The place I hopped off, by the way, was at the entrance to the Prague Castle that overlooks the city.
The castle isn’t so much of a castle as it is a series of buildings. Not to say that it still wasn’t impressive as the architecture and design of old buildings always gets me.
I saw the changing of the guard and went in the grand cathedral. There was also an amazing (free) view overlooking the city.
Afterwards I went to the Kafka museum ’cause, well, it’s Kafka.
I was hoping for a building full of images and tales from his books but instead it was just another museum of papers and posters of his early life.
Next stop was the John Lennon wall.
The wall was originally a source of irritation for the communist regime and young Czechs would write their grievances there.
Now, the wall is filled with John Lennon inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles’ songs.
The only other thing I did was visit my favorite restaurant here in Prague.
I actually went to Stara Praha three times today – for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In total I ate there 6 times in the 2 1/2 days I’ve been in Prague.
I had something different each time and even stole a menu as a souvenir (shhh, don’t tell anyone).
And that’s it.
It was a wet and grey day but I still got out there and saw what I wanted to see.
I took it easy in the evening just watching some TV shows I had downloaded onto my netbook.
I also got ready for the next few days as I will actually be in three different countries over the next three days.
Tomorrow I’ll go to Bratislava, Slovakia followed the next day by Vienna, Austria before I go onto Budapest, Hungary after that.
Three days…three countries – should be a whirlwind.
Time to explore!