The last of the 48 hours in Prague and a glimpse at career change

After our expensive dinner we found a smoky pub to have a last pint before a long walk back up the hill round the back of the castle to our apartment and bed.

There had been vague intentions around the idea of getting up early on Sunday to see Charles Bridge without the crowds but the long walk did for us and by the time we got there a great mixture of people was gathered to walk across it one way or other. But we were there before some of the hawkers and street painters although we could see them gathering behind us pushing their strange wrapped up trollies ready to unload for their days work.

It would have been easy to become irritated by the crush of people, hands in the air waving cameras and phones trying to capture the moment but in fact there was something moving about it. There wasn’t much noise over the murmur of voices and over above us the statues stood in supplication to the sky. At one point one of the hawkers took out a guitar and started to play the theme to The Deerhunter. The music seemed to bring the people on the bridge into sharp relief and all of a sudden I was there amongst them marvelling at what we had done.

After the Bridge we walked up into the Old Town and got there in time to see The Astronomical Clock strike 11.00am. There were thousands of people standing there to watch the half minute of the bells coming out and the skeleton statue shaking its bones  and a man blowing a bugle from the top of the tower. Although the crowd thinned out once it was done I found myself having to take pictures of the buildings from the first floor up to avoid the crush of heads at ground level.

We walked up through the Jewish Quarter and had to content ourselves with a quick glimpse of the cemetery through some iron railings.

In a courtyard we found a man playing the violin.

After that it was time for lunch. I set my heart on a place that was described as a beer hall that had been there since the 13th century. Rather to my surprise we found it.

We walked in and sat ourselves down in a room full of wooden tables and benches. A man came over and asked us what we wanted and when I asked for some dark beer he directed us upstairs to where he said there was a brewery.

The route took us through a number of low slung rooms filled with more benches and tables until some stairs took us upstairs.

There we found ourselves in a narrow room with a half dozen or so tables down one side and the brewery down the other. In the brewery we could see great copper casks and wooden barrels overflowing with brown wort.

I ate prunes soaked in slivovitz and wrapped in bacon followed by a pice of pork in sauce with chips. I still regret not having the knuckle of pork that looked big enough to feed five.

We talked about the breweries in Birkenhead and how much better they could do if they had a long room next to the brewing selling slabs of good food and maybe some bread. I think that somewhere in there we were talking about a possible career change!

On the way back we walked under a man hanging on for dear life.

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