Thursday, June 29, 2017

Peregrinating Prague

So after Brno it was off to Prague for a few days. 1st stop the castle which along with Charles Bridge stirred some dusty memories from my visit over 15 years ago. Perched upon the hill, this sprawling complex began in 870 and now host a series of building from different eras like an architectural pix and mix. It is a collection of churches, palaces, halls and gardens. And of course a cafe for hungry tourists such as myself. I happened to catch the changing of the guards, with only a few tourists trampled out the way. Great views across the Vltava from up here, but of course busy. Strolling back down past the busker playing a sax (or was he strangling a cat?)

Back down at the old town square, and like most places in Prague, there is more fantastic architecture everywhere you look. Great city to just stroll around and see where it takes you. Walking past Cafe Neustadt, I came across a large Franz Kafka statue and nearby was a small film museum.
This has some cool handpainted background art from animations to achieve parallax scrolling. Interesting to have a look around, even had some VR stuff to try out.

Near Wenceslas Square I made the mistake of jumping into a cafe for a beer, not cheap, almost UK prices :) For some reason there was pole vaulting going on at the end of the square. Looks a lot higher in person. The malls here seemed to be used like passage for indoor shopping. A curious sight inside one is a dangling statue of King Wenceslas riding his dead upside horse.

In the Alchemy Museum I made some gold, okay not really, but here was where people did try. Hidden in basements below, with the smoke being funelled out the house chimney. Scientists and dreamers toiled away tried to perfect the art of alchemy. We had a tour of the small dungeon below but my favourite bit was the entrance. The classic 'pull the right book from the bookshelf and it opens a secret door to lead you down a dungeon' trick.

Back out in the sun I headed for the Technical Museum which was like a transport museum. A large 3 storey exhibit halls takes you through the history of bikes, motorbikes and cars. But it turns out that was just one section of the Technical Museum with another 5 storey building highlighting the sciences. By the end of that I needed a drink, luckily it happens to be next door to one of the best located beer gardens in Prague. Letna Beer Garden is perched on a hill across the river from the old town. Grab a Pilsner Urquell and soak in the views!

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