Friday, June 01, 2007

Prague recap



Prague? Fabulous. Insanely picturesque, a remarkably easy city to learn in a short period of time, and an incredible abundance of clean public toilets everywhere. I'll refrain from commenting on which of these factors was the most important to me (though anyone who's been in my company for more than 30 seconds can probably guess), but together, they conspired to make for the perfect travel destination for our family.

Was it touristy? Oh, God, yes. I don't know that I've ever seen such a touristy city, and I certainly haven't heard so many American accents since I left the States. (In my least favorite American encounter moment, we passed an American couple on a tight stairwell. The woman profusely apologized as we all did that little "I'll go left, you go right" dance and her husband chided her for bothering. "No one understands you here," he told her, "so you can cut with the social niceties." Um, yeah. Way to make me wish I didn't speak your language, mister...) But you know what? American buffoons aside, I'm OK with touristy at this point in my life. Touristy means there will be food my kids will eat and attractions that interest all of us. (And bathrooms. Did I mention the bathrooms? Lots and lots of bathrooms.) It's a guaranteed good time. Save the "go native and experience the region as a local would" type experiences for when our children aren't 3 and 5. For now, bring on the touristy, even if it means we're surrounded by more than a few other tourists. (I resisted the urge to tell the guy off in any language, by the way. Aren't you proud of me and my newly-developed British restraint?)

When we look back on Prague, I imagine we'll all have different favorite memories. Julia will remember St Vitus' Cathedral, which was quite literally the first sight anywhere we've ever traveled that has caused her jaw to drop and no words to pass her lips save a simple breathless "wow." Evan will remember the Prague Castle and the fact that there are 97 steps down from it to the street below (give or take a few dozen -- the counting efforts of a 3 and a 5 year old, while wildly entertaining to all those around us, may have been somewhat less than completely precise). Paul will remember that the beer was cheaper than the water (this, as he reminded us pretty much every time we sat down at any restaurant, is my husband's idea of true nirvana). I will remember the breathtaking postcard-like sights everywhere we turned. And my bladder will remember all of those WCs. A lovely touch, I tell you. The world could learn a lot from the Czechs about the placement and upkeep of public conveniences.

For more of our Prague memories, check out my Flickr album. Click "detail" or select the photos individually for my explanations and commentary or just view the slideshow if you've had enough of what I have to say already...

8 Comments:

Blogger Ginger said...

Oh, I'm with you on the necessity of bathrooms. And clean, too? What more could you ask for, especially if you travel with a little girl.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

I am howling about the bathrooms. Why does this not surprise me to read - especially from you?

7:35 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Yay for the clean (and plentiful) bathrooms! And, the rest of the trip sounds like a great success too! I gather that the rain stayed away??

1:30 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Oh, girl, you really make me laugh. So glad you had a wonderful time. What fantastic pictures!!!

2:57 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

Bathrooms AND beer nirvana, I'm so putting it on my top 5 future travel destinations! Good times to you!

3:48 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I visited Prague waaaay back when. Before it was all touristy. And, I believe, before there were soooo many bathrooms. Because in addition to CHEAP BEER (yes!) one moment that stands out for me about Prague was, um, "watering the lawn" in the bushes of a public park. Stick with the touristy spots, my friend, and you'll be just fine. Hee. (And the tourists have not dimished the views. Gorgeous pictures!)

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Wino would be pleased by Julia's awe.

($100 if you can figure that reference out without googling)

Tell Paul I'll see him in Prague.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Prague Hotels said...

Prague is beautiful city with architecture going back to the middle ages. I was impressed by the Prague castle, the old town's powder gate tower and the famous astronomical clock. I had a chance to explore the Jewish quarter, also fascinating (the Spanish synagogue is not to be missed). St. Vitus's Cathedral rivals Notre Dame as a massive, buttressed church: it also houses the tomb of "Good King Wenceslas". Charles Bridge is a treasure, a great beauty. The last time I visited your city I stayed at the Three Pelicans hotel at the western edge of the bridge. I liked it best early on a drizzly morning with few people around.

1:28 PM  

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