Kath and Kim

August 11, 2008 - Halifax, United Kingdom

We started at the airport and everything was going good.  We caught public transport to Leeds airport for the first time and we were very impressed that we managed to get there with half an hour to spare.  We sat round, had coffee etc and passed the next two hours and were just waiting for them to announce our gate number when we hear the dreaded announcement "sorry, your plane will be delayed for 3 hours".  Ed seizing on the opportunity runs straight down and asks for his food voucher!  He got it, a whole 3 quid!  Mind you it paid for a cuppa coffee and killed some time.  Anyway the time dragged but our main concern was whether the car hire company in Prague would still be open on our arrival.  The people in the UK reckoned Yeah, no worries, they always stay open when a flight is late.  But we got there, Like Hell!  We know that when you pay minimum wage and someone has to do a boring job like sit there checking people in and out that one minute past 8pm they're gone.  So our options were to stay in the Marriot airport for Euro 170 per night, or Kath and Kim it and sleep in the airport.  We started off sitting near the check in counter for flights leaving to Tel Aviv where we were escorted away from this part of the airport by the extra security put on by the airline for the Jews.  We went a walk and found a corner of the airport that was flat, tiled, bright beaming lights in your face, and this is where we dragged out our rollmats and covered our eyes with our jackets and spent the night.  We're not paying for save the world Carbon dioxide taxes for these airports to leave 30 million lights on all night.  Anyway we saved ourselves a nights camping fees even though it was definitely not the most comfortable or quiet night we have spent.  Deb wanted to do a home movie like the Kath and Kim version where they went on honeymoon and ended up stranded at an airport for a week but Ed didn't see the funny side.

Next morning we awoke (yes believe it or not, we did get abit of kip) very early at 5:30am and waited for our good hire car company employee to start work.  To give him credit where credit is due, he did open up the counter 10mins early to serve us.  We both pissed ourselves laughing when we got our first glimpse of our hire car.  It is one of those Smart cars and as it is so small it took us awhile to actually find it parked in amongst the rest of the cars.  Our luggage trolly was not much smaller and we wondered how we were going to get our stuff in, but surpringly it fits quite alot, just as much as a normal car.  We are slowly getting used to the fact that it is about as big as a motorbike, which is far cry from the beast we hired over in Spain which was more the size of a tank.

We left the airport and managed to find our way to the campsite that have prebooked in Prague.   It is a great location, very close to the town and we're on the riverbanks.  It seems to be an old soviet rowing training camp.  There is still an old viewing tower on the complex as well as audience stands and jetty's.  It's very crowded but relatively quiet and very comfortable.  Acutally we just spoke to the owner who confirmed that it was a world rowing championship venue in 1956 and it still is used today for regional rowing competitions.

We left the car here and caught the public transport (trams) into the city.  We are only 10 stops which is about 15mins away from the centre.  Yesterday we had a look around the new part of Prague.  The buildings are absolutely beautiful, very ornate with lots of ornaments and carvings and colours and lattice works all over.  The city is probably nicer and prettier than Barcelona.  It took us awhile to get our bearings becuase Prague is a maze of old streets and every building looks grand enough to be a tourist site but only a few are marked.  We went to the main square and crowded round to watch the famous Astranomical clock chime at midday.  Figures of saints come out of doors and bells ring etc.  We saw some lovely churches, had a beer in a pub, wandered down the riverbanks, got lost down streets.  It was a nice way to spend the day, with no set plan and no where to be, just able to wander around and soak up the atmosphere. 

Today we were in the city by 9am and went straight to the main sight which is Prague Castle.  This place gets super crowded so we wanted to be there early to beat the crowd.  Even when we arrived the line for the cathedral in the castle was really long.  We nearly didn't bother but it seemed to be moving quite quickly and we knew that if we didn't get in now the queue would only get worse.  As it turned out we were only standing there for 10mins before we got in.  The Cathedral was very beautiful and had two saints buried there, plus chapels within the Cathedral itself and of course the manditory impressive stained glass windows.  We then spent the next few hours wandering around the rest of the castle.   There was a museum showing the building of the castle along with artifects found over the years.  King Wenseslas' crown and jewels are housed here, as well as items owned by other Kings including their buriel clothing.  There was so much to see in the castle such as an old dungeon with torture tools, convents, banquet halls, gardens, more chapels, an ancient road with old residential houses.  One of the highlights was teh Changing of the Guards ceremony which we stumbled across by pure accident.  Every hour they do this ceremony but at midday it's more elaberate and this is what we saw.  The guards do their military drills, and they are accompanied by a military band who stand in windows above and play their instruments.  It is very popular so super crowded but Deb managed to push her way very rudely to the front to get some good action shots.  Fascinating stuff and most enjoyable to see.  The rest of the day we spent wandering around the old town of Prague, walking up and down cobbled streets, stumbling across more churches and beautiful buildings and window shopping.  Worryingly, Deb has her beady eyes on bohemium crystal shops and seems to think this would be a good souvenier!  Prague is a stunning city and we would definitely recommend it.  If we weren't on time restraints we would definitely stay here longer as there is alot to see and do. 

Tomorrow we are heading up North to the Polish border to a national park area which is known for its cliffs and rock formations.  We didn't bring our climbing gear this time but I think we will regret it as apparently it is known for climbing.  We have our climbing shoes so can do abit of bouldering if we see some nice boulders.  Otherwise we are going to do some walking in the national park which will be nice. 





1 Comment

Robert L. McAdam:
August 12, 2008
Have to make a quick comment for real for a change!! Prague and Budapest are the two most stunning cities in Europe. There are isolated towns with stunning stuff in them but city wise, these two citys require all the time you can give them.
Unc Plumbob!!
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