Sunday, August 4, 2013

Prague Pt. 2

We joined a free walking tour that started at 11am, which is way too late by the way. And I did get a fair amount of sun. But we learned a whole lot of history, and I can't wait to look up more about Prague when I get back. And since I don't have any particular stories to relate at the moment, here are some pictures.

(After the pictures there may be a story.)

First, this is one of the statues on Charles Bridge. I think the pinwheel hats are a little avant-garde but--wait, they're halos? Never mind.

The astronomical tower! Extremely pretty and so incredibly detailed, I loved just staring at it. But the on-the-hour "show" that's so famous? One of the most overrated touristy things ever. I did get video that I might share later.

View from the side of the square, to the left where you see the church, is where the main area opens up. But this corner looks huge with the panorama.

In the Jewish Ghetto. This clock runs backwards, as expected.

A statue of....anyone? Anyone? No not anyone. Specifically Franz Kafka. Author of The Metamorphosis and other stories. He's from here. Born lived and died here, actually.

A bad combination of a black building, and sunlight in the back. But it is really this dark in real life. Used to store gun powder for the city.

This artist (of a random door at a garbage facility) is actually the architect for some famous things, including something or other from the London Olympics last year. The heat was getting to me, I'll admit my mind wandered.

Tessa being a bad vegetarian.

This guy was one of our roomies (we had to switch rooms for the second night.) but I never saw him awake. When we got there he was asleep, and he slept all day, and then later when we came back to go to sleep, he was out with the other three dudes in the dorm, until 3 or 4am, when they all came back and fell asleep. And he was still asleep when we packed up and left in the morning. He had a sombrero. 

These random-words Coke bottles are everywhere in Europe, and we can't figure out why. For fun I guess. Tessa sure got excited upon spotting this one.

This is my horrible attempt at a Star Wars impression thing. What it turned out as: a too-skinny backpacker trying to swat a fly with a cape on.

Tessa's worked out better. She had been wearing the shirt all day anyway like that, to avoid sunburn. And in case you're wondering, this building behind is a very famous concert hall where Mozart conducted at, and parts of the movie Amadeus were shot. And the statue is in honor of the opera Don Giovanni.

And for all those Lemony Snicket fans (this includes me and Tessa) well take a look, they're everywhere....and this weather did take a very frightening direction from the norm, a few minutes after this was taken.


And you thought the post was over, no? No. See, as we did our last outing and looking around for postcards...well we had another close call with the apocalypse.

I almost bought a water color from an artist on the Charles Bridge, but I wasn't sure how I'd bring it back. But as we explored the old town that afternoon I thought and thought about it and decided I really wanted it, and would find a way to get home. 

So we're walking back, about a 20 minute walk to the bridge, and it starts to rain a little. This was in the forecast, so we expected it. But I had stupidly worn my sandals anyway, and of course a tank, because it was still insanely hot out. But within 10 minutes, gusts of wind were shooting through the small streets and into the shops, and the sky got dark, and rain started coming down sideways. I was reminded of the movie, The Day After Tomorrow. Since the shop windows and doors were open to all the tourists, things were flying around, and breaking, and we still slowly made progress, ducking in the eves, toward the Charles Bridge. People were rather freaking out, and we found ourselves against what seemed like every tourist in the city. Why was everyone going this way? It's hard to walk against a frightened crowd.

Tessa managed to get some video clips before it got too bad. 

We finally get to the bridge, and realize we can't see it at all, which is not a good sign, and so we hide with a bunch of other people in a tunnel nearby for about 15 minutes, waiting to see if it will let up. 

Well it didn't.

Since our hostel was about 100 meters after the bridge, once we crossed it, we would be good. So we take a deep breath and start sprinting in bursts again. We meet a lady on the edge of the bridge, in a covered area, and she says, "I got halfway across before I had to turn back!" Cue our horrified faces.

Apparently some sand is mixed up in the tornado-like weather, so as we finally brave our way across for the next 20 minutes, sand is stinging every part of our exposed skin, and we are soaked to the bone, and Tessa is trying not to have an asthma attack.

By the time we make it to the other side, the weather is okay enough to take out the camera, and look at the famous bridge...with no tourists on it! 

Happy ending.

And I'll leave you with a very nice view of our dorm window. The calm after the storm. 

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