I titled this Journal "Prague - A Meetin' Place" for a good reason. There is a saying that if you stand on the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway in New York City (Times Square) for an hour, that you will meet someone that you know. My version of that saying is a little different. If you stand in the middle of the Charles Bridge in Prague for two hours, you will meet everyone you know! It seems like the whole world is there and they are all aiming at you.
In your mind's eve, picture this. It is approximately noon on Prague's Charles Bridge on the first day of Spring (as in March 21st). You are crossing the Charles Bridge in hopes of eventually reaching the other side and the Old Town of Prague. I guarantee that you will feel like you have been in a combination of a demolition derby and bumper cars after bumping into and being bumped into and saying "prosim vás" (pro-seem vahs) "excuse me"so often you could pass for a local. Plus, tourists with large umbrellas who don't normally carry such implements (read non-British), need to learn not to carry them as if the were knights on a joust. And, you will need to stop by a pharmacy to buy something for your "Charles Bridge Bruises." Remember, this is only March 21st, and July is coming.
So, you ask, why would anyone subject themselves to this kind of punishment and worse? Because it is worth it! Prague is worth all of the hassles you have to go through to see this absolutely wonderful city!
It is not just the Palace or the cathedrals, or the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall. It is not the museums, or beautifully decorated buildings. A visit to Prague is to visit an atmosphere, which is partly awe, partly surprise, and lots of excitement. Prague is an exciting city and it is within almost everyone's budget, and while it is becoming more expensive, Prague is still much less expensive than many cities in western Europe. It is Medieval and Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque and even Rococo. One needn't search for the beauty of this old city. Prague will slap you in the face with its' beauty and with its' emotion and its' lust for life. Prague is vitality!
The temperature was in the upper 40's F when I was there. It was sunny and inviting and most folks were down to sweaters and hoodies by 1:00 pm. The outdoor restaurants and cafes were swamped, and the first day of Spring was exhilarating for all.
I'm starting with the Stare Mêsto (Old City) because that is the right place to start. Come along, won't you?