Monday, August 31, 2015

Letenske Sady, Municiple House & Wencelas Square

Day 4

Today was not unlike the previous days here, we went to bed the night before somewhere around 4-5am and slept until 3-5pm.  It seems like a trend, but man it is too hot to go out earlier.  

I'm dealing with more swelling in my ankles with this heat, so I end up icing them for as long as I can stand before going to sleep and it seems to be helping.  It's time to get some better walking shoes, I know because my flip flops although comfortable don't cut it for really extended periods of time on my feet, and my bob's that I brought don't provide enough structure or impact cushion on the cobblestone street.

We went to an italian restaurant first to grab some dinner/breakfast and had a wonderful meal.  This place was an interesting blend of a coffee shop vibe with a restaurant.  The pendant lamps had homemade shades made of coffee packets.  It was so interesting.

We walked toward the water and across a bridge, then up the hill to find out what was at the top.  We had thought it was how to get to Letenske park that Catherine had raved about Saturday.  This hill was not easy to climb, even with stairs and paved trails all the way.  It was steep and sharp.  We got to the top eventually, and by the time I got up there I felt so incredibly sticky and hot it was uncomfortable.  Again we were in the heat, but this time in the shade so it was marginally better.  We walked along the park's trail, and I kept thinking of that Scorpian song "Winds of Change" and Gorky Park even though I have never really been to Gorky Park, but somehow my brain equated this place with that one, as if I had seen something connecting the two as a teen.  Now as I write this I find it quite ironic because that song's video had many scenes in it of the communism dictatorship in it, and I'm writing about Prague, which just a little over 25 years ago was definitely under communist rule.  This park is beautiful, vibrant, full of trees, grass, children's play areas and benches to relax in.  We stop in a children's play area and Ashley plays on just about everything in the area, Jared too.  I was still feeling so hot from the walk up and the sheer warmth still in the air I watched and took photos.

We kept walking down the pathway until we came across an area where there was once a gigantic statue of Joseph Stalin, but now houses the Prague Metronome.  There were many young people there, right as the sun was setting.  On one end of the enormous paved area were skateboarders grinding away, and the other side overlooking the river young lovers sat with their legs dangling down off the side of the ledge watching the sun go down.  The Metronome to me looked like a huge remnant of soviet days, and looked pretty lethal.

We decided we needed some water, so we headed down the hill to find some water.  We found the beer garden at the end of the park, and enjoyed some bottles of water.  Then Jared and Ashley enjoyed some beer and cider.  As the sun went down it cooled down nicely.  We sat next to a bocci ball area where young people were playing in groups.  It is a great people watching area.  Young boisterous people being loud, older people enjoying a beer or two, young college groups taking photos and talking in French, dogs, kids, people of all ages go here.  Some from here, some are visitors like us.  We hung out there for a few hours.  

We finished off the night out and about by going back up to the corner sausage stand we found on night one (top of Wenceles square).  Jared and I both went with the spicy sausage, while Ashley had a falafel.  The food at this little stand is amazing, and the sausage guy is so meticulous about how he makes each and every one of them.  Highly recommended.

Today's observations:
  • Hot and sticky is not the time to climb a steep hill
  • There was a bit of a sad feeling in several areas of the park, and it was more intense near where the Stalin statue was
  • The beer garden had incredible views
  • Lots of spiders come out at night and lurk in every available nook and cranny - be careful along any rail!
  • The night is the only time to go out when it's 90+Fahrenheit in Prague
  • Prague natives say this weather is outrageous and not so fun either

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