Czech Republic
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Camp and day’s information: Sunday, 19th  June 2005

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W of Plzen
Forest
Bushcamp

 

     

Hot and sunny late twenties

Ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce baguettes

We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Czech Republic.  We drove into Prague and parked Nyathi in the main thoroughfare leading down from the National Museum.  She attracted a lot of attention and it was quite fun watching from a distance as people took photos of her and read the list of countries etc.  One chap was particularly enthusiastic and took at least a dozen close-up shots of the vehicle and under-body.

The city was a fabulous and its charm grew on us the more we walked about the place. Our first stop was a street market selling colourful wooden toys, fresh produce, puppets and little witches which cackled and shook when you clapped your hands nearby.  We made our way through the narrow streets to Charles Bridge.  It was heavy with human traffic which got congested every now and again when people paused to watch someone having their portrait drawn, or a vendor's stall was interesting.

The bridge is adorned on either side with thirty 18th century statues, one especially attracting a lot of attention and its brass plates shone in the sun from all the hands rubbing the parts which supposedly bring good fortune.

  

Our stay in the city was soured by an encounter with an exchange bureau which was misleading and dishonest and cheated Michael out of cash and he got very angry (which is unusual).  The cashier was incredibly rude and said he wouldn't change our money back and that it was our problem, not his!  We were fuming and thankfully had only changed €5.  We went and sat at a corner cafe with a view of the castle to calm down.  I ate and ice-cream, while Michael had a beer and we watched the exceptionally multi-cultural throngs of tourists pass by.

We wandered back across the bridge and watched people on the ugly little moulded yellow boats paddling about.  We also saw a more elegant gondola-type boat floating up a side canal.  The view of the city across the water from the bridge was stunning - the city has earned its captivating reputation.  The Staromestske square was also busy with tourists and a lone singer who was performer 'oldies' had attracted a large crowd who were sitting or standing and singing along with great enthusiasm, if not in tune.  The perimeter of the square was lined with tired people sitting on the pavement edge watching the world go by.  The surrounding buildings and churches were once again, beautiful, old and imposing.

We also noticed two other interesting things while we strolled about.  One was the use of Segway Human Transporters for giving one-to-one tours. At the other end of the scale, the large number of beggars, all of whom were lying prostrate on the ground.  When we got back to Nyathi, she was there with a new group of onlookers. 

  

We drove out of the city and back into the countryside.  We found a a quite spot in a forest about 20km west of Plzen and we relaxed for the night.