Saturday, June 19, 2004

Prague Town Hall - what's left of itPrague has an integrated transport payment system. 12 Kč (24p) gets you a timed ticket that works for the entire Prague transport system: metro, bus and tram. You buy the ticket; validate it by franking it on the first vehicle you enter. You can then travel for the next 40 minutes (or whatever). A ticket franked on a bus will work on successive changes of vehicle - until your time has expired.

We practice speaking Czech while on the metro to Irena's home in the Prague suburbs. We learn "Stop getting on and getting off, the doors are closing" and learn how to pronounce the station names from Muzeum to Háje on line "C".

Irena meets us and introduces us to Miša, her mutt. Irena provides us with a welcome home cooked meal.

SuburbsWe spend the day talking and walking around the local park and reservoir.

The evening finds us practising the names of the stations from Skalka back to Muzeum on line "A".

We realise that the Czech language is similar to Slovakian, and possibly close to Polish and Slovenian. I can utter a "Dobry Den", "Pivo" and that's about it. I learn that "č" has a "ch" sound. Learning the language would be difficult - it's so unlike English.

In Czech, č is pronounced "ch", š is pronounced "sh";in Polish, "sz" is pronounced "sh", "cz" like "ch"; in Hungarian, confusingly, "s" is pronounced "sh", "sz" is pronounced "s", "c" is pronounced "ts", "cs" is pronounced "ch".

DetailIt's tricky taking photos: you really cannot do the fine architecture in the centre of Prague any justice with snaps.  The buildings have meticulous detail. There's so much to see. It's overwhelming. Forget the camera and just enjoy what you're looking at.

Time for a beer!

As we drink our fine Czech beer, we listen to the sound of Gabrieli being played by a brass ensemble at the very top of the town hall tower. It's extraordinary how the sound carries.

Prague Transportation System - Metro

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