Prague — The Capital of the Czech Republic, a jewel of a city, an ancient city, a beautiful place. As I drove across Germany to Praha (that’s Czech for Prague, sports fans) I couldn’t help think about the horrors of war. Clausewitz said that one must destroy the enemy’s “will to fight.” I thought of that as I drove through Dresden. It is a beautiful, modern city, as are most in Germany. Near the end of the war, the allies firebombed Dresden and literally destroyed the entire city. It was a conventional attack with thousands of bombers from the British and US air forces. Many saw this as the destruction of Germany’s will.
The modern Berlin, or Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, or Dresden are the results of war. Prague didn’t see this destruction and the city is filled with cobblestone streets, buildings from the 14th century, and a style that cannot be replicated.
You have heard the phrase “he’s just an empty suit” — well here you go—
I was asked by a friend to look up Charles Bridge while in Prague. I asked her who he was. She laughed. I did get a picture of Charles…
Looks pretty good for a guy who was “born” in 1357.
I went for a drive and my GPS was ‘interfered with’ by about 2000 bicyclists who were riding for charity. I went down side streets, around corners, trying to get my GPS to take me another way. I came up to the center of town and I thought a cop directed me down an avenue. I realized, too late, that it was a pedestrian only area and I was driving right through the people., It was a giant horseshoe and the cop was waiting for me on the other end. He took my passport, driver’s license and 1000 crowns (about $50). Thank heavens I had gotten some money – they don’t use the Euro in the Czech Republic. About five minutes later he returned with my license, passport, a receipt for the 1000, and gave me a stern lecture in Czech about obeying officers and signs and being an idiot. Surprisingly I understood every word. Cops say the same thing no matter what language. Here the police have the ability to fine you on the spot. I guess they have to, how are they going to collect if you are in America or China when you get the citation in the mail. Its actually a good system – and by giving a receipt they are cross checked and have to turn the money in. I wondered if it was graft until I got the receipt. So much for innocent until proven guilty. I meekly drove off after asking if it was OK to go that direction. He nodded and I think there was a slight smile.
Oh, sure, the area was pedestrian only on Sunday — here it is Monday Morning:
The Food was great — Had some beef stew — Salud
and lest you think that Prague doesn’t have its modern side — here’s a shopping center downtown – first the outside then the inside:
and the inside
And one last picture —
Next time, a week in Prague — Now on to Salzburg