Anyone who ever said Prague is beautiful was right. The capital of the Czech Republic is an impressive, terrocota-roofed maze of history. Standing guard over the Old Town is Prague Castle, the largest castle complex in Europe. The buildings are magnificeint, gothic towers with unobstructed views over the city and river. It’s impossible to see everything, but I did my darndest and spent two full days walking around the city (my feet didn’t appreciate that), and one day napping under a shady tree (my feet liked that). Here are some pic of things I saw along the way.
A visit the Czech Republic wouldn’t be complete without beer drinking. The country produces lots of delicious brews, and to prove this I was treated to the yeasty smell of beer each time I approached the door of my cs host’s apartment wafting up from the brewery down the road. I drank a light and fruity Cerna Hora brew and tried the new bottled lemon and grapefruit beers – so much better than a shandy!
My few days in Pargue weren’t only about the sights and views. My sneaky ways finally caught up with me and I was caught out on a tram without a ticket. Riding public transport for free may seem like a naughty thing to do, but I feel no shame. In fact, I feel like quite the rebel in these overly organised countries. The time however, the law won.
Stephan, my cs host, and I were riding the tram home from a party at about 2:30am. A few stops into the journey two plainsclothes ticket inspectors stood up and got to work checking tickets. Since I didn’t have one he wanted to write me a fine and asked for my passport. And that’s where all the trouble began! Of course I didn’t have mine with me. I mean, who takes their passport to a club? But this meant he couldn’t write the fine. Unluckily for us though, there were two city police offiicers on the tram who allowed the inspector man (insert appropriate insult here) to escort us off the tram to the nearest dark corner where they called in reinforcements. Eventually there were six officials (2x ticket dudes, 2x city police and 2x real police) making a fuss over three of us. The other couple who were also in the poo just laughed at the nonsensical procedure, now at 3:30am.
The biggest issue was my lack of ID. The ticket (%§$#) was all for taking me to the foreign police and locking me up for the night, but after much to and fro-ing, and some stellar arguing on Stepahn’s part, they took his ID and fined him! And more than the usual amount too! It seems the inspectors get a 50% cut of the fines so are bullish about collecting them. In the end what could we do, so Stephan signed, we sighed, I paid him the 1000 CHZ (don’t fret, it’s only about R400), we laughed and let it go.
Lesson learnt: carry some ID and one (unvalidated) ticket. While I would have preferred not to part with money on a fine, it has in no way hindered my plans to continue riding the metro, trams and busses with no ticket. Love being a rebel!