September 12, 2008

words fail me

I arrived in Prague last night and it was only minutes before I realized how lost I was. Not in location, but with both language and currency that I could make no sense of - with little similarity to German, French, or English, I was plunged into the unknown. So I checked in to my hotel and took it easy, staying in. Today I took my time, trying to enforce on myself that this was the 'relaxation' period between Berlin and Munich, but I eventually went out wandering, first finding a bank machine (in increments of thousands!) and then some food. A "hot dog" stand at a touristy intersection was serving sausages the likes of which I'd never seen before, so I had to try one (this was far superior to anything we would ever call a 'hot dog' in America). I didn't have a specific plan or destination, and was soon beyond words at just how vast the age and beauty of everything was. I wandered through streets and alleys, and somehow conveniently ended up at the Charles Bridge, so I walked across to the other side and went looking for a furnicular railway I had read about. It took me up to the top of the hill where there are gardens and a mini eiffel tower (stairs only!) built in 1891. I took the steps up and was amazed at the view. The level to which centuries of architecture is so preserved - and still in use, from castles and churches to regular buildings, is amazing. I wandered down the hill, somehow ending up back near the bridge where I found a cafe for some goulash and a pilsner. I then hopped on a couple trams - which are everywhere - to get back to my hotel. For a day with no plan or goal, I covered a lot of ground, and frankly am a little surprised how well you can get by with little or no language.


Anonymous said...

So Beautiful. I bet you've come up with some very creative sign language to communicate :)

Unknown said...

ya, a lot of cro-magnon grunting and pointing! or strangely lapsing into basic german words only to have them speak back at me in german and then still be more lost...!