PRAGUE 2012....PART TWO

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PRAGUE 2012....PART TWO

Postby uk*bag*lady » Wed Oct 02, 8:12 pm

And, in conclusion, this is what I was doing one year ago today.....


Saturday 29 September
I slept really well last night – no doubt exhausted from all the walking and the poor night before that. I got up and showered and washed my hair which seems to be affected by the water here: I’m not complaining, my hair has been looking really good since I arrived. Well I think so anyway. The sky was blue again and I really couldn’t have chosen better weather. I mean these are the last days of September yet it’s like early June.
I went down to breakfast at 8.30 and lingered for an hour before setting off for the Karlovy Most – the famous Charles Bridge. On the way I finally found the Art Banka gallery and the courtyard with the huge revolvers. How could I have missed them before? I couldn’t be here and not walk over the bridge so I did so then rode the trams for a couple of hours before stopping at Ujezd and having a bowl of soup at a little pub. I got the 22 tram up to the Brevnov Monastery to see that and the Church of Saint Margaret. I knew that it was only possible to go inside the Church on Saturdays or Sundays at 2pm and it was exactly that time as I got to the Church door. But the sign that pointed to ‘Guided Tours’ didn’t seem to lead anywhere and with no signage other than in the Czech language I found it impossible to know what the various buildings were or to learn anything.
I sat for a while outside what I presumed to be the Monastery – because of the tiny windows – then reluctantly got the tram back stopping off at Pohorelec. I’d sort of thought about going up to the Strahov Monastery to the Museum of Miniatures but to be honest I couldn’t be bothered to walk back up the hill. I had a little walk around Pohorelec and took photos of the Loretta Church and the hotel where I’d stayed a few years before. It didn’t seem to have changed at all. By now it was 3pm and was raining a little but fine rain that didn’t wet you too much I got the tram back down into the city and wandered around for a while stopping for coffee. I tried to find somewhere to eat dinner – I really didn’t want to have to resort to eating at McDonalds! – and in the end I walked up the hill to Zitna and found a tiny Chinese restaurant. It was completely empty which normally puts me off but I was getting tired and hungry so I went in and looked at the menu. I ordered some crab and asparagus soup and a meal of chicken mushrooms and noodles. It was basic but very cheap and extremely tasty! I went back down to Karlovy and got a tram back up to Otakarova. The tram was packed and for the first time I had to stand for the whole journey. Reaching up for and grabbing the strap hurt my arm and I was sure that my arm would be quite painful next morning. I stopped off at the super fruit stall opposite the hotel and bought one of the huge peaches for my pudding! I rested for a while then rang Tony just to let him know I was ok.
Then I went down to the hotel lobby and ordered a coffee which for 40CZK bought me an hour on the computer. The Czech keyboard was a nightmare with nothing where it should have been but I worked it all out and sent a few emails. I tried to log into eBay but couldn’t find the essential asterisk on the keyboard – the receptionist kindly came and changed it to an English keyboard but then all the keys were weird and I couldn’t find anything. I gave up! I went back up and was in bed by 10pm.
One thing I’ve not mentioned before is the odd – and not very nice – smell both in the hotel generally and more strongly in my room. I have no clue what it is but it really isn’t very pleasant. You sort of get used to it but then it hits you every time you come back. I’ve noticed that the whole city seems to have a problem with drains – there are some dreadful sulphuric smells around some of the streets!
Sunday 30 September
Wow, the end of September so soon! So when was Summer? I had a poor night – woke at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep at all. So I got up at 7.15 and showered and dressed. I had a nice breakfast then got a tram – via a very circuitous route – to Malostranska that took ages because the tram from Otakarova was stopped for about 8 minutes. I think it was because of an earlier accident but I didn’t actually see any sign of this.
I went to 11am Mass at the Church of Saint Tomas on Josevska. Such a beautiful Church that it makes concentration quite hard but at least there you don’t have the constant stream of tourists who are coming to look at the Alter and the Statue of the Infant of Prague at the Our Lady of Victory Church just down the road.
After Mass I walked down to Kampa and amused myself watching the tourists who came across the Cerny peeing men sculpture – that always makes people laugh. Then I walked on past the Kampa museum to a little slipway on the river and watched the tour boats coming and going and the people taking rides in a hot air balloon. That might be fun except that the riders are not in a basket beneath the balloon but just strapped into a seat with their feet dangling over the water. I imagine there are safety harnesses but somehow the dangling feet make it look scary to me.
I carried on along the river bank on the number 9 tram and got off at Reslova to take photos of the dancing house for Joe before walking up past the war memorial to the Church called Emauzy. It’s an amazing piece of architecture with parabolic spires: I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I do love distinctive architecture.
I went on down to Vaclavske Namesti where there seemed to be a sort of family fun day going on in the lower end of the square. And the first stall that I noticed was the Red Cross! I stopped and chatted with the lady who was running a first aid quiz. I tried to explain that I too work for the Red Cross in a ‘thrift’ store. I think she understood. Anyway I had a go at her quiz about first aid and won a First Aid box to keep in the car.
I walked on and saw lots of stalls for children run by the city Police department and other groups. There were colouring competitions etc and everyone was having a lot of fun. I stood watching young men who had a go in the car that turned over 360% just as it might in an accident situation. I don’t think I’d like to have tried that! I saw a man with an owl and was surprised when I stroked it – the owl I mean, not the man – at how soft and warm it was.
There was a group on the stage at the bottom of the square singing some toe tapping songs and people selling all sorts of food that smelled wonderful! A great family day out that the Czech people seemed to be enjoying just as I was.
I carried on down to a McDonalds and sat in the courtyard there with a coffee and a burger just enjoying the rest and the chatter of the young people. If you thought that the youngsters in the UK used mobile phones a lot you haven’t seen anything: over here they seemed to be constantly chatting or texting.
I spent yet another hour trying to find the Basilica of Saint Jakob near the Stare Mesto square and did eventually – only to find that it closed at 5pm. So I went down to Betlemske to the restaurant where, years before, I had my first ever meal in Prague which was soup in a sort of cottage loaf. I went in and looked at the menu but it seemed to have changed a lot.
Eventually I ordered a meal of ‘cakes’ of cheese with mustard and raw onion. Knowing this wouldn’t be a large meal I ordered a plate of French fries too and a beer. The young waitress seemed rather surly especially when I insisted that she take away the basket of bread that was on the table. I’ve heard about the trick with the bread: you’re charged for it even if you don’t eat any. They weren’t going to catch me with that trick!
Well the meal was ok. I’ve had tastier but it was ok. When I asked for the bill the waitress rattled off that I’d had cheese, fries and a beer and that it came to 173 CZK. Ok I said and gave her a 200 crown note. She walked away but I called her back and asked for a printed bill and the change. She said that service was not included implying that that’s why she kept the change. Well I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) argue but did insist on the printed bill. It was only when I got back to the hotel and looked at the bill that I discovered how much she had tricked me. The three items I’d had came to 153 Crowns not 173 as she had said. And I’d been charged for peanuts which had been on the table but which I’d not eaten. How I wished now that I’d had the courage to argue about the bill or at least take the blasted peanuts! I was furious at being cheated in this way.
Anyway I got back to the hotel at about 8pm and felt shattered. I’d been out for eleven hours and my poor feet were saying ‘no more’ so I listened to them and went to bed!
Monday 1 October
My last day already – how can that be? I had a bad night, well not bad but short as again I woke at 4am. I don’t know why this has been happening: you’d think I’d sleep like a log with all the walking I’ve been doing. Anyway I got up at 7.15 and showered. I had a bad cramp in my left leg so I expect that to be quite painful in a day or two – perhaps wearing the compression stockings will help with that.
The sky looks quite grey so I didn’t really know what to wear or where to go. Maybe I’ll get some inspiration over breakfast! Well it didn’t come but I did return to my room after breakfast and decided my legs and feet needed the stockings today so I changed.
I looked again at all my notes and decided that as I was already in Prague 4 I would try and find one of the other Sue Ryder shops on my list. So I got off the tram at the Botanical Gardens and following the map I walked uphill (of course!) up seven or maybe eight very steep flights of steps to a street called Ke Karlovu. And there it was! A really small charity shop, about as big as our sorting room. But everything seemed very expensive and not very good quality. There was nothing here for me but I was glad I’d found it.
I heard trams nearby and realised I was close to the main street called Jeckna so I walked on and stopped at McDonalds for a coffee and a well earned sit down after my climb. Then I walked a little further up the street and had a look around a shop called Second Hand but I think it was a place where all the ends of lines go. The clothes were all new and tagged but not up to much quality wise.
I crossed over the street and went into a cafe called Cukrarna after I’d seen the wonderful selection of mouth watering looking cakes on display. I ordered coffee and a piece of tiramisu. Wow, it was gorgeous! I felt refreshed and rested so I got a tram down to the river and found, without any trouble at all, the embryo on the drainpipe sculpture that was on my list of things to find. Very weird but then that’s what I like to see.
I had a walk over to Betlemske but resisted the strong temptation to go into the restaurant that had cheated me last night. But I would do something once I got home. I got a tram to Ujezd and stopped again at a bar I’d had a beer at earlier in the week. I ordered some garlic soup and bread ‘crumbs’ that I knew were croutons. It was very tasty though the croutons were just dried bread, not fried as I expected. Still tasty though.
I walked further along the street to a shop that had intrigued me earlier in the week so I went in and had a look around. I was unsure if it was a charity shop or not but I think it was. The difference was that the items were sold by weight. The strange thing was though that almost all the items were from UK High Street stores: Bon Marche, Top Shop, and BHS etc. I wondered if this was where our rags ended up? They were doing a brisk trade anyway. The only thing I was still unclear about was if it was being sold for charity – and how much per Kilo they charged? Oh well, I guess I’ll never know.
I went down to Narodni Trida and had a look around the big Tesco store there that seemed to have rebranded itself since my last visit. It’s now called My but I recognised the Florence & Fred label and many of the clothing lines. I bought a nice blouse from the reduced rail (of course) and was quite surprised when the assistant asked if I had a Club Card. Yes I said but it’s in the UK. Maybe when I get back they can add the points at the shop in Evesham. I got some chocolate for Tony and decided I really couldn’t do any more. What I’d missed now would have to stay that way.
I got back to Otakarova about 6pm and bought some fruit then went for a long lie down. Poor poor feet and legs! Had all this been fair to them? Probably not. Some things have gone right – I’ve had no problems at all with the bladder. It’s been a credit to me (well to the mix of tablets I take!) and my hair has looked good every day. I think there’s something about the water here that adds volume to my hair. And my sugar levels have stayed good but then look at all the walking I’ve done.
Anyway I had a long rest until about 8.15pm then went down to use the computer for an hour. Whilst down there I totted up what cash I have left and it seems I’ve spent about £125 over the week which works out at about £15 a day. I went back up and had an early night as I knew it was going to be a tiring day tomorrow. Not that I’m sorry to be going home. On the contrary, I’ll be glad now. I’ll go home and have a rest!
Tuesday 2 October
Oh, not a good night again. I woke at 3am and slept very little after that. I even had the TV on low in the hope that I would doze off but my left leg is painful from the cramp I had yesterday and the right leg hurts too – possibly from walking up all those steps yesterday!
I got up and showered and tested my sugar levels which were very low but I wasn’t too worried as a good breakfast would soon sort that out.
I went down at about 8.30 for a last breakfast and finally managed to take a few photos of the breakfast room – there had always been too many people about before and I would have felt a bit foolish taking pictures in front of others. I enjoyed my meal then went back up to finish my packing. It didn’t take long and I went down and handed in my key at reception and sat waiting in the lobby for the car to take me to the airport.
The driver came at 10.40 – I have been very impressed with the company and will email them my thanks when I get home. We got to the airport at 11.15 and within five minutes I was checked in. I was supposed to use the self service check in facility but being so unsure of what to do one of the Lufthansa check in girls helped me to do this. Easy!
Now I had a two hour wait but surprisingly it soon passed and we left on time for Frankfurt. It was a trouble free flight and we landed at Frankfurt at 2.45pm and I hurried, remembering how long it had taken the week before to reach the gate. But I suppose as I’m leaving the country this time they don’t take so much care and I’d made myself all out of breath without any need. I was pleasantly surprised on reaching the airport that I didn’t have nearly so far to walk this time and I got to the gate with 90 minutes to spare.
So I had plenty of time to browse the duty free shops. But no money to spend. At least no Euros. I suppose I could have changed some of the Czech crowns I had plenty of but there was nothing I really wanted to buy at these inflated prices.
While sitting there I remembered two things that I hadn’t noted down before. The lady who came sidling up to me at a tram stop in the city centre with a bottle of Chanel number 5 in her hand. Yes, of course it was. NOT! She didn’t actually speak but the message was clear. I just told her I didn’t want to buy it and she moved on to the next. And the next. I doubt if she found many buyers.
Then there was the rather beautiful lady I’d seen (again whilst waiting at a tram stop) who was dressed from head to toe in a deep turquoise blue. And I do mean head to toe. Jacket, blouse, skirt and scarf. As well as thick turquoise tights and matching shoes. And a necklace too and huge handbag. Was I the only one to find this unusual? Certainly no-one gave her a second glance. I thought it was a rather brave statement to make.
Anyway the time came for boarding and we were taken by bus to what must have been the furthest corner of the airfield. Several of us wondered if we were actually being taken to Birmingham by bus! It took 12 minutes to get to the aircraft. And once we set off it took about the same time to get back to the runway for take off!
We were twenty minutes late taking off but this time was soon caught up and we had a trouble free flight that landed at Birmingham just ten minutes late. I rang Tony who had just arrived and then found I had a long walk back to the baggage reclaim area. My case soon came round and I went through customs and out to the arrivals hall.
And there was Tony. It was so good to see him! I had enjoyed the trip but there was no doubt that I had found it very tiring. And the flights had worried me too for the first time ever. Maybe I thought my poor legs were going to explode or implode. I don’t know but I was certainly more nervous about the flying than I’d ever been in the past. We had so much to say, so much to tell each other about what we’d both been doing in the last eight days. We got back to Evesham about 7.30pm in the dark and the rain. But it didn’t matter. I was home. Safely. And with so much to write about.

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Postby Bohannon » Wed Oct 02, 11:19 pm

Brava Sue...I love your style. Are your photos online somewhere?

Bo

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Postby uk*bag*lady » Thu Oct 03, 3:47 pm

Bohannon wrote:Brava Sue...I love your style. Are your photos online somewhere?

Bo


What, all 896?

No. But I'm happy to send any you'd like to see.

:-)

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Postby Bohannon » Thu Oct 03, 4:07 pm

I'd appreciate a few of your favorite Praha photos...a reminder if you will.

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Postby Hobie » Thu Oct 03, 4:16 pm

nice report , makes me want to go back to CZ . I usually though stay in Beroun / Liten near Karlstjen . About an hour south west of Praha

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Postby Hammer » Thu Oct 03, 10:12 pm

Nice report. I must go for a peek. My next trip may be to Turkey, Colombia, or India to combine tourism and a cataract procedure. They need attention and those countries have very high technology in eye surgery and at a fraction of the cost in the States. Lower in fact than with hotel and flights added.

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Postby uk*bag*lady » Thu Oct 03, 10:43 pm

Hammer wrote:Nice report. I must go for a peek. My next trip may be to Turkey, Colombia, or India to combine tourism and a cataract procedure. They need attention and those countries have very high technology in eye surgery and at a fraction of the cost in the States. Lower in fact than with hotel and flights added.


I have the start of cataracts in both eyes but - when the time is right - they will be operated on courtesy of our good old National Health Service. I am SO lucky! Maybe the floaters won't seem so bad once the cataracts are sorted out!

I don't think Praha would disappoint Hammer - maybe give it a try next time?

:-)

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Postby uk*bag*lady » Thu Oct 03, 10:45 pm

Hobie wrote:nice report , makes me want to go back to CZ . I usually though stay in Beroun / Liten near Karlstjen . About an hour south west of Praha


I've only stayed in the city itself. In fact, apart from day trips to Therezin, Melnek and Lidice I haven't actually strayed out of the city at all.

:-)

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Postby alpha » Fri Oct 04, 2:25 pm

Nice reports Sue, for a place i've never been, but have been curious about.

uk*bag*lady wrote:I had a bad cramp in my left leg so I expect that to be quite painful in a day or two – perhaps wearing the compression stockings will help with that.


I have trouble with restless legs, which used to cause many cramps that could turn into charley horses that would last for days, but i finally found a remedy. Try taking 500mgs. of calcium and at least 250mgs. of vitamin E before retiring to bed. I use the whole food based formulas because i think they perform better, but i've been nearly cramp free for a couple of years now. It doesn't fix the problem for the tired feet, but it's still helpful. I also still have the restless legs syndrome, but gratefully no cramps from it anymore.

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Re: PRAGUE 2012....PART TWO

Postby slither » Mon Apr 07, 1:43 pm

uk*bag*lady wrote:And, in conclusion, this is what I was doing one year ago today.....


Saturday 29 September
I slept really well last night – no doubt exhausted from all the walking and the poor night before that. I got up and showered and washed my hair which seems to be affected by the water here: I’m not complaining, my hair has been looking really good since I arrived. Well I think so anyway. The sky was blue again and I really couldn’t have chosen better weather. I mean these are the last days of September yet it’s like early June.
I went down to breakfast at 8.30 and lingered for an hour before setting off for the Karlovy Most – the famous Charles Bridge. On the way I finally found the Art Banka gallery and the courtyard with the huge revolvers. How could I have missed them before? I couldn’t be here and not walk over the bridge so I did so then rode the trams for a couple of hours before stopping at Ujezd and having a bowl of soup at a little pub. I got the 22 tram up to the Brevnov Monastery to see that and the Church of Saint Margaret. I knew that it was only possible to go inside the Church on Saturdays or Sundays at 2pm and it was exactly that time as I got to the Church door. But the sign that pointed to ‘Guided Tours’ didn’t seem to lead anywhere and with no signage other than in the Czech language I found it impossible to know what the various buildings were or to learn anything.
I sat for a while outside what I presumed to be the Monastery – because of the tiny windows – then reluctantly got the tram back stopping off at Pohorelec. I’d sort of thought about going up to the Strahov Monastery to the Museum of Miniatures but to be honest I couldn’t be bothered to walk back up the hill. I had a little walk around Pohorelec and took photos of the Loretta Church and the hotel where I’d stayed a few years before. It didn’t seem to have changed at all. By now it was 3pm and was raining a little but fine rain that didn’t wet you too much I got the tram back down into the city and wandered around for a while stopping for coffee. I tried to find somewhere to eat dinner – I really didn’t want to have to resort to eating at McDonalds! – and in the end I walked up the hill to Zitna and found a tiny Chinese restaurant. It was completely empty which normally puts me off but I was getting tired and hungry so I went in and looked at the menu. I ordered some crab and asparagus soup and a meal of chicken mushrooms and noodles. It was basic but very cheap and extremely tasty! I went back down to Karlovy and got a tram back up to Otakarova. The tram was packed and for the first time I had to stand for the whole journey. Reaching up for and grabbing the strap hurt my arm and I was sure that my arm would be quite painful next morning. I stopped off at the super fruit stall opposite the hotel and bought one of the huge peaches for my pudding! I rested for a while then rang Tony just to let him know I was ok.
Then I went down to the hotel lobby and ordered a coffee which for 40CZK bought me an hour on the computer. The Czech keyboard was a nightmare with nothing where it should have been but I worked it all out and sent a few emails. I tried to log into eBay but couldn’t find the essential asterisk on the keyboard – the receptionist kindly came and changed it to an English keyboard but then all the keys were weird and I couldn’t find anything. I gave up! I went back up and was in bed by 10pm.
One thing I’ve not mentioned before is the odd – and not very nice – smell both in the hotel generally and more strongly in my room. I have no clue what it is but it really isn’t very pleasant. You sort of get used to it but then it hits you every time you come back. I’ve noticed that the whole city seems to have a problem with drains – there are some dreadful sulphuric smells around some of the streets!
Sunday 30 September
Wow, the end of September so soon! So when was Summer? I had a poor night – woke at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep at all. So I got up at 7.15 and showered and dressed. I had a nice breakfast then got a tram – via a very circuitous route – to Malostranska that took ages because the tram from Otakarova was stopped for about 8 minutes. I think it was because of an earlier accident but I didn’t actually see any sign of this.
I went to 11am Mass at the Church of Saint Tomas on Josevska. Such a beautiful Church that it makes concentration quite hard but at least there you don’t have the constant stream of tourists who are coming to look at the Alter and the Statue of the Infant of Prague at the Our Lady of Victory Church just down the road.
After Mass I walked down to Kampa and amused myself watching the tourists who came across the Cerny peeing men sculpture – that always makes people laugh. Then I walked on past the Kampa museum to a little slipway on the river and watched the tour boats coming and going and the people taking rides in a hot air balloon. That might be fun except that the riders are not in a basket beneath the balloon but just strapped into a seat with their feet dangling over the water. I imagine there are safety harnesses but somehow the dangling feet make it look scary to me.
I carried on along the river bank on the number 9 tram and got off at Reslova to take photos of the dancing house for Joe before walking up past the war memorial to the Church called Emauzy. It’s an amazing piece of architecture with parabolic spires: I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I do love distinctive architecture.
I went on down to Vaclavske Namesti where there seemed to be a sort of family fun day going on in the lower end of the square. And the first stall that I noticed was the Red Cross! I stopped and chatted with the lady who was running a first aid quiz. I tried to explain that I too work for the Red Cross in a ‘thrift’ store. I think she understood. Anyway I had a go at her quiz about first aid and won a First Aid box to keep in the car.
I walked on and saw lots of stalls for children run by the city Police department and other groups. There were colouring competitions etc and everyone was having a lot of fun. I stood watching young men who had a go in the car that turned over 360% just as it might in an accident situation. I don’t think I’d like to have tried that! I saw a man with an owl and was surprised when I stroked it – the owl I mean, not the man – at how soft and warm it was.
There was a group on the stage at the bottom of the square singing some toe tapping songs and people selling all sorts of food that smelled wonderful! A great family day out that the Czech people seemed to be enjoying just as I was.
I carried on down to a McDonalds and sat in the courtyard there with a coffee and a burger just enjoying the rest and the chatter of the young people. If you thought that the youngsters in the UK used mobile phones a lot you haven’t seen anything: over here they seemed to be constantly chatting or texting.
I spent yet another hour trying to find the Basilica of Saint Jakob near the Stare Mesto square and did eventually – only to find that it closed at 5pm. So I went down to Betlemske to the restaurant where, years before, I had my first ever meal in Prague which was soup in a sort of cottage loaf. I went in and looked at the menu but it seemed to have changed a lot.
Eventually I ordered a meal of ‘cakes’ of cheese with mustard and raw onion. Knowing this wouldn’t be a large meal I ordered a plate of French fries too and a beer. The young waitress seemed rather surly especially when I insisted that she take away the basket of bread that was on the table. I’ve heard about the trick with the bread: you’re charged for it even if you don’t eat any. They weren’t going to catch me with that trick!
Well the meal was ok. I’ve had tastier but it was ok. When I asked for the bill the waitress rattled off that I’d had cheese, fries and a beer and that it came to 173 CZK. Ok I said and gave her a 200 crown note. She walked away but I called her back and asked for a printed bill and the change. She said that service was not included implying that that’s why she kept the change. Well I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) argue but did insist on the printed bill. It was only when I got back to the hotel and looked at the bill that I discovered how much she had tricked me. The three items I’d had came to 153 Crowns not 173 as she had said. And I’d been charged for peanuts which had been on the table but which I’d not eaten. How I wished now that I’d had the courage to argue about the bill or at least take the blasted peanuts! I was furious at being cheated in this way.
Anyway I got back to the hotel at about 8pm and felt shattered. I’d been out for eleven hours and my poor feet were saying ‘no more’ so I listened to them and went to bed!
Monday 1 October
My last day already – how can that be? I had a bad night, well not bad but short as again I woke at 4am. I don’t know why this has been happening: you’d think I’d sleep like a log with all the walking I’ve been doing. Anyway I got up at 7.15 and showered. I had a bad cramp in my left leg so I expect that to be quite painful in a day or two – perhaps wearing the compression stockings will help with that.
The sky looks quite grey so I didn’t really know what to wear or where to go. Maybe I’ll get some inspiration over breakfast! Well it didn’t come but I did return to my room after breakfast and decided my legs and feet needed the stockings today so I changed.
I looked again at all my notes and decided that as I was already in Prague 4 I would try and find one of the other Sue Ryder shops on my list. So I got off the tram at the Botanical Gardens and following the map I walked uphill (of course!) up seven or maybe eight very steep flights of steps to a street called Ke Karlovu. And there it was! A really small charity shop, about as big as our sorting room. But everything seemed very expensive and not very good quality. There was nothing here for me but I was glad I’d found it.
I heard trams nearby and realised I was close to the main street called Jeckna so I walked on and stopped at McDonalds for a coffee and a well earned sit down after my climb. Then I walked a little further up the street and had a look around a shop called Second Hand but I think it was a place where all the ends of lines go. The clothes were all new and tagged but not up to much quality wise.
I crossed over the street and went into a cafe called Cukrarna after I’d seen the wonderful selection of mouth watering looking cakes on display. I ordered coffee and a piece of tiramisu. Wow, it was gorgeous! I felt refreshed and rested so I got a tram down to the river and found, without any trouble at all, the embryo on the drainpipe sculpture that was on my list of things to find. Very weird but then that’s what I like to see.
I had a walk over to Betlemske but resisted the strong temptation to go into the restaurant that had cheated me last night. But I would do something once I got home. I got a tram to Ujezd and stopped again at a bar I’d had a beer at earlier in the week. I ordered some garlic soup and bread ‘crumbs’ that I knew were croutons. It was very tasty though the croutons were just dried bread, not fried as I expected. Still tasty though.
I walked further along the street to a shop that had intrigued me earlier in the week so I went in and had a look around. I was unsure if it was a charity shop or not but I think it was. The difference was that the items were sold by weight. The strange thing was though that almost all the items were from UK High Street stores: Bon Marche, Top Shop, and BHS etc. I wondered if this was where our rags ended up? They were doing a brisk trade anyway. The only thing I was still unclear about was if it was being sold for charity – and how much per Kilo they charged? Oh well, I guess I’ll never know.
I went down to Narodni Trida and had a look around the big Tesco store there that seemed to have rebranded itself since my last visit. It’s now called My but I recognised the Florence & Fred label and many of the clothing lines. I bought a nice blouse from the reduced rail (of course) and was quite surprised when the assistant asked if I had a Club Card. Yes I said but it’s in the UK. Maybe when I get back they can add the points at the shop in Evesham. I got some chocolate for Tony and decided I really couldn’t do any more. What I’d missed now would have to stay that way.
I got back to Otakarova about 6pm and bought some fruit then went for a long lie down. Poor poor feet and legs! Had all this been fair to them? Probably not. Some things have gone right – I’ve had no problems at all with the bladder. It’s been a credit to me (well to the mix of tablets I take!) and my hair has looked good every day. I think there’s something about the water here that adds volume to my hair. And my sugar levels have stayed good but then look at all the walking I’ve done.
Anyway I had a long rest until about 8.15pm then went down to use the computer for an hour. Whilst down there I totted up what cash I have left and it seems I’ve spent about £125 over the week which works out at about £15 a day. I went back up and had an early night as I knew it was going to be a tiring day tomorrow. Not that I’m sorry to be going home. On the contrary, I’ll be glad now. I’ll go home and have a rest!
Tuesday 2 October
Oh, not a good night again. I woke at 3am and slept very little after that. I even had the TV on low in the hope that I would doze off but my left leg is painful from the cramp I had yesterday and the right leg hurts too – possibly from walking up all those steps yesterday!
I got up and showered and tested my sugar levels which were very low but I wasn’t too worried as a good breakfast would soon sort that out.
I went down at about 8.30 for a last breakfast and finally managed to take a few photos of the breakfast room – there had always been too many people about before and I would have felt a bit foolish taking pictures in front of others. I enjoyed my meal then went back up to finish my packing. It didn’t take long and I went down and handed in my key at reception and sat waiting in the lobby for the car to take me to the airport.
The driver came at 10.40 – I have been very impressed with the company and will email them my thanks when I get home. We got to the airport at 11.15 and within five minutes I was checked in. I was supposed to use the self service check in facility but being so unsure of what to do one of the Lufthansa check in girls helped me to do this. Easy!
Now I had a two hour wait but surprisingly it soon passed and we left on time for Frankfurt. It was a trouble free flight and we landed at Frankfurt at 2.45pm and I hurried, remembering how long it had taken the week before to reach the gate. But I suppose as I’m leaving the country this time they don’t take so much care and I’d made myself all out of breath without any need. I was pleasantly surprised on reaching the airport that I didn’t have nearly so far to walk this time and I got to the gate with 90 minutes to spare.
So I had plenty of time to browse the duty free shops. But no money to spend. At least no Euros. I suppose I could have changed some of the Czech crowns I had plenty of but there was nothing I really wanted to buy at these inflated prices.
While sitting there I remembered two things that I hadn’t noted down before. The lady who came sidling up to me at a tram stop in the city centre with a bottle of Chanel number 5 in her hand. Yes, of course it was. NOT! She didn’t actually speak but the message was clear. I just told her I didn’t want to buy it and she moved on to the next. And the next. I doubt if she found many buyers.
Then there was the rather beautiful lady I’d seen (again whilst waiting at a tram stop) who was dressed from head to toe in a deep turquoise blue. And I do mean head to toe. Jacket, blouse, skirt and scarf. As well as thick turquoise tights and matching shoes. And a necklace too and huge handbag. Was I the only one to find this unusual? Certainly no-one gave her a second glance. I thought it was a rather brave statement to make.
Anyway the time came for boarding and we were taken by bus to what must have been the furthest corner of the airfield. Several of us wondered if we were actually being taken to Birmingham by bus! It took 12 minutes to get to the aircraft. And once we set off it took about the same time to get back to the runway for take off!
We were twenty minutes late taking off but this time was soon caught up and we had a trouble free flight that landed at Birmingham just ten minutes late. I rang Tony who had just arrived and then found I had a long walk back to the baggage reclaim area. My case soon came round and I went through customs and out to the arrivals hall.
And there was Tony. It was so good to see him! I had enjoyed the trip but there was no doubt that I had found it very tiring. And the flights had worried me too for the first time ever. Maybe I thought my poor legs were going to explode or implode. I don’t know but I was certainly more nervous about the flying than I’d ever been in the past. We had so much to say, so much to tell each other about what we’d both been doing in the last eight days. We got back to Evesham about 7.30pm in the dark and the rain. But it didn’t matter. I was home. Safely. And with so much to write about.



A little heavy on the "I" for my taste. Too much monotony.

Mokum Dream

Postby Mokum Dream » Mon Apr 07, 3:39 pm

Hmm, being nasty and rude to a little old lady ... class act

slither
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Postby slither » Mon Apr 07, 7:26 pm

Mokum Dream wrote:Hmm, being nasty and rude to a little old lady ... class act


Aw, how chivalrous of you.

Now, commandeer the thread and regale us ad nauseum with your "classy" apologia.

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Re: PRAGUE 2012....PART TWO

Postby des » Tue Apr 08, 8:05 pm

slither wrote:
uk*bag*lady wrote:And, in conclusion, this is what I was doing one year ago today.....


Saturday 29 September
I slept really well last night – no doubt exhausted from all the walking and the poor night before that. I got up and showered and washed my hair which seems to be affected by the water here: I’m not complaining, my hair has been looking really good since I arrived. Well I think so anyway. The sky was blue again and I really couldn’t have chosen better weather. I mean these are the last days of September yet it’s like early June.
I went down to breakfast at 8.30 and lingered for an hour before setting off for the Karlovy Most – the famous Charles Bridge. On the way I finally found the Art Banka gallery and the courtyard with the huge revolvers. How could I have missed them before? I couldn’t be here and not walk over the bridge so I did so then rode the trams for a couple of hours before stopping at Ujezd and having a bowl of soup at a little pub. I got the 22 tram up to the Brevnov Monastery to see that and the Church of Saint Margaret. I knew that it was only possible to go inside the Church on Saturdays or Sundays at 2pm and it was exactly that time as I got to the Church door. But the sign that pointed to ‘Guided Tours’ didn’t seem to lead anywhere and with no signage other than in the Czech language I found it impossible to know what the various buildings were or to learn anything.
I sat for a while outside what I presumed to be the Monastery – because of the tiny windows – then reluctantly got the tram back stopping off at Pohorelec. I’d sort of thought about going up to the Strahov Monastery to the Museum of Miniatures but to be honest I couldn’t be bothered to walk back up the hill. I had a little walk around Pohorelec and took photos of the Loretta Church and the hotel where I’d stayed a few years before. It didn’t seem to have changed at all. By now it was 3pm and was raining a little but fine rain that didn’t wet you too much I got the tram back down into the city and wandered around for a while stopping for coffee. I tried to find somewhere to eat dinner – I really didn’t want to have to resort to eating at McDonalds! – and in the end I walked up the hill to Zitna and found a tiny Chinese restaurant. It was completely empty which normally puts me off but I was getting tired and hungry so I went in and looked at the menu. I ordered some crab and asparagus soup and a meal of chicken mushrooms and noodles. It was basic but very cheap and extremely tasty! I went back down to Karlovy and got a tram back up to Otakarova. The tram was packed and for the first time I had to stand for the whole journey. Reaching up for and grabbing the strap hurt my arm and I was sure that my arm would be quite painful next morning. I stopped off at the super fruit stall opposite the hotel and bought one of the huge peaches for my pudding! I rested for a while then rang Tony just to let him know I was ok.
Then I went down to the hotel lobby and ordered a coffee which for 40CZK bought me an hour on the computer. The Czech keyboard was a nightmare with nothing where it should have been but I worked it all out and sent a few emails. I tried to log into eBay but couldn’t find the essential asterisk on the keyboard – the receptionist kindly came and changed it to an English keyboard but then all the keys were weird and I couldn’t find anything. I gave up! I went back up and was in bed by 10pm.
One thing I’ve not mentioned before is the odd – and not very nice – smell both in the hotel generally and more strongly in my room. I have no clue what it is but it really isn’t very pleasant. You sort of get used to it but then it hits you every time you come back. I’ve noticed that the whole city seems to have a problem with drains – there are some dreadful sulphuric smells around some of the streets!
Sunday 30 September
Wow, the end of September so soon! So when was Summer? I had a poor night – woke at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep at all. So I got up at 7.15 and showered and dressed. I had a nice breakfast then got a tram – via a very circuitous route – to Malostranska that took ages because the tram from Otakarova was stopped for about 8 minutes. I think it was because of an earlier accident but I didn’t actually see any sign of this.
I went to 11am Mass at the Church of Saint Tomas on Josevska. Such a beautiful Church that it makes concentration quite hard but at least there you don’t have the constant stream of tourists who are coming to look at the Alter and the Statue of the Infant of Prague at the Our Lady of Victory Church just down the road.
After Mass I walked down to Kampa and amused myself watching the tourists who came across the Cerny peeing men sculpture – that always makes people laugh. Then I walked on past the Kampa museum to a little slipway on the river and watched the tour boats coming and going and the people taking rides in a hot air balloon. That might be fun except that the riders are not in a basket beneath the balloon but just strapped into a seat with their feet dangling over the water. I imagine there are safety harnesses but somehow the dangling feet make it look scary to me.
I carried on along the river bank on the number 9 tram and got off at Reslova to take photos of the dancing house for Joe before walking up past the war memorial to the Church called Emauzy. It’s an amazing piece of architecture with parabolic spires: I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I do love distinctive architecture.
I went on down to Vaclavske Namesti where there seemed to be a sort of family fun day going on in the lower end of the square. And the first stall that I noticed was the Red Cross! I stopped and chatted with the lady who was running a first aid quiz. I tried to explain that I too work for the Red Cross in a ‘thrift’ store. I think she understood. Anyway I had a go at her quiz about first aid and won a First Aid box to keep in the car.
I walked on and saw lots of stalls for children run by the city Police department and other groups. There were colouring competitions etc and everyone was having a lot of fun. I stood watching young men who had a go in the car that turned over 360% just as it might in an accident situation. I don’t think I’d like to have tried that! I saw a man with an owl and was surprised when I stroked it – the owl I mean, not the man – at how soft and warm it was.
There was a group on the stage at the bottom of the square singing some toe tapping songs and people selling all sorts of food that smelled wonderful! A great family day out that the Czech people seemed to be enjoying just as I was.
I carried on down to a McDonalds and sat in the courtyard there with a coffee and a burger just enjoying the rest and the chatter of the young people. If you thought that the youngsters in the UK used mobile phones a lot you haven’t seen anything: over here they seemed to be constantly chatting or texting.
I spent yet another hour trying to find the Basilica of Saint Jakob near the Stare Mesto square and did eventually – only to find that it closed at 5pm. So I went down to Betlemske to the restaurant where, years before, I had my first ever meal in Prague which was soup in a sort of cottage loaf. I went in and looked at the menu but it seemed to have changed a lot.
Eventually I ordered a meal of ‘cakes’ of cheese with mustard and raw onion. Knowing this wouldn’t be a large meal I ordered a plate of French fries too and a beer. The young waitress seemed rather surly especially when I insisted that she take away the basket of bread that was on the table. I’ve heard about the trick with the bread: you’re charged for it even if you don’t eat any. They weren’t going to catch me with that trick!
Well the meal was ok. I’ve had tastier but it was ok. When I asked for the bill the waitress rattled off that I’d had cheese, fries and a beer and that it came to 173 CZK. Ok I said and gave her a 200 crown note. She walked away but I called her back and asked for a printed bill and the change. She said that service was not included implying that that’s why she kept the change. Well I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) argue but did insist on the printed bill. It was only when I got back to the hotel and looked at the bill that I discovered how much she had tricked me. The three items I’d had came to 153 Crowns not 173 as she had said. And I’d been charged for peanuts which had been on the table but which I’d not eaten. How I wished now that I’d had the courage to argue about the bill or at least take the blasted peanuts! I was furious at being cheated in this way.
Anyway I got back to the hotel at about 8pm and felt shattered. I’d been out for eleven hours and my poor feet were saying ‘no more’ so I listened to them and went to bed!
Monday 1 October
My last day already – how can that be? I had a bad night, well not bad but short as again I woke at 4am. I don’t know why this has been happening: you’d think I’d sleep like a log with all the walking I’ve been doing. Anyway I got up at 7.15 and showered. I had a bad cramp in my left leg so I expect that to be quite painful in a day or two – perhaps wearing the compression stockings will help with that.
The sky looks quite grey so I didn’t really know what to wear or where to go. Maybe I’ll get some inspiration over breakfast! Well it didn’t come but I did return to my room after breakfast and decided my legs and feet needed the stockings today so I changed.
I looked again at all my notes and decided that as I was already in Prague 4 I would try and find one of the other Sue Ryder shops on my list. So I got off the tram at the Botanical Gardens and following the map I walked uphill (of course!) up seven or maybe eight very steep flights of steps to a street called Ke Karlovu. And there it was! A really small charity shop, about as big as our sorting room. But everything seemed very expensive and not very good quality. There was nothing here for me but I was glad I’d found it.
I heard trams nearby and realised I was close to the main street called Jeckna so I walked on and stopped at McDonalds for a coffee and a well earned sit down after my climb. Then I walked a little further up the street and had a look around a shop called Second Hand but I think it was a place where all the ends of lines go. The clothes were all new and tagged but not up to much quality wise.
I crossed over the street and went into a cafe called Cukrarna after I’d seen the wonderful selection of mouth watering looking cakes on display. I ordered coffee and a piece of tiramisu. Wow, it was gorgeous! I felt refreshed and rested so I got a tram down to the river and found, without any trouble at all, the embryo on the drainpipe sculpture that was on my list of things to find. Very weird but then that’s what I like to see.
I had a walk over to Betlemske but resisted the strong temptation to go into the restaurant that had cheated me last night. But I would do something once I got home. I got a tram to Ujezd and stopped again at a bar I’d had a beer at earlier in the week. I ordered some garlic soup and bread ‘crumbs’ that I knew were croutons. It was very tasty though the croutons were just dried bread, not fried as I expected. Still tasty though.
I walked further along the street to a shop that had intrigued me earlier in the week so I went in and had a look around. I was unsure if it was a charity shop or not but I think it was. The difference was that the items were sold by weight. The strange thing was though that almost all the items were from UK High Street stores: Bon Marche, Top Shop, and BHS etc. I wondered if this was where our rags ended up? They were doing a brisk trade anyway. The only thing I was still unclear about was if it was being sold for charity – and how much per Kilo they charged? Oh well, I guess I’ll never know.
I went down to Narodni Trida and had a look around the big Tesco store there that seemed to have rebranded itself since my last visit. It’s now called My but I recognised the Florence & Fred label and many of the clothing lines. I bought a nice blouse from the reduced rail (of course) and was quite surprised when the assistant asked if I had a Club Card. Yes I said but it’s in the UK. Maybe when I get back they can add the points at the shop in Evesham. I got some chocolate for Tony and decided I really couldn’t do any more. What I’d missed now would have to stay that way.
I got back to Otakarova about 6pm and bought some fruit then went for a long lie down. Poor poor feet and legs! Had all this been fair to them? Probably not. Some things have gone right – I’ve had no problems at all with the bladder. It’s been a credit to me (well to the mix of tablets I take!) and my hair has looked good every day. I think there’s something about the water here that adds volume to my hair. And my sugar levels have stayed good but then look at all the walking I’ve done.
Anyway I had a long rest until about 8.15pm then went down to use the computer for an hour. Whilst down there I totted up what cash I have left and it seems I’ve spent about £125 over the week which works out at about £15 a day. I went back up and had an early night as I knew it was going to be a tiring day tomorrow. Not that I’m sorry to be going home. On the contrary, I’ll be glad now. I’ll go home and have a rest!
Tuesday 2 October
Oh, not a good night again. I woke at 3am and slept very little after that. I even had the TV on low in the hope that I would doze off but my left leg is painful from the cramp I had yesterday and the right leg hurts too – possibly from walking up all those steps yesterday!
I got up and showered and tested my sugar levels which were very low but I wasn’t too worried as a good breakfast would soon sort that out.
I went down at about 8.30 for a last breakfast and finally managed to take a few photos of the breakfast room – there had always been too many people about before and I would have felt a bit foolish taking pictures in front of others. I enjoyed my meal then went back up to finish my packing. It didn’t take long and I went down and handed in my key at reception and sat waiting in the lobby for the car to take me to the airport.
The driver came at 10.40 – I have been very impressed with the company and will email them my thanks when I get home. We got to the airport at 11.15 and within five minutes I was checked in. I was supposed to use the self service check in facility but being so unsure of what to do one of the Lufthansa check in girls helped me to do this. Easy!
Now I had a two hour wait but surprisingly it soon passed and we left on time for Frankfurt. It was a trouble free flight and we landed at Frankfurt at 2.45pm and I hurried, remembering how long it had taken the week before to reach the gate. But I suppose as I’m leaving the country this time they don’t take so much care and I’d made myself all out of breath without any need. I was pleasantly surprised on reaching the airport that I didn’t have nearly so far to walk this time and I got to the gate with 90 minutes to spare.
So I had plenty of time to browse the duty free shops. But no money to spend. At least no Euros. I suppose I could have changed some of the Czech crowns I had plenty of but there was nothing I really wanted to buy at these inflated prices.
While sitting there I remembered two things that I hadn’t noted down before. The lady who came sidling up to me at a tram stop in the city centre with a bottle of Chanel number 5 in her hand. Yes, of course it was. NOT! She didn’t actually speak but the message was clear. I just told her I didn’t want to buy it and she moved on to the next. And the next. I doubt if she found many buyers.
Then there was the rather beautiful lady I’d seen (again whilst waiting at a tram stop) who was dressed from head to toe in a deep turquoise blue. And I do mean head to toe. Jacket, blouse, skirt and scarf. As well as thick turquoise tights and matching shoes. And a necklace too and huge handbag. Was I the only one to find this unusual? Certainly no-one gave her a second glance. I thought it was a rather brave statement to make.
Anyway the time came for boarding and we were taken by bus to what must have been the furthest corner of the airfield. Several of us wondered if we were actually being taken to Birmingham by bus! It took 12 minutes to get to the aircraft. And once we set off it took about the same time to get back to the runway for take off!
We were twenty minutes late taking off but this time was soon caught up and we had a trouble free flight that landed at Birmingham just ten minutes late. I rang Tony who had just arrived and then found I had a long walk back to the baggage reclaim area. My case soon came round and I went through customs and out to the arrivals hall.
And there was Tony. It was so good to see him! I had enjoyed the trip but there was no doubt that I had found it very tiring. And the flights had worried me too for the first time ever. Maybe I thought my poor legs were going to explode or implode. I don’t know but I was certainly more nervous about the flying than I’d ever been in the past. We had so much to say, so much to tell each other about what we’d both been doing in the last eight days. We got back to Evesham about 7.30pm in the dark and the rain. But it didn’t matter. I was home. Safely. And with so much to write about.



A little heavy on the "I" for my taste. Too much monotony.


If you hadn't noticed, UKBL appears to have took the hint and split!

Nice one, dickhead!


Des.

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Postby Rudy » Tue Apr 08, 9:45 pm

Oh no.

Some bastard has gone and ruined Channels.

Again.

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Re: PRAGUE 2012....PART TWO

Postby slither » Wed Apr 09, 1:12 am

des wrote:
slither wrote:
uk*bag*lady wrote:And, in conclusion, this is what I was doing one year ago today.....


Saturday 29 September
I slept really well last night – no doubt exhausted from all the walking and the poor night before that. I got up and showered and washed my hair which seems to be affected by the water here: I’m not complaining, my hair has been looking really good since I arrived. Well I think so anyway. The sky was blue again and I really couldn’t have chosen better weather. I mean these are the last days of September yet it’s like early June.
I went down to breakfast at 8.30 and lingered for an hour before setting off for the Karlovy Most – the famous Charles Bridge. On the way I finally found the Art Banka gallery and the courtyard with the huge revolvers. How could I have missed them before? I couldn’t be here and not walk over the bridge so I did so then rode the trams for a couple of hours before stopping at Ujezd and having a bowl of soup at a little pub. I got the 22 tram up to the Brevnov Monastery to see that and the Church of Saint Margaret. I knew that it was only possible to go inside the Church on Saturdays or Sundays at 2pm and it was exactly that time as I got to the Church door. But the sign that pointed to ‘Guided Tours’ didn’t seem to lead anywhere and with no signage other than in the Czech language I found it impossible to know what the various buildings were or to learn anything.
I sat for a while outside what I presumed to be the Monastery – because of the tiny windows – then reluctantly got the tram back stopping off at Pohorelec. I’d sort of thought about going up to the Strahov Monastery to the Museum of Miniatures but to be honest I couldn’t be bothered to walk back up the hill. I had a little walk around Pohorelec and took photos of the Loretta Church and the hotel where I’d stayed a few years before. It didn’t seem to have changed at all. By now it was 3pm and was raining a little but fine rain that didn’t wet you too much I got the tram back down into the city and wandered around for a while stopping for coffee. I tried to find somewhere to eat dinner – I really didn’t want to have to resort to eating at McDonalds! – and in the end I walked up the hill to Zitna and found a tiny Chinese restaurant. It was completely empty which normally puts me off but I was getting tired and hungry so I went in and looked at the menu. I ordered some crab and asparagus soup and a meal of chicken mushrooms and noodles. It was basic but very cheap and extremely tasty! I went back down to Karlovy and got a tram back up to Otakarova. The tram was packed and for the first time I had to stand for the whole journey. Reaching up for and grabbing the strap hurt my arm and I was sure that my arm would be quite painful next morning. I stopped off at the super fruit stall opposite the hotel and bought one of the huge peaches for my pudding! I rested for a while then rang Tony just to let him know I was ok.
Then I went down to the hotel lobby and ordered a coffee which for 40CZK bought me an hour on the computer. The Czech keyboard was a nightmare with nothing where it should have been but I worked it all out and sent a few emails. I tried to log into eBay but couldn’t find the essential asterisk on the keyboard – the receptionist kindly came and changed it to an English keyboard but then all the keys were weird and I couldn’t find anything. I gave up! I went back up and was in bed by 10pm.
One thing I’ve not mentioned before is the odd – and not very nice – smell both in the hotel generally and more strongly in my room. I have no clue what it is but it really isn’t very pleasant. You sort of get used to it but then it hits you every time you come back. I’ve noticed that the whole city seems to have a problem with drains – there are some dreadful sulphuric smells around some of the streets!
Sunday 30 September
Wow, the end of September so soon! So when was Summer? I had a poor night – woke at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep at all. So I got up at 7.15 and showered and dressed. I had a nice breakfast then got a tram – via a very circuitous route – to Malostranska that took ages because the tram from Otakarova was stopped for about 8 minutes. I think it was because of an earlier accident but I didn’t actually see any sign of this.
I went to 11am Mass at the Church of Saint Tomas on Josevska. Such a beautiful Church that it makes concentration quite hard but at least there you don’t have the constant stream of tourists who are coming to look at the Alter and the Statue of the Infant of Prague at the Our Lady of Victory Church just down the road.
After Mass I walked down to Kampa and amused myself watching the tourists who came across the Cerny peeing men sculpture – that always makes people laugh. Then I walked on past the Kampa museum to a little slipway on the river and watched the tour boats coming and going and the people taking rides in a hot air balloon. That might be fun except that the riders are not in a basket beneath the balloon but just strapped into a seat with their feet dangling over the water. I imagine there are safety harnesses but somehow the dangling feet make it look scary to me.
I carried on along the river bank on the number 9 tram and got off at Reslova to take photos of the dancing house for Joe before walking up past the war memorial to the Church called Emauzy. It’s an amazing piece of architecture with parabolic spires: I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I do love distinctive architecture.
I went on down to Vaclavske Namesti where there seemed to be a sort of family fun day going on in the lower end of the square. And the first stall that I noticed was the Red Cross! I stopped and chatted with the lady who was running a first aid quiz. I tried to explain that I too work for the Red Cross in a ‘thrift’ store. I think she understood. Anyway I had a go at her quiz about first aid and won a First Aid box to keep in the car.
I walked on and saw lots of stalls for children run by the city Police department and other groups. There were colouring competitions etc and everyone was having a lot of fun. I stood watching young men who had a go in the car that turned over 360% just as it might in an accident situation. I don’t think I’d like to have tried that! I saw a man with an owl and was surprised when I stroked it – the owl I mean, not the man – at how soft and warm it was.
There was a group on the stage at the bottom of the square singing some toe tapping songs and people selling all sorts of food that smelled wonderful! A great family day out that the Czech people seemed to be enjoying just as I was.
I carried on down to a McDonalds and sat in the courtyard there with a coffee and a burger just enjoying the rest and the chatter of the young people. If you thought that the youngsters in the UK used mobile phones a lot you haven’t seen anything: over here they seemed to be constantly chatting or texting.
I spent yet another hour trying to find the Basilica of Saint Jakob near the Stare Mesto square and did eventually – only to find that it closed at 5pm. So I went down to Betlemske to the restaurant where, years before, I had my first ever meal in Prague which was soup in a sort of cottage loaf. I went in and looked at the menu but it seemed to have changed a lot.
Eventually I ordered a meal of ‘cakes’ of cheese with mustard and raw onion. Knowing this wouldn’t be a large meal I ordered a plate of French fries too and a beer. The young waitress seemed rather surly especially when I insisted that she take away the basket of bread that was on the table. I’ve heard about the trick with the bread: you’re charged for it even if you don’t eat any. They weren’t going to catch me with that trick!
Well the meal was ok. I’ve had tastier but it was ok. When I asked for the bill the waitress rattled off that I’d had cheese, fries and a beer and that it came to 173 CZK. Ok I said and gave her a 200 crown note. She walked away but I called her back and asked for a printed bill and the change. She said that service was not included implying that that’s why she kept the change. Well I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) argue but did insist on the printed bill. It was only when I got back to the hotel and looked at the bill that I discovered how much she had tricked me. The three items I’d had came to 153 Crowns not 173 as she had said. And I’d been charged for peanuts which had been on the table but which I’d not eaten. How I wished now that I’d had the courage to argue about the bill or at least take the blasted peanuts! I was furious at being cheated in this way.
Anyway I got back to the hotel at about 8pm and felt shattered. I’d been out for eleven hours and my poor feet were saying ‘no more’ so I listened to them and went to bed!
Monday 1 October
My last day already – how can that be? I had a bad night, well not bad but short as again I woke at 4am. I don’t know why this has been happening: you’d think I’d sleep like a log with all the walking I’ve been doing. Anyway I got up at 7.15 and showered. I had a bad cramp in my left leg so I expect that to be quite painful in a day or two – perhaps wearing the compression stockings will help with that.
The sky looks quite grey so I didn’t really know what to wear or where to go. Maybe I’ll get some inspiration over breakfast! Well it didn’t come but I did return to my room after breakfast and decided my legs and feet needed the stockings today so I changed.
I looked again at all my notes and decided that as I was already in Prague 4 I would try and find one of the other Sue Ryder shops on my list. So I got off the tram at the Botanical Gardens and following the map I walked uphill (of course!) up seven or maybe eight very steep flights of steps to a street called Ke Karlovu. And there it was! A really small charity shop, about as big as our sorting room. But everything seemed very expensive and not very good quality. There was nothing here for me but I was glad I’d found it.
I heard trams nearby and realised I was close to the main street called Jeckna so I walked on and stopped at McDonalds for a coffee and a well earned sit down after my climb. Then I walked a little further up the street and had a look around a shop called Second Hand but I think it was a place where all the ends of lines go. The clothes were all new and tagged but not up to much quality wise.
I crossed over the street and went into a cafe called Cukrarna after I’d seen the wonderful selection of mouth watering looking cakes on display. I ordered coffee and a piece of tiramisu. Wow, it was gorgeous! I felt refreshed and rested so I got a tram down to the river and found, without any trouble at all, the embryo on the drainpipe sculpture that was on my list of things to find. Very weird but then that’s what I like to see.
I had a walk over to Betlemske but resisted the strong temptation to go into the restaurant that had cheated me last night. But I would do something once I got home. I got a tram to Ujezd and stopped again at a bar I’d had a beer at earlier in the week. I ordered some garlic soup and bread ‘crumbs’ that I knew were croutons. It was very tasty though the croutons were just dried bread, not fried as I expected. Still tasty though.
I walked further along the street to a shop that had intrigued me earlier in the week so I went in and had a look around. I was unsure if it was a charity shop or not but I think it was. The difference was that the items were sold by weight. The strange thing was though that almost all the items were from UK High Street stores: Bon Marche, Top Shop, and BHS etc. I wondered if this was where our rags ended up? They were doing a brisk trade anyway. The only thing I was still unclear about was if it was being sold for charity – and how much per Kilo they charged? Oh well, I guess I’ll never know.
I went down to Narodni Trida and had a look around the big Tesco store there that seemed to have rebranded itself since my last visit. It’s now called My but I recognised the Florence & Fred label and many of the clothing lines. I bought a nice blouse from the reduced rail (of course) and was quite surprised when the assistant asked if I had a Club Card. Yes I said but it’s in the UK. Maybe when I get back they can add the points at the shop in Evesham. I got some chocolate for Tony and decided I really couldn’t do any more. What I’d missed now would have to stay that way.
I got back to Otakarova about 6pm and bought some fruit then went for a long lie down. Poor poor feet and legs! Had all this been fair to them? Probably not. Some things have gone right – I’ve had no problems at all with the bladder. It’s been a credit to me (well to the mix of tablets I take!) and my hair has looked good every day. I think there’s something about the water here that adds volume to my hair. And my sugar levels have stayed good but then look at all the walking I’ve done.
Anyway I had a long rest until about 8.15pm then went down to use the computer for an hour. Whilst down there I totted up what cash I have left and it seems I’ve spent about £125 over the week which works out at about £15 a day. I went back up and had an early night as I knew it was going to be a tiring day tomorrow. Not that I’m sorry to be going home. On the contrary, I’ll be glad now. I’ll go home and have a rest!
Tuesday 2 October
Oh, not a good night again. I woke at 3am and slept very little after that. I even had the TV on low in the hope that I would doze off but my left leg is painful from the cramp I had yesterday and the right leg hurts too – possibly from walking up all those steps yesterday!
I got up and showered and tested my sugar levels which were very low but I wasn’t too worried as a good breakfast would soon sort that out.
I went down at about 8.30 for a last breakfast and finally managed to take a few photos of the breakfast room – there had always been too many people about before and I would have felt a bit foolish taking pictures in front of others. I enjoyed my meal then went back up to finish my packing. It didn’t take long and I went down and handed in my key at reception and sat waiting in the lobby for the car to take me to the airport.
The driver came at 10.40 – I have been very impressed with the company and will email them my thanks when I get home. We got to the airport at 11.15 and within five minutes I was checked in. I was supposed to use the self service check in facility but being so unsure of what to do one of the Lufthansa check in girls helped me to do this. Easy!
Now I had a two hour wait but surprisingly it soon passed and we left on time for Frankfurt. It was a trouble free flight and we landed at Frankfurt at 2.45pm and I hurried, remembering how long it had taken the week before to reach the gate. But I suppose as I’m leaving the country this time they don’t take so much care and I’d made myself all out of breath without any need. I was pleasantly surprised on reaching the airport that I didn’t have nearly so far to walk this time and I got to the gate with 90 minutes to spare.
So I had plenty of time to browse the duty free shops. But no money to spend. At least no Euros. I suppose I could have changed some of the Czech crowns I had plenty of but there was nothing I really wanted to buy at these inflated prices.
While sitting there I remembered two things that I hadn’t noted down before. The lady who came sidling up to me at a tram stop in the city centre with a bottle of Chanel number 5 in her hand. Yes, of course it was. NOT! She didn’t actually speak but the message was clear. I just told her I didn’t want to buy it and she moved on to the next. And the next. I doubt if she found many buyers.
Then there was the rather beautiful lady I’d seen (again whilst waiting at a tram stop) who was dressed from head to toe in a deep turquoise blue. And I do mean head to toe. Jacket, blouse, skirt and scarf. As well as thick turquoise tights and matching shoes. And a necklace too and huge handbag. Was I the only one to find this unusual? Certainly no-one gave her a second glance. I thought it was a rather brave statement to make.
Anyway the time came for boarding and we were taken by bus to what must have been the furthest corner of the airfield. Several of us wondered if we were actually being taken to Birmingham by bus! It took 12 minutes to get to the aircraft. And once we set off it took about the same time to get back to the runway for take off!
We were twenty minutes late taking off but this time was soon caught up and we had a trouble free flight that landed at Birmingham just ten minutes late. I rang Tony who had just arrived and then found I had a long walk back to the baggage reclaim area. My case soon came round and I went through customs and out to the arrivals hall.
And there was Tony. It was so good to see him! I had enjoyed the trip but there was no doubt that I had found it very tiring. And the flights had worried me too for the first time ever. Maybe I thought my poor legs were going to explode or implode. I don’t know but I was certainly more nervous about the flying than I’d ever been in the past. We had so much to say, so much to tell each other about what we’d both been doing in the last eight days. We got back to Evesham about 7.30pm in the dark and the rain. But it didn’t matter. I was home. Safely. And with so much to write about.



A little heavy on the "I" for my taste. Too much monotony.


If you hadn't noticed, UKBL appears to have took the hint and split!

Nice one, dickhead!


Des.


"I'll show you my ad hominem if you show me yours?"

Please.

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Re: PRAGUE 2012....PART TWO

Postby des » Wed Apr 09, 6:58 am

slither wrote:
"I'll show you my ad hominem if you show me yours?"

Please.


I think I'd rather scrape you off my shoe, like the lump of shit that you are, and then forget about you!

Des.

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Re: PRAGUE 2012....PART TWO

Postby slither » Thu Apr 10, 1:21 pm

des wrote:
slither wrote:
"I'll show you my ad hominem if you show me yours?"

Please.


I think I'd rather scrape you off my shoe, like the lump of shit that you are, and then forget about you!

Des.


Good luck with that, Desmond.

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Postby winnie » Thu Apr 10, 4:00 pm

Rudy wrote:Oh no.

Some bastard has gone and ruined Channels.

Again.


not again, ffs

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Postby Frosted » Thu Apr 10, 4:37 pm

winnie wrote:
Rudy wrote:Oh no.

Some bastard has gone and ruined Channels.

Again.


not again, ffs




Why now..... Why this day...

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Postby Rudy » Thu Apr 10, 7:09 pm

Por Que??????????????


Porque.

Mokum Dream

Postby Mokum Dream » Wed Jul 30, 11:34 am

I was researching my family tree recently and was shocked to find half my family are Welsh!

It gets worse - the other half are sheep.


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