Monday 21 May 2012


Dislocated shoulder still very sore, thanks for asking, and making taking photos a pain in both senses: so many crooked ones, thanks to doing it one-handed. See? Annoying.

Prague is a great place for getting lost in - because it's so easy, the narrow little lanes winding off confusingly between the tall buildings that hide even the landmark spires (100, they claim); and also because it's fun just to wander and see where you fetch up. It's warm now, the place is swarming with other tourists, there are icecream stalls and pavement cafes, buskers and beggars, touts and tour guides with umbrellas everywhere. The shops are selling Bohemian crystal, garnet jewellery and beautifully-made marionettes, all genuine Prague souvenirs - plus Russian-doll football teams (Tottenham Hotspurs, ManU...), bottles of lurid absinthe and Duff beer, and Italian gelato - all somewhat less authentic.

Our guide, Karin, took us across the old, age-blackened Charles Bridge to show us some hidden bits that were relatively peaceful, the prettiness of the painted and decorated buildings easier to appreciate when not swirling in a tide of rowdy tourists with all their tat and clutter. On the bridge one of the 30 statues has two brass plaques at the base with bright polished spots where they've been rubbed by thousands of people making wishes. My own may not have been entirely shoulder-unrelated.

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