Monday 5 September 2016

Prague sans religion

I did a blog post a while back about being bored witless by religious iconography in Prague until I discovered its birding potential. The musuems were not the only places we visited while we were there though. It was billed (by me) as a romantic weekend a deux, sans enfants, so whilst it was disappointing to end up with wall to wall Madonnas, there was some respite provided by nice meals, amazing views, cheeky little beers in walled gardens, and peaceful solitude on the Charles Bridge. All of those are true bar one.....

My God Prague has a lot of visitors in August. We got up fiendishly early one day to try and avoid them and were largely successful for about an hour. We were still far from the first people on that bloody bridge however, I am surprised is has not collapsed into the Voltava. Just look at this!

The Charles Bridge, arguably Prague's most famous visitor attraction, is, at its rabid worst, a seething mass of humanity. In this photo, it is the second one you can see, carpeted in people. I suppose I was hoping for a postcard picture, but no chance of that. For that you need an unpopular weekend in the depths of winter I suspect, with an air temperature of minus twenty - that should keep the hordes away. I might try it.

Our hopes of a quiet stroll, hand in hand etc, dashed, we resorted to wandering around looking for spots where people were not, and this proved remarkably easy. Religious exhibitions for example..... But not just there. Away from the castle, the Jewish quarter and the infernal bridge, we frequently found ourselves wandering down cobbled streets with nary another soul, and very pleasant it was too. We almost wondered whether it was actually August after all, but then would round a corner to be faced with a scrum. Everyone must be on the same guided tour, Tripadvisored to the max, and I rarely consult websites like this for exactly this reason. Anywhere some gawpy wide-eyed tourist writes is the must see area for a given city ends up being gawdawful. Have I ever written a review? No. Blog yes, but with exact locations withheld. Suppression in tourism is the new thing. Anyway, here are a number of places in Prague that I hope you never find. Cheers.

Some clock or other. The chances of you finding this are remote to non-existent, so don't even bother.

Hogwarts. Which as everyone knows is invisible.

Obscure artwork down a hidden side street,

Flashmob in an unfashionable square on the outskirts of the city.

A bridge. Not telling you which one.

The Thames. Good luck.

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