Best laid plans of mice and men.
Taking the scenic route can have disadvantages. Especially when roadworks are encountered. Czechs are digging up lots of the minor roads, and some of the major ones. Trouble is TomTom keeps trying to send me back to the same construction area.
And once. I missed a turn-off.
The result was, that after 6hrs into a 4hr trip, I was still 1hr away from Prague.
Now that 6hrs did include a random lunchtime stop in Sobeslav. Yes. I’d never heard of the place either. Having arrived in search of cash and lunch, I can say that it looks like a nice little place.
At Tourist Information, a knowledgeable young lady directed me to a bank, and a place for bramboratchky (potato pancakes).
Nice to see an exception to the rule 🙂
But 6hrs is still 6hrs.
I was on the road @ 7:30am, (a personal record?), and it was time to fill the bike with petrol, and give it some TLC. So I did.
And for myself, an ice-lolly, water and a nap. Ah the joys of being able to sleep anywhere! Comfy chair in a station forecourt. Good enough.
Those of you who cannot do this, I suggest you confess your sins, and clear your conscience! A clean conscience is a pre-requisite for a good sleep 🙂
Both bike and rider refreshed, I had only one more roadworks to circumnavigate. Did that “old school”, using sign-posts, and town names, ignoring TomTom until I was within the outskirts of Prague.
Arriving close to my apartment, I found the perfect motorcycle parking spot at a junction 😉
Walked over and booked in. Helped by Anhelina from Ukraiina. Who complimented my spoken Ukrainian. All that time in Delatyn must be paying off ! hahahaha
Parked the bike.
An apartment with TWO bedrooms. Am not sure if I noticed that during the booking process. I sure did not remember when being shown around the apartment. The rest of the apartment looked exactly the same as the online pictures.
Having checked the wifi, I then sent some emails.
And had a nap. Well, it was after 8pm.
Awoke at 9:30pm feeling peckish. Had been 10hrs since Sobeslav. Looked online, and found a nearby curry-house. Dressed and tried to go outside. Outside door was stuck!
Tried everything short of breaking it, then called the landlord. Jasmin came over with his son Salah, and sorted the door out. Also gave me a key to the front door.
Now, who keeps different keys for the front and the back door? I learnt that lesson a long time ago. Same key for both doors! And the garage!
By now the time was nearly 11pm, but I went out for a walk anyway. Might as well get some fresh air and exercise.
Sometimes the gods are kind.
Found a brew-pub some 500m from my apartment 🙂
Here is my third beer……
Wednesday up to TaiChi.
No breakfast to be had, so out and take a brief look at the city. Plus try and figure out how public transport works.
Within a short time I had found
(1) a huge clock in a church……
(2) a tourist office for this area of Prague
(3) a nearby market with real food eg: pickled gerkins. OK, short kabanosi. and some veg
(4) next door to the Vietnamese quarter, where I was tempted by the Pho
(5) huge park with this view of the city……
Hmmmm. Was sunnier than the photos suggest.
My walk took me down into the old-town, past the gorgeous National Museum. Or it will be, once the reno ends.
Talking of buildings. There are lots of surprises everywhere. Buildings that are just beautiful, either because of some art-work, or design, or both. So do remember to look at the buildings themselves as you walk around.
Stopped at second Tourist Info place where the young man directed me to more bramburatchky.
It was a trap. The daily special had finished earlier 🙁 So started with the “Pork Pie”. hahahaha. Just like jellied veal, but with pork. NOT studinetz/kholodets/drahli. But there were raw onions, rye bread, vinegar and pepper, so all the things to make a proper sandwich.
Cup of tea and sandwiches finished. Time to go.
Plus, it was like being in a Chinese restaurant in Toronto. Single guy on a table for four. Stick four more people there. And that family looked hot and tired. I figured they need the space 🙂
Walked onto the Powder Tower.
Then, looked through. Lo and behold, the Prague Proms were on.
Got a ticket for the Smetana Hall at 8pm.
Saw the sign to their basement restaurant, so went and had bramburatchky, with garlic……
If you are nearby, take a look. And the adjoining bar.
Basically, the rooms are art deco room meets Heidi furniture, with hints of British Club, and Eastern Promise.
Plus the ground-floor restaurant, and coffee-shop. Both elegant.
Walked home via another route.
Had time to stash my purchases.
Then get ready/changed and head back to the theatre.
My transit ticket lasts 24hrs from the moment I start using it. Neat.
There is a hill to the brew-pub. And the street-car is just before the pub. We both arrived on time. The one street-car took me to, what I thought was the Powder Tower (built to store gunpowder, and therefore built to blow up, and a gothic masterpiece!), but turned out to be Henry’s Tower.
“No need to panic Mister Mannering”
250metres later, I was sat in Smetana Hall. Listening to “The Best of Classics” by a string sept-tette. Nice. My favourite being Largo, from Xerxes, by Handel. Thought they played that rather well.
Just over an hour later, I was able to get up. These must be the most uncomfortable chairs in any concert hall. Even I would have trouble sleeping here! Or maybe that is the point?
Headed downstairs to the restaurant.
Mushroom soup OK. But they must have used an ex-army 20th century, soup bowl, and forotten some of the mushrooms.
Goulash and bread dumplings were OK, though the gravy was glutinous……
Glad I had the glass of wine.
Went next door to the bar. Scored the two-seater private room 😉 Tried a Czech digestive. My advice? Don’t drink the Fernet. haha.
Bill for the lot, including tips, 670Kourna, or 26euros, or 36Cdn. Not bad for a tourist spot in a capital city.
Time to go home.
Resisted the siren call of the brew-pub as I stepped off the tram. I have a whole city to see tomorrow.
Now don’t be shy.
Here I am in Prague.
An apartment with TWO bedrooms.
Here till Monday.
The brew-pub is very close.
What are you all waiting for?