09.08.2011 - 09.08.2011 16 °C
Phil and I went on a morning guided tour with our Scenic Guide, Martina. We started off at Prague Castle. An absolutely freezing wind was blowing and it was explained that the castle was built to take advantage of the winds because in mediaevil days, there was no sewerage or rubbish collection, so people used to tip it all out the windows into the street. Charming! We watched the changing of the guard and then walked through the lovely old streets to a restaurant overlooking the city, where we had morning tea - tea/coffee and apple struedel. Very nice.
We continued walking down, down, down
and came across this statue of a naked boy and there are no prizes for guessing what everyone has touched for centuries!
and then onto the Charles Bridge - a very famous, ancient bridge. 30 statues of Saints line the bridge and one very famous one - St John.
The story of St John goes like this. In 1393 St John was the Queen's confessor and the King suspected that the Queen had a lover. He asked John and he wouldn't tell, because confession is a private thing. The King arrested John, put him in jail and tortured him. He still wouldn't tell, so the King sentenced him to death, but granted him one wish. His wish was to give his last confession to his best friend. The King was very happy because he felt sure that this person would tell him about the Queen's lover. St John's best friend turned out to be a dog! The King was furious and immediately threw John into the river. Weakened from torture and perhaps he couldn't swim, John drowned. Immediatley a circle of five stars appeared in the sky, so John was named a Saint and is the Patron Saint of Bridges. His statue has a gold halo with five stars.
After the bridge, we walked through the cobbled streets of the old town and ended up at the archological clock. People everywhere, waiting for the clock to chime on the hour.
Our tour ended there and we walked back to our hotel and hooked up with Anetta and Makis and then took them on a tour of the old town and the Charles Bridge. We had lunch at a Czech Restautant and it was awful - heavy stodgey and tasteless!!
We walked around all afternoon
and Phil and I had to hurry back to the hotel to get ready for our group dinner that evening. We sat with Peter and Denise; Fiona and Rob and Kay and Frank. We were entertained by a Czech band, singer and dancers. Phil and I got up and learnt a Czech folk dance. We had a good night.