Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Petrin Park

View of the city

Part of the 'hunger wall' (I think so-called because it was an employment project in time of famine??? but unsure)

The funicular, with castle in background

View of the castle (with smog)

The 'Eiffel Tower'

The little Ukranian church

Today I walked through Petrin Park, which is Prague's way-better answer to the Domain (in Auckland, guys). Unfortunately I started out by heading the wrong direction out of the metro for about 20 minutes, until I happened upon another metro station and realised I was going wrong. Actually, I haven't gotten lost very much since I've been away, but my guide book had a mysterious gap between its map section and the 'guided walk around Petrin' section, whereby it didn't actually tell you how to get to Petrin. I do have my mother folding map, but I try to consult it as sparingly as possibly, due to a horror of appearing like your common-and-garden tourist.

Anyway, by the time I got back to the first metro station I was half-inclined to give up and just head back to the hostel, but I'm glad I didn't. Petrin Park was a fair climb, but it's dotted with old churches (including an old wooden one imported from the Ukraine - why?), palaces, stone fortifications, and right at the top a mock Eiffel tower (which is visible from all over Prague, thus rendering my inability to find the park that much more comical). It was a clear sunny day today, although there was unfortunately smog hanging all over the city, so I don't know that my photos will do it justice - some great views of Prague from up there, though! It was also lovely because it is of course autumn, and there were some lovely golden-leafed trees about.

Partly due to my initial error in directions, and partly because I had things to do in the morning, it was mid-afternoon before I even made it there, and about 4 pm I started to panic that I wouldn't make it out of the park before dark. The 'guided walk', by the way, is not worth the paper it's written on, since it's just about impossible to follow the directions when you're traipsing around a trackless wood. Well, not literally trackless, but you know what I mean... Happily for us all, I fetched up at the Strahov monastery, my intended destination, at about 4.45 and I even managed to find a tram home, hurrah! Trams are, of course, much cooler than taking the metro, but they rank on my scared-factor scale somewhere between trains (generally I'm okay with) and buses (scared silly of) so I usually try to avoid taking them where possible. In case you think I'm insane, there is a reason behind the rankings: it's relatively easy to figure out where a train is going and it's not all that likely that it'll suddently veer off the proposed route, whereas buses have the alarming tendency to unexpectedly duck down a side street and render me utterly lost. Trams have the appeal of running on fixed lines, but there are so many intersecting tram lines and it's so hard to figure out which direction the damn things are going that they frighten me a tad. But anyway, here I am safe and sound and, drum roll please...
Tomorrow I'm off to Vienna! Woohoo! Back in Prague on Saturday, doubtless full of new adventures.

1 comment:

  1. So much for the claws of Prague, or should that have been the close of Prague? Faithless child.
    My theory about the wooden ukranian chyurch is that the Czechs are simply waiting for ito to be full of ukranians befiore lighting the match. (Old mid european sport).


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