PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC. It had been snowing hard the second day that we were in Prague. Actually, it was snowing hard then in most parts of Europe. Our tour guide said that Stuttgart even reached -38 during the early part of the morning. Good thing we were not anymore in Germany by that time!
We continued our morning tour coming from the Hradcany district of Prague going to the Old Town.
The Old Town Square is where you can find the third oldest astronomical clock in the world. It was installed in 1410 and amazingly, it is still working up until now. People constantly flock into this part of the square just to have a glimpse of the details of the clock. That day was no exception as we ended up squeezing ourselves in just to get a clearer and nearer view of the clock.
What details I loved most were the four figures flanking on both sides of the clock. These figures represent those things that the people despised during those times when the clock was being constructed. The man holding a mirror represents Vanity, the miser holding a bag of gold represents Greed, the skeleton signifies Death while the Turk holding a musical instrument represents Pleasure. Every hour the skeleton rings the bell in which the other three follow by shaking their heads side to side, as if saying that they are still not ready to go.
After which we walked towards Dlouhá street to see the naked woman made in stainless steel and walked furthermore to the right on the way to Masná to escape the -5 deg temp outside as well as devour some yummy seafood dishes at Blue Fjord. After our lunch, we again did a walking marathon, this time in search for a department store where we could buy some leather boots for my mom. Because of the slippery and sometimes snow-filled pathways that we found ourselves in, my mom's boots ended up to be soaking wet. We found Palladium in Náměstí Republiky and we did some needed pitstop shopping before we could go out again and explore Prague. The boots, gloves, scarves in H&M were so cheap that we ended up buying most of our needed supplementary stuffs there to last us through the whole trip!
We went out again and set to try and ride the metro. We had a slightly hard time buying tickets for the metro. For one, they only sell 3-day tickets through their counters found in the train station while their ticketing machines only sell out tickets good for 30 minute and 90 minute-rides. We later found out that their 24-hour passes are being sold in convenience stores or tobacco shops found near the stations. The ticket costed us about CZK 110 each (approx. Php 200) and it allowed us 24-hour unlimited use of their metro and trams upon ticket validation. I recommend this if you want to go the distance and set yourself apart from the touristy throngs that flock the equally touristy parts of the cities. This is actually your pass to seeing more and exploring more of the more unknown parts of Prague.
The most interesting thing that you will see from the Prague metro is its unusual depth. Because of the soil characteristics of the land, they were forced to dig the tunnels so deep as to still accommodate an underground metro for Prague. The deepest station is Náměstí Míru, located 52 meters below the ground. I have read somewhere that these metro tunnels could also double as a bomb shelter if in case bombs start falling off from the sky. And this is only a part of the larger bunker system that is sprawling beneath the city. The whole system can easily hold 40% of Prague's inhabitants and is composed of hundreds upon hundreds of concrete bunkers with electricity, water and ventilation systems. Now, that's awesome!
We alighted at Karlovo Náměstí to see the Dancing House. The Dancing House was crookedly lovely in its own fantastic way but I think I will just save the pictures in another post that I will make featuring the arts and lovely structures we had seen during our Prague exploration. Until then!