Friday, September 08, 2006

to Praha!

Travel By Train; the ONLY way to go. Here, I'm somewhere between Eastern Germany and Prague. A scenic, tranquil, isolated little river valley seems to be the only way through western Czech. I took loads of pictures of dubious quality from the train, (pics I'll post later). The valley was a spell-binding place, the pictures will fall far short, I'm afraid.

Which makes this picture selection a little counterproductive, and perhaps . . . well . . . stupid. Somewhere before entering the valley, (or after?) this pic was taken . . . with a nuclear cooling tower in the background. I look like a poster-stooge for nuclear power in communist Russia. "Nuclear power- YA!"

Michaela Vesela was my travelling companion, for most of the way. A Czech Doctoral student, returning home from her university in Bremen, Germany.

Praha: This is a view up the hill toward Prague Cathedral and its environs. This is the bridge I crossed, up-river from the world-famous Charles bridge, in order to photograph it.

This bridge probably has a lengthy pedigree as well, but for tourists like me, (and the rest of the world), it is the "bridge upriver from the Charles Bridge."

And there it is. Full of artists, street performers, and the tourists from as far away as Korea. The Charles Bridge is to Prague as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. The history of this iconic bridge is the history of Prague.

Imagine a foot bridge of medieval construction, sturdy, lenghty, pedestrian, cobble-stone lined; linking the old heart of Charleston, with the old heart of Boston, and you have something like 4.2% of the living history and pageantry this bridge connects. I could live as a bum on this bridge, and count myself lucky.

Here's the view of one end of it. It meanders a good length. Slowly yielding to the city on either side after a few hundred meters, as opposed to abruptly ending at the waters edge.

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