The last day dawned and the clear blue sky had returned. Yes it was still quite chilly but at least there was the sun and the need to wear sunglasses. I’ll be honest that I like the sun. Not just for the fact that enables us survive on the planet, not that it gives us a tan (obviously that’s ones with a health warning). I don’t even think that it is because in the right place at the right time of year you don’t have to walk around with several layers on. The last one is obvious given that was still a necessity today. For me there is just something nice is it’s presence. It cheers me up and that can never be a bad thing.
So, full of cheer, and everything at the hotel taken care of (thank you free bag storage), I had the best part of a full day to plan out. I’d gone back to a flexible plain again but needed to ensure that I was in the old town square for 10. I was going to be part of an organised tour for a change, but one that was free. Now tone fair here, free is the optional bit. There is no up front cost, but it’s considered good form to tip the guide at the end. They have become so popular that there are probably about 4 or 5 different companies offering this service, each with a good number of guides and tour times.
I selected my tour guide. She introduced herself as Anna and let me know we had plenty of time and that I could get a hot wine to stay warm if I wanted to stay warm. Given it wasn’t 10 yet and I would be driving later in the day I opted to abstain. We waited and chatted a bit and the waited for the astronomical clock to run through its hourly ritual as there may be some for the tour wanting to see that first. We the waited a bit longer. At this point I was starting to feel a bit bad. I was with a native Czech who was clearly keen to tell others about the town she lived in and clearly loved, and I seemed to be the only person who wanted to share in that knowledge, at least for this morning.
After a little bit, we set off. No on else had joined us, so I was getting a private tour. Anna had my full attention as we made our way around Prague and generously I had her full attention as well. I opted for the tour that would normally be done and came away with not just a better understanding of the buildings in Prague and some of its history, but an understanding of modern day Prague as well. While it was mainly Anna talking, I hope I provided some good conversation as well. The two and half hours went too quickly and we bade our farewells. However I was different. I was now educated, at least in part, and I went about walking around the city (sometimes retracing old steps) with a new knowledge and an eye for some of what Anna had taught me. Of course I was setting off, more or less, from where the tour had started.
Monday is not a good day to do museums and some of the other tourist attractions. While the main crowd pleasers are open, Monday tends to be the closure day. This eliminated my option of visiting the museum of technology. Never mind, it could always wait for another trip. While I had visited a lot, by no means could I claim to have completed Prague. Many say they haven’t after a number of yearly visits, so my 4 days can only have scratched the surface. At part of the tour, the metronome (a very big ones to be honest) had been highlighted as a good place for photos. Given 500 in 4 days clearly isn’t enough, I felt this was an opportunity not to be missed. With the sun out and shining on the lake it was not a mistake and I remained glad at the large memory card in the camera.
Time was starting to get on now and given it was a sunny day, thee was one thing that I wanted to do that I had more or less done on my first day in Prague and would bring a nice uniformity to the trip. It was back to the little dead end of a promenade, jutting out into the river Vlata and time to have a solitary beer with the sun setting behind the Prague skyline of the Lesser Town (a poor translation into English apparently as it really means the Town Below as it’s below the castle complex. Cameras in hands (video and still) I set to work recording the last moments of daylight for the trip. There was still time for a few photos and Prague at night, though some skilful lighting, is just as beautiful as it is in the day.