Thursday, June 5, 2008

Made it to Prague!

Ok...Got up this morning, loaded up the shuttle van after breakfast, and set off for Prague. We were supposed to be dropped off at the central train station and make our own way to our respective hotels, but other folks in the group asked if they could pay extra and be dropped off at their hotels directly. Turned out to be a horrible idea, because the driver did NOT know his way around the city at all. I swear, he was just driving around aimlessly, looking for ANY signs that had the word "hotel" on them. When he pulled over to ask directions for the third time, we all decided to just get out right there and either walk or get taxis. Tom (Uber-Hubby) had been keep track of where we were in the city using our Prague guidebook map and we knew the name of the street our hotel is on, so when we bailed on the driver we had an idea of where to go. In fact, I tried to get the driver to turn on our street when we would have only walked 4 blocks, but he wouldn't stop. So the beginning of our time in Prague entailed U-H and I schlepping our bags across what seemed like half the city. NEVER, and I mean never, travel without suitcases on wheels. Ours are getting a bit battered, but I can't imagine having done this without rollies.

This is the first hotel we've had the entire trip that had functioning air conditioning. We are thrilled, to say the least. There is also free wifi service, so feel free to click on over to U-H's Flickr page to see how far he's gotten with photo uploads. It will take some time to get it all done nicely, because as usual he's taken THOUSANDS of pictures and they're all pretty cool. I also like his captioning.

So far in Prague, we've been to see the Astronomical Clock and the Dancing Building, but other than that we just walked around a lot. First impression is that there are definitely a lot of neat things to see (Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle complex in the world), but the "tourist trap" feel of everything is kind of depressing after all the great little Czech towns we've been to in the last 2 weeks. Also, unlikely the smaller towns, many people here speak English, so you try going into a restaurant or shop and use what little Czech you know, only to have them respond in English. It certainly helps in a pinch, but we are really trying to absorb the local flavor and set a good example to try and dispel that whole "ugly American" image our countrymen so often have.

Tomorrow morning, we're going to Charles Bridge at sunrise...It's supposed to be truly spectacular, but you have to get there early to avoid all the tourists. That's the thing about this city...U-H and I have discovered that large crowds of other tourists really kind of annoy us. I think these bike trips with Experience Plus are going to be our chosen form of active travel for quite some time to come. We're already looking at where to go next year.

More later...Until then, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

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