Don’t you find it somewhat disorientating when arriving into a new country in the dark? Well, with my friends Cynthia and Sarah I thought our travels to a new country were going rather smoothly when we arrived to the city of Prague at night. It was around 10 o’clock when we arrived at our hotel and after a couple of wines we decided it would be a really good idea to set our alarms for 5.15am (which was actually a ridiculous 4.15am for us due to the time difference) to walk to the renowned Charles Bridge for sunrise as our guide book told us “it’s best seen in the early hours as the sun rises over the Old Town bridge tower…as throughout the day it is crowded with artists, tourists and the odd Dixieland jazz band”.
The next morning we were all wakened by our piercing alarm calls and in a zombie-like state we got dressed and left the hotel. With our map in hand and the dim street lights we easily navigated ourselves to the river and started counting bridges. Bridge after bridge we kept counting, our teeth chattering in the cold and our eyes straining from examining the map under the faint street lights…one…two…three bridges…four…five…we then approached a bridge with two towers at each end which looked very promising. This must be it! Maybe I should’ve recalled the Mission Impossible scene where Ethan Hunt runs up the steps onto the beautiful cobbled bridge lined with statues to hear Jim splash into the water “Sarah abort…I repeat abort!”. I felt like saying “Cynthia abort…I repeat abort!” but no, we lingered around the towered bridge which had trams and cars passing over and stood shivering waiting for the sun to rise. Eventually it did rise…behind a large building. “Well this sucks” was my initial reaction. Even without actually witnessing the sun rising we did take many pictures – mostly of the bridge in the distance with the statues and cobbles!
Prague is such a beautiful city with a plethora of old buildings including a castle, a cathedral, many charming squares, numerous galleries – four days was just enough for us to see the main attractions. The highlight for me was our night at the small venue of ‘U Maleho Glena’ – a jazz and blues club in the old town. It was a very intimate affair downstairs in the cellar of a bar and restaurant. The whole evening was very cozy indeed with a four piece band at the end of the tiny room and a dozen people in the audience. To demonstrate how intimate, we were sat so snugly at the front that Cynthia practically had the guitarist’s tuning keys up her nostrils! Rene Trossman, a Chicago blues man and his musicians played an incredible three sessions over nearly three hours while a bar man ran in and out of the cellar to refill our all important beers!
We did substitute attempting another sunrise with a sunset at the correct Charles Bridge which proved a much more civil undertaking where we could actually see the sun and take somewhat more impressive photos!
Check out the Park Inn Hotel where we stayed when in Prague – such a great place!
Explore Prague on TripAdvisor
Find a good travel book here to take with you to Prague
For more funny travel tales you may also enjoy reading a Cuban reunion in…Krakow and whale watching in Mexico…such a magical experience