Beautiful Prague - Day 2 - A Sunny Saturday
I had a surprisingly good night's sleep considering the hostel's location right in the bus station. I wasn't woken at the crack of dawn by the sound of buses reversing as I had expected. Breakfast in the hotel was included in the room price. Buffet too. For me that means getting value for money and eating as much food as I possibly can. A couple of rolls with cheese and something vaguely resembling bacon, but should by rights be named fake-on. After breakfast we went to reception to see if they could find us some rooms. Fifteen or so minutes later, we had a couple of rooms (instead of a room shared between two of us) at the price agreed for a single room. The rooms wouldn't be ready for another hour or so, but that wasn't too much of a problem as we were just about to head off out into the city with the plan of going on a free walking tour.
On the walk into the city centre we indulged in some harmless racial stereotyping. "Ooh look, there is a group of dark-skinned, badly-dressed people queuing for a bus, they must be Romanians". "Germans on a very well organised tour". "Ah, Russian women in furs and high-heels". We continued on into the old city centre where we found our guide for the free walking tour. She was a Czech girl, who didn't inspire confidence when she apologised for her poor English and not being from Prague. She said hello to all the native speakers, Americans, Canadians, Australians, missing out the most important one, English. We bloody invented English, missy (well stole it from various other languages). We set off in a group of around twenty people but it soon became apparent that it wasn't the best way to take advantage of any photo opportunities that may arrive (such as people blowing bubbles on the street to the enchantment of little children).
When one of our group decided to break off from the tour I decided it might be a good idea to tag along. We were both in Prague with our cameras and a yen to take photos. First major place of interest was a large square; a mecca for tourists and those wishing to fleece them of their money. Prague is absolutely awash with tourists. If you are annoyed by throngs of people, then Prague is not the place for you (well, not the mainstream tourist areas anyway). A few people were on Segways. After looking at the oldest and most impressive clock in Prague we set off to the old castle. This was a fairly long trek taking in the river bank (along with a dozen or so black guys dressed in American sailor outfits trying to sell us boat trips). After crossing the lovely Charles' Bridge the architecture got more interesting (lots of older buildings and criss-crossing streets). Unfortunately most of the walking was uphill.
After a few hours it was time for our group to reunite. We met near the church. Their tour guide hadn't impressed them much. They had only donated 37 Koruna (just over £1). Then we did some more walking. A lot more walking. I was beginning to wish I was riding a Segway. We eventually made our way back to the hostel. Stops were made on the way to eat pizza and get supplies from a supermarket for the evening meal. By the time we got back to the hostel I'd spent 8 hours on my feet (it seemed like more).
My new room was pleasant enough. It had a private bathroom. Nice. For some strange reason the bathroom took up 70% of the available room space. A little odd, but at least I had a bed for the night. I opened a large tilting window to cool the place down and check out the view (probably of the bus station). I was surprised to see that I had a balcony (and a solitary seat). This might be a quite pleasant place to sit. Unfortunately within seconds of opening the window a mosquito had flown in, so I decide that fresh air and chilling on the balcony were probably not a good idea unless I wanted to spend the night swatting mosquitoes.
After a nice break of an hour and a half to recharge my batteries (and also those of my laptop and camera) we convened in the communal kitchen to eat some food and have a few beers. I took my laptop with me just in case I got inspired to write. It came in useful when the conversation turned to Stare Dobre Małżenstwo. It was time for the laptop to be truly useful as a music player. After five hours, many beers and some impromptu karaoke, it was finally time for bed.