Where in the world are Wayne and Donna this time? travel blog

V....something River that dissects Prague

love locks on bridge in Prague

impressive statue in square with Prague Castle on right in behind and...

no straight roads in Prague!

sample of some amazing architecture on narrow streets

very busy & pretty take-out location for Trdelnik, traditional Czech treat, unleavened...

astronomical clock built in 1410 with many moving parts chimes on the...

architectural wonder with spires and gargoyles

these pictures don't do the city justice - it truly is impressive...

red roofs of the city as seen from the Prague Castle

We are in Prague and officially on holidays now. We were met at the airport by Lenka at whose home we will be staying for the next 10 days. After a nine hour flight from Seattle and a 4 hour layover at Heathrow airport in London we made the easy 2 hour hop into Prague. Actually the worst part of the whole trip was the mis-named “Quick” Shuttle to Seattle. We didn’t realize that to clear customs the whole bus must empty out and all luggage must be inspected airport style. Anyone who travels south will be familiar with cheerful, happy-go-lucky US border guards who seem to delight in making clearing customs as slow as possible. This time, despite a line stretching to the entrance doors, it was time for shift change and one bunch slowly shuffled into the back room without a word to the folks lined up. It must have been more than 10 minutes later the door finally opened and the replacements wandered in and ever so slowly got their terminals ready and started to pass people through! No matter to us but the poor guy behind us was sweating bullets as he was trying to catch his flight early that evening from Seattle and at every turn we were being slowed down further and further! Note to self – don’t assume “Quick” means QUICK!

On the ground in Prague things were a little tense as we cleared customs and no one was waiting for us with a little “Turner” sign as pre-arranged with Lenka!! But just as we were starting to get really nervous Lenka burst through the doors and in minutes we were enroute to her home in Rudna (about 30 minutes from Prague). The home of Lenka, Marek and 3 year old daughter is 110 years old located at the main intersection of the small village of Rudna and was originally Marek’s Grandmother’s place. Our space is a third floor loft that is very comfy and we have settled in nicely having walked the village and snooped in all the shops. There is a spacious garden attached to the house with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and ripe plums which we have been ordered to eat. Our hosts have been very helpful with tips of how to get around and generously offered their second car for our use. They have stayed home with us for the first few days helping us to get oriented and giving us useful tips on money, transportation, food, etc. It has been good to have them around as they speak English fairly well. English is not prevalent in Rudna so shopping for groceries will be a bit of a challenge – lots of sign language, for sure. Apparently there is more English in Prague but not so much in the rural communities. Lenka & family are leaving tomorrow for Bolivia so we will have the house to ourselves and will have to use what little knowledge we have to get around and managed to buy enough groceries to feed ourselves.

Grandmas house is the largest building in town and Marek told us that in 1949 the Nationalists (the Russian communists) came and took possession of the building because it had a pharmacy on the first floor and as such they deemed it a commercial building. Granny then got the privilege of remaining in her home but had to pay rent in order to stay. This continued until the end of the Revolution in 1989 – so for 40 years the old dear had to pay rent on her own home!!! Plus during those 40 years the Russians never did any maintenance on the building so when she got it back again she had to take out a substantial loan to pay for all of the wear and tear over the last 40 years!!! Guess that’s what happens in a communist or revolution situation but it is foreign to us so seems like quite a hardship.

Our travels on Thursday took us into Prague by public transit and we got there and back just fine – well a few hiccups but nothing too serious. Prague really is an amazing city with fantastic architecture that had our headings swiveling 360 degrees………..well maybe not 360 but a LOT of swiveling for sure!!! Hopefully the photos will give you a sense of what we saw today but it is more likely that you have to be here to see it for yourselves to appreciate the wonder and history of the city buildings. We did a tour of the Prague Castle (along with oh…………….about 5 THOUSAND other people) – very interesting but WAY to crowded for us. The view of the city from the castle grounds was spectacular but the castle itself was a bit of a disappointment. Over hyped?????????? Just a bit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We did come across a market with fresh veggies and souvie stuff that has been running in this location since 1232 (probably just the veggie part as souvies weren’t a hot seller back then I don’t imagine). As Wayne says “I love Prague” T-shirts weren’t invented yet!!! This taste of the city has tweaked our interest and we will return again, quite likely for an evening visit as we suspect all the lights and glitter will change the appearance and ambience substantially. We noticed that there were lights set up on the cathedrals and government buildings so it will be quite a show to see. The Charles Bridge, one of their main attractions, crosses the Vlaitdkaoodkvzkptmke River but was soooooo crowded with people today that we couldn’t actually see the bridge or get any good photos. There are statues and lights all along the bridge so hopefully we can get a better view by night (in the dark!).

Our feet are sore and Wayne is very thirsty……………………funny how inexpensive but good beer makes one thirsty????? We have lots more exploring to do so our feet are going to have to learn to keep up and the beer is going to have to…………………stay cold!!!


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