Thursday, 14 June 2007

Two rules for visitors to Prague

I spent a few pleasant hours in Prague a few weeks ago. It is a city which is very special for me - it was here that I first fell in love with Czecho. I try to spend some time wandering aimlessly every time I visit - it's by far the best way to discover the city's hidden treasures. I have two rules:

No. 1 When you see a crowd of tourists, especially a gang of shirtless British stagnighters, dive down the nearest alley. It is amazing how just going a few yards to the left or right of the tourist routes, which stretch from Charles Bridge to the Town Square, or from the Bridge up to the Castle, you will find yourself alone.

No.2 Look up. It is easy to have your eyes captivated by the glitter of shop fronts and the allure of mammon and not to see Prague's architectural and decorative treasures above. Look up and you will see frescos, sgraffito, carvings, and sculpture. Look up and you will see architecture from all that great city's long history.

And as a result of following either or both of these rules you will have the added bonus of getting lost and so find a part of the city that you weren't looking for, but should have been.


Anonymous said...

I wish that you can also visit other parts of the Czech republic, especially in the western region, visit the villages and spoke to some folks there. You will find that is completely oposite of what you think about Prague. Prague is "State in the State" or "shopping window" as was in past communist regime.
Keep well

potok said...

Dear Anonymous

Please read the rest of my blog, in which you will discover that I actually live elsewhere in the Czech Republic and so visit Prague only infrequently as a visitor. I don't know the western region, I live in South Bohemia in a village near Cesky Krumlov.

Totally agree with you about Prague and its difference from the rest of the country, but then that is true of most capital cities - London is certainly not England, Paris not France and so on. The problem the Czechs have, dare I say it as a Brit, is they only seem to market the capital city and maybe a few tourist towns, rather than the country as a whole. The Brits I know would love the countryside of the Czech Republic and the superb walking and heritage to be found here. For my part I am trying to do my bit towards wider promotion with this blog and our family website



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