To call my Prague trip a nightmare would be exaggerating a bit, but at a certain point that’s how I felt! I woke up for day two of official Prague sightseeing and – surprise, surprise – it was raining again. But that sure didn’t stop us from seeing all the remaining areas of Prague – after all, there was an itinerary that had to be followed!
This area of Prague had some cute, narrow streets lined with old school houses. It’s also where many former mansions have been turned into embassies (including the Polish consulate).
We made a pit stop at the Kafka Museum. Mind you, we didn’t actually go in of course, but we did admire the peeing statues in the courtyard.
We visited Wallenstein Palace, which wasn’t especially exciting, but the gardens behind it are worth a visit. There were peacocks roaming around, and even a bunch of little baby peacocks hopping about. There were even a few very old, wise-looking owls in a caged-off area. At this point it stopped raining and the sun even came out, so we were cautiously optimistic.
Little Quarter Square
Here, we visited St. Nicolas Church, which was pretty due to its ornate pink marble exterior. However, the climb up to see the “gallery” of Karel Skreta’s paintings was wasted since the vast majority of them were out for renovation, and really only three or four remained on display.
By the time we walked out of the church, it was raining again. I opened up my new best friend (my umbrella) and we headed to the Church of St. Mary the Victorious to see the Infant of Prague (basically a regally-adorned doll, which draws pilgrims from around the world). The prayer in English, promised by Rick Steves, was nowhere to be found at the altar, so I had to improvise my own little prayer.
Next up, we checked out the Lennon Wall, by which I was a little disappointed because although I spotted a couple peace signs and some Imagine-inspired graffiti, most of it just seemed like regular graffiti.
Cruising the Vltava River
A cruise up and down the Vltava River was on the itinerary, so that was our next activity. And it sure was raining still. I was already cold and wet, so the last thing I wanted to do was get on a boat. The cruise was mildly miserable, because despite a canopy, every time the wind blew, rain would fly in my face.
I guess it was a nice perspective from which to see some of Prague’s bankside attractions, but at that moment I really did not feel like sitting on a f*#&$%g boat!
We get off the boat and it’s raining even harder than when we got on. Great. Our next item on the itinerary is Prague’s famous Charles Bridge. By the time we got on the actual bridge, it’s pouring. And our tour guide is still trying to give the grand tour, as if we could even hear anything he’s saying over the rain pelting our umbrellas.
As we walk across the bridge, the rain just gets worse and worse. There’s no way to even remotely enjoy the bridge or take a picture from under the umbrella. At one point I see people stop to rub a couple plaques on a statue, so I do it too, even though I have no idea what I’m wishing for. Later I learn that one plaque was for my man (which I don’t have) to be loyal, and the other one was just to make a wish.
Needless to say, at this point I was completely miserable! If nothing else, this rainy, windy, umbrella-destroying weather reminded me of Chicago!
Our guide was determined to keep the tour going, so we walked towards Old Town, where there was a bazaar and several souvenir shops, to get some free time.
My first stop was a coffee shop to warm up and dry off. That was a joke – my jeans were soaked up to above my knees and my shoes literally had puddles in them! I contemplated buying an entire new, dry outfit but decided it would be futile, since my new clothes would likely be wet again within five minutes.
I braved the rain to visit the Mucha Museum, to see Alfons Mucha’s gorgeous art nouveau posters.
Old Town Square
When our group met back up, the last thing I was in the mood for was more sightseeing, but our guide – like the rain – was relentless. We walked to Old Town Square and saw the famous astrological clock do its thing – from under our umbrellas of course.
Next, we walked up Parizska Street from Old Town to the Jewish Quarter. I was actually glad we took that street, because it has all the designer stores on it, so at least I could gaze through the windows.
Unfortunately, we didn’t really see much of anything in the Jewish Quarter. We just walked there and stood outside a synagogue while our guide talked. I was disappointed because there were a couple things I really wanted to see in this neighborhood but I guess these will have to wait until next time:
- Pinkas Synagogue
- Old-New Synagogue
- Jewish Cemetery
I suppose I wasn’t really in the mood to sightsee at that particular moment anyways.
At this point, we finally got to head back to the hotel to change before dinner and the scheduled after-dinner entertainment. Needless to say, the last thing I was in the mood for was our middle-aged bus driver hitting on me.
Admittedly, I’ve always pictured Prague in my head on an overcast day. Maybe I saw it that way in a photo or movie or music video and it stuck with me. But this day was too much!