The last time I came to Prague was in September 2008. There’s something rather nice about the late Summer in this part of landlocked Europe. It tends to retain the heat and, it seems, the sunny days much more than coastal areas. But in late March, there’s no guarantee that Spring will have sprung. Which was confirmed by the view I woke up to this morning.
Look in the foreground. That’s snow on the roof. Which would be lovely had there been a light dusting across Prague, topping off the beautiful buildings. But it’s got a couple of degrees warmer, which means rain. Lots of it. Even the street traders in the Old Town are struggling.
But the weather has a positive side effect. Only the bravest tourists are bothering with the sights this morning, Although most are Italian and in sizeable organised groups, so there’s still plenty of side stepping and umbrella dodging to be done. And with this seasonal hue, it’s beginning to look at lot like…
I’m thinking it’s only a matter of time before the UK adopts the Easter Market, to mirror it’s Christmas markets, selling all manner of tat and, naturally, every bit of the animal you can spit roast.
Away from the tourist traps, people are keeping themselves warm with a combustion all of coffee shops and culture. In the hearts of the Old Town you can pay a fair price to get up close to some of the sights. But in the New Town are loads of interesting buildings, like the Church of St Stephen. Free to look at, inside and out.
The weather’s improved, though it only stays dry for a few minutes. And it seems rude not to find out where all of this water will eventually be going – though that’s easier said than done.
The Staropramen brewery cuts a fine figure in the otherwise run down district of Smichov. The area itself is easily accessible by tram or Metro, and a sign on the front door directs you to the “visitor centre” around the side. Once I get inside, all I can see is an office with a disinterested man behind the desk, a time honoured audio visual experience explaining the brewing process, and the ubuiquitous faux beer hall which seems to mark the end of the tour, again, with a trio of bored looking staff standing behind the bar. It looks neither interesting nor value for money – and since nobody’s asked me for an admission fee I think I’ll spend it somewhere else.