Travelogue, June 18th, 2009, Prague
On June 18th, I took the train to Prague from Dresden, so I will not tell anything about air travel, air ports etc. But, I must say
that the train journey from Dresden to Prague is awesome. Train meanders along the Elbe river, and gets from Dresden to Prague in about 2 hrs. I had an advanced reservation, and cost about 20 Euros. There are some stupendous bridges on the way.
Once in the city, there is a 100 Kc (about 6 $) 24 hr ticket available, that lets you travel on all metro, trams (there are a lot of trams in the city) and all metrobuses. These things are specially designed for travelers like me who would rather not sort out individual trips.
One of the first things that I try to do when I get to a city, any city, is to get away from all the touristy spots (we will come back to them, for sure). So, I took the Prague metro (Line B/Yellow) to Nové Butovice. It is a away from the center, and there are no tourist attractions that at least I am aware of in that area. I walked around the area, there are some apartment complexes, where regular people live, and go about their lives away from the tourist center. The fate always brings us to the people we really want to meet. When I met a boy and his grand father, little did I know I was going to learn so much about a person who had lived in a small city in Czechoslovakia, left it to go to Poland, then to the United States, and then gone back in recent years. His story is fascinating, like most true stories are. I do not know the person’s name, and isn’t it true that the camaraderie that one feels with a nameless stranger is often not matched by that with a named stranger? Perhaps it is a liberating thought that there are other people who find this interesting, and they could not have any material reason for doing so.
Back into the wild: The National Museum
National museum (Národní muzeum) (this awesome image on WikiTravel shows the beauty much better than anything I write) is located right in the heart of the city, in Nove Mesto (new town). New town, is incidentally called new town, because it was built as an extension to the old town in 14th century. I paid an extra Kc (cant remember how many) to be able to take pictures inside. One of the most fascinating things that I saw inside the museum was the map that Germany, France, and other nations agreed on in 1938, that allowed and explained how portions of Czechoslovakia would be turned to German occupation. This map, may be the one of the most prized possessions of this museum. Here is the map, in its entirety.
So long, until I come back and tell a little more about Prague, including the awesome astronomical clock, and the awesome hostels.