According to Google Maps, Charles bridge was half an hour way from my hotel by foot… I took two hours to get there! Let me explain: the time available to visit the city was not much. I left the hotel around 10 a.m., after having arrived the night before well past midnight, and the return flight to Lisbon was that same day at 7:00 p.m., which gave me about 7 hours to wander. I settled with my friend Niklas, a German living in Prague for four years now, that we would meet around 12.30 for lunch. He asked me to see the Charles bridge and the clock square without him, because there were places where he did not like to spend a Sunday, by the influx of tourists.
I left the hotel in the direction of the bridge and ajust around the corner, on Lidická Street, I marveled with the old trams passing by. I got to the Moldova river and I could already see the Mala Strana hill in the background with the cathedral and the castle on top. The bridge would be in the foothills. The problem was the wonderful buildings that overlooked the river! From the facades, doors and details in styles from Art Nouveau to Neoclassical to Frank Gehry’s Dancing House, everything was a reason to stop and photograph! And the colors of this city? In fact you will see, by the amount of “equal photos, but all of them delicious” that I took!
By the time I got to the bridge it was already noon and the pressure to meet a German in time was high so I could not even cross it completely, which left me with some sorrow because one of the things I wanted was to get to Mala Strana from the bridge (fortunately there will be more opportunities to do it, one of the advantages of this profession!). The bridge itself was not as full as expected, except for its access. On the bridge the stalls, already in 2007 there, of caricaturists and artisans trying to sell their work.
The deal was to meet him at Národní třída station, still a 12-minute walk from the bridge, so I could still see some downtown streets along the way.
With Niklas, we passed by the theater where we can find a monument to Václav Havel, the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic and a firm defender of nonviolent resistance – and also who gives the name to Prague airport. Then we went to one of his favorite restaurants. Atmosphere Pub Café. where besides a beautiful loaf of meat I drank a very tasty Czech beer! After putting the conversation up to date, I convinced him that we had to go through the clock square, which when we arrived was covered by scaffolding, so we did not venture through the square.
We went down Parízcká Street, one of the most commercial streets of the city again towards the river, to cross it and climb the huge staircase leading to the Metronom, from where we can have successive views of the several bridges on the Moldova river and the city, including its curious telecommunications tower. From there we walked to the castle, but already for lack of time, because I had to be in the hotel soon to prepare for the return flight, we just took a quick walk around the cathedral, already inside the walls.
We went down the hill as fast as the legs allowed and at the end we hesitated and took the tram for two stops because at the end of 18km the legs no longer obeyed to the rhythm imposed by the lack of time.
Prague is a city worth visiting and I can not wait for the next night stop to visit the neighborhood of Mala Strana decently!