Prancing in PragueOn October 11, 2011 by Marie Gizelle
Eight years ago, one of my closest friend and I agreed to have a rendezvous in Prague. She was there for 5 days and since Vienna is just 5 hours away by train, I thought of meeting her there. Unfortunately, her trip fell on the month when I’ve just given birth to our second son. I wasn’t able to see her there…
So for this visit, I had been thinking of what might have Prague been during her visit. The city is charming, that’s given. Architecture-wise, it has a feel of Vienna – having been an important city for the Habsburgs during Austro-Hungarian Empire and a touch of Rome – having been once the capital of the Roman empire, the influences are obvious. Yet, it still has a distinct fascination all its own.
As I mentioned, the trip was about 5 hours. We boarded the train on a Friday, half an hour before 5 o’clock…the kids still had to attend school and hubby left the office a bit earlier. We met up at the train station around 4…That’s at Wien Meidling at Vienna’s 12 district — and from there we had to pass by our district again…too bad they don’t stop at one of the stations nearer our place. Since it’s gonna take us 5 hours, I readied my camera for a lot of drive by shooting. (You’d see those shots on my other blog.)
We arrived exactly at the expected time, went to find the local trains and it was not hard to do. We just had to get some change since they still use Czech crown and not Euros. I withdrew a thousand which is about 40Euros (woot! feels like pesos) but we only needed coins for the tickets (32 for adults for 90 minutes and kids below 10 years are free, yes, free ride in Prague for my kids hihi). There are a lot of stores at the Praha hlavní nádraží (English: Prague main railway station, abbreviated Praha hl.n) still open so it was easy to get a change, I bought some postcards and Lays, because we don’t have them here in Vienna lol. Worrywart me easily comes out when travelling at night so the people who keeps looking at me like they wanna rob me or something takes a clear look of don’t you dare from me. Chos! I just stay away and be alert. hihi. Most of the store attendants speak English and others speak German so conversing isn’t much of a problem.
My in-laws who arrived earlier that day fetched us at the train station near our hotel…from the main train station, we took one ride, 5 stations I think and we walked to our hotel with them. It’s less crowded than Manila but certainly busier than Vienna. Ok, I’m paranoid I tell you but knowing how some groups (read: pickpockets) operate won’t be harmful. Stay away from those who have crutches…most of the time it’s just a front…so when we came from the station, there’s a group of men and women already following us. I saw one with crutches and his companion was really going behind dad-in-law. I walked further behind pulling hubby with me and them to watch and just when we were passing by a club, the one in crutches walked normally…lol. My hunch was true, it’s a good thing dad-in-law walks fast too!
Our first morning was cold but lovely, we walked and walked and walked as far as our shoes can handle the friction…It’s a crowded city alright but you can always find a quiet spot for you to be by yourself enjoying the swans, the water reflection, the beauty of a river that lies quietly.
(To my dear friend Barb, sorry, I’m 8 years too late, but I know we’d see each other in another lovely city soon, I don’t doubt.)
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