Late afternoon on Friday and I started the first of forty-eight hours in Prague.
I had arrived by myself and being a big boy now had managed to get where I needed to go to and find our apartment for the weekend. Having said that it took half an hour of waiting outside for someone to turn up to let me in before I realised that all I had to do was ring the doorbell to be let in by a smiling man with a moustache who spoke little English apart from being able to call me ‘Mister’. Inside the apartment he was putting a small electric boiler back together. He shook his head sadly at it to explain that we would be having no hot water for the weekend before smiling again, handing me some keys and saying ‘Good-bye Mister’ as he eased himself out. I felt like I had lost an old friend.
It took me about 30 seconds to settle into the apartment after which I thought it was time to find myself some Czech beer.
A walk down the hill took me past some blue buildings that looked like they might be part of a university, a glass bookcase in the street, an interesting looking pant shop and a painted cow. There did not appear to much nearby that would do in the selling beer stakes.
Heading back to the apartment I walked past a large grey building the lower floors of which housed a couple of Chinese restaurants, a shop selling Middle-Eastern food and then at the end of the block what looked like a small bar.
I loitered for a moment before walking in. The front room was definitely a bar. There were a couple of taps for beer and behind that a large glass case with bottles of unlikely looking spirits. There was a man behind the bar wearing a red shirt who looked at me expectantly. I pointed to one of the taps and apologised for being English. He poured me my half litre of beer and I handed over my money and sat myself down at one of the tall curved tables.
The bar ran along one side of the room and there were three of the tall curved tables directly opposite it. There was an opening through to another larger room where there were low tables and benches, coat hooks ran along the wall made up of wood panelling and there were people sat down ready to eat. Every so often one of the men behind the bar wearing a red shirt would pick up a plastic coated menu and take it through.
There were four or five pictures on the wall. All of them black and white photographs of women in various states on undress.
On the other side of the road there was a bright modern office block at the base of which there were two showrooms for Marerati and Ferrari which I had not expected to see in Prague.
If I have a regret for the weekend it is that we did not go back to eat in that bar.