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Published: October 18th 2008
When I tried to photograph the conductor he seemed to try to hide.
It was Saturday. I wasn't teaching any classes. I had my lessons prepared for the next few days. I had graded all my essays. Hey! It was time to head downtown and see what I could find to do to keep myself happy and busy. With Bill in Annapolis and me here alone I wanted to have some sort of an adventure and something to write home about. So, I took my money in hand and headed out to the bus and the subway. Since I bought my three month transport ticket last Saturday, I didn't need to stop and buy anything. I just jumped on the bus and took off to Malastranska. After I got off the subway, I headed straight to the number 18 tram stop to catch a ride over into the area where I wanted to go. A few seconds later the "Historic Subway" came along the tracks and my plans changed in an instant. Bill had told me about the great ride through the nicest places in town that this tram makes. So, off I went to see where it would go. The trip was both along familiar and unfamiliar routes with lots of interesting things
A cute little girl and her family rode most of the way with me.
to see on the way. I enjoyed the old fashioned wooden car and the conductor who rang a bell, announced the stops and surprisingly collected an additional 35kc for this special ride. Oh well, I had the money in my pocket and a bottle of water and a sandwich in my backpack so I had little need for cash. I was quite surprised when we came to the very fancy old exhibition grounds and I heard the familiar Czech which means, "This is the end of the line, please get off". I thought we were on a loop ride and I would get off where I had gotten on. Lucky for me I knew this part of town and the park that is there and knew where and how to catch another tram back to the place I wanted to be. I could have taken a lovely walk in that park but it wasn't on that day's plans (which I was quickly finding were not any firmer than a bowl of jelly). I caught a tram and jumped off it at Starometska. I knew I hoped to go to the Decorative Arts Museum on some Tuesday evening when it is
free and I also knew it was near this tram stop. Well, as I now know, I headed in the opposite direction to the way it is located. I wandered around the Jewish sector where there were armed guards at some of the sites. I don't know if there was a threat or not but I recalled an earlier terrorist threat on the safety of the old Synagogues and wondered about this military presence. I enjoyed seeing the old places and then tried to find a good Chinese restaurant I ate in two years ago. I didn't find it but I found the square near it. Since the day was fantastic, I sat on a bench in a park like area and ate my sandwich and drank my water. Then I started to walk along the streets in the general direction of the subway station where I first got off in the morning. I walked along the river, got pictures, noticed swans and other birds on the other bank, walked across the bridge, wandered down and took pictures of the ducks and swans and children. I sort of took a little side excursion but finally I managed to get myself
A great day
A new thing this past year has been the chance to ride on a balloon over the city. NOT for me.
back in the same area I had left an hour or so before and headed through the dreaded park-like area beside the subway where I fell last June and broke a couple or so ribs. I really walk carefully up and down and around the steps in that area now! I headed for the small park which has a beautiful view of the gardens below the castle. I had my camera with me and wanted to take pictures of the pretty flowers in the lower areas. I got those photos and decided it was CREPE time. I headed back up the street to the crepe shop in the wall. I ordered my favorite, a apricot jam filled, power sugar and chocolate covered crepe. Now, since the shop just has a window on the street and the cooking area is below street level, there is no place to sit down. You buy these crepes and you walk down the street eating them off a small cardboard 'dish' with a single paper napkin to handle the drips. I wanted to head up to the Royal Gardens and that involved either walking up or riding the tram. I didn't think anyone was going
A great day
The castle from an unusual spot.
to be thrilled about riding along with a gooey apricot, chocolate, powered sugar mess riding along with them so I headed for the walkway up the hill to the Deer Moat which is part of the gardens. Coward that I am I had never walked this by myself since it involves being on a hanging sidewalk/bridge off the rocks of the hillside and above the road and tram tracks below. The walkways are variously metal grating and wooden planks. Often you need to hang onto a railing on one side to be sure you aren't going to fall off into someplace below. But it was a warm fall day and I was in my 'brave Nancy' mode. I had quite a little balancing act going on personally plus trying to hold the rail with one hand and eat the crepe from the other hand. I could feel chocolate on my nose, on my cheek, on my chin. Then I heard some people fast overtaking me from behind. I squeezed myself over and let them pass since they were obviously going to move quickly while I was inching my way along with height and crepe being sort of against me in
The river seems to be full of birds.
this venture. Then I got to the place I had forgotten where the two parts of the 'walkway' were at different heights and it was necessary to step either from down to up or to climb and then step from up to down on a 90 degree angle to get from one to another to complete the trip. I decided from up to down was my best bet and I managed it without falling. Then as I headed down the slope I realized other people were coming up the same narrow walkway. I again squeezed myself over and let them past. Whee! I hate doing that! When I am high and the land is down THERE somewhere below, I am a big coward. Finally, I got to the Deer Moat. For anyone else it would have been a stroll. For me, it had been a big adventure with sweet stuff all over me to add to the fun. I carefully licked all the chocolate off that I could and dry scrubbed the rest with the paper napkin. I think I got enough off that no one got the giggles when they saw me on the rest of my walk. I
As I walked from one side of the river to the tram line on the other, I was surprised to see this lovely shop for the first time.
had so much fun trying to learn to use my new digital camera. I pointed it at things, and tried all sorts of ways of focusing and different guesses at settings, etc. then looked at the results, adjusted things and then took more shots. It was fun. I saw a number of stairways up to the Royal Gardens themselves but decided against trying any of them. I went to the very end of the park and then, just to add to my last blog entry climbed another long set of stairs up and out of the Moat. I wasn't where I had expected to be but I knew enough to get myself down through that part of town and to the Castle area. Then I walked the gardens and got a lot of interesting shots. The most interesting was not of flowers. It is here on the blog and is of some fantastic fungus that were growing around a rather newly planted Linden Tree. I had a most enjoyable day's walk and fun. I hope you enjoy the pictures I took that day. I am slowly learning not to shoot pictures out of focus and in bad light, etc. Bill
View of the castle wall that houses the fig trees. Taken from the moat.
is the photography expert in our family but he is insisting I learn this new camera by myself and enjoy it. I didn't want it. He sort of forced me to buy it but now I think it is a lot of fun!
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