Dave the motorhome is in the Camping and Caravan Yacht Club campsite a few meters from the Vltava which slices Prague in two (N50.06167 E14.41423). Coming from the UK, where campsites are more often than not carefully placed miles from anywhere, we’re slowly getting used to fantastic-sited campsites. This one, at a cost of about £25 a night without hook-up, isn’t cheap, but Prague is a boat-trip away across the river.
Alright, I may have to reconsider the above, a monster floating club is crawling past Dave. My head is thumping, the music is bang-bang-bangin, I wish I were onboard, as long as I could get off at 11pm for a kip.
Ok, I admit it. After weeks of one town and city after another, I couldn’t be bothered reading up on Prague. We found the campsite, on a peninsula poking up into the centre of the city, and did a load of hand washing. Not usually our bag, but the beer cupboard was filling with washing, and there’s no machine here.
A 400m walk brought us to the pointy end of land, wondering where the water taxi left from. A small pontoon appeared, backed up by a covered out board boat heading over the river, steered by Captain Birdseye himself.
Climbing awkwardly aboard, a doubtful dog struggling for freedom, we scooted across the water to the East bank. The Captain turned out to be Mr Cool. He could hardly be bothered taking payment, refusing krowns for Charlie, telling the other couples not to worry about having the wrong tickets. Cool.
The boat tickets we finally managed to buy entitled us to 90 min travel. Lazily we took a tram 2 or 3 stops and jumped off. The trams here, all rambling on the same tracks, ramge from antique to space age, sleek and black.
As we walked, the poor state of the paths and street furniture was hard to miss. Wooden seats missed their wood, up right marble chair backs were tatooed with graffiti, small blocks missing from the path. Nevertheless, the over riding impression was of life, waves of people from Europe, the US and Japan making up the bulk of the tourist ranks. With no plan, and no map, we just wandered and added to the throng.
Coming across the Charles Bridge, a monstrous stone thing, we took photos from the side. The grey side gave way at the top inch to a bobbing multi coloured topping of tourists, it was heaving.
More compasslessness spits us out in the Old Square, jokes flying, yet another of the biggest squares in Europe? With no tourist ‘literature’ we didn’t know, and just enjoyed its age and ambience.
Hunger forced us (yeah, OK, me) into KFC, no No Dog signs around, so in comes Charlie. The air con tasted as good as the spicy chicken wings. Further down the road, lamp post mounted signs point MacDonalds in 50m, in both directions. We indulge in more fast food, a burger and strawberry milkshake. Czech food no, but this is the new Prague it seems. Tat shops seem manned by the least friendly men in the trade, give me a Moroccan carpet trader any time. Bars abound, coloured T shirts of stag dos cluster together.
As we munch tasteless beef, stragglers dressed in this and that traditional clothing float past, waving at other, differently dressed folks sat in the cafe next door. A stage around the corner comes complete with leaping Spaniards from Asturia, and the English commentary suggests we visit the area for its famous alcholic drinks, we must go back!
Talk of beer had us in a river side beer garden for a cheeky 50cl (no dark beer left though sadly), and Charlie did his duty attacking the defenseless slopping river water. Across from us, a barrage of boats were paddled and rowed randomly about, an apparent bride standing confidently on a prow blowing kisses to our fellow land lubbers.
As we jointly flagged, another couple of tram tickets brought us within shouting distance of our Captain when the heavens opened. His passengers soaked to the skin, boatman didn’t even bother asking for tickets as we slunk off on the campsite side.
We’ve decided to stay other night, Prague is buzzing, maybe tomorrow we’ll go with a plan?
P.S. We tried to watch the Olympics opening ceremony, no reception on our analogue aerial. We tried listening, on Czech radio, no joy. Today we tried watching on iPlayer, campsite wifi is dire. Please, can someone tell us what’s happening in Blighty, mass hysteria, is it good stuff?