Technically we started the Prague day sitting on a metro, having finally arrived, riding towards our hostel. Everyone was very tired and looking forward to our long awaited sleep. However the real fun began when we awoke the next morning feeling refreshed… well at least ‘less tired’ and started getting ready for our very exciting day that Lizz had wonderfully planned. We were getting ready… to go… on SEGWAYS!!!!
The walk to the beginning of the Segway tour was beautiful. The morning sun sparkled off the gorgeous architecture, and the hustle and bustle of the city was beginning as other tourists began their adventures, giving us an insight into the few days ahead. When we arrived we were quickly fitted with helmets, which doubled my nerves, and shuffled outside to be made into Segwaying pros. I was second to test my skills; combined with a lot of shrieking and wobbling was the laughter of spectators, including one man who thought it would be hilarious to come and ‘BOO’ me making me grab the instructor… after a minute I was told to get back off because I was a hazard! However, in my defence it is a lot harder than it looks! Once everyone was zooming around the street I was allowed a second try, thankfully, and this time it was a lot better. I discovered that the trick was having confidence and trusting that what looked like some metal with wheels was actually cleverer than it looked. I even managed to ‘reverse park’ into our rainbow order for a photo… something I can’t even do in a car!
Then our tour began, slowly at first, but everyone’s confidence grew exponentially and with it increased our speed and enjoyment. Our tour guide was a Czech called Marc, who I am sure never used both hands to grip onto the machine, unlike me where just the thought of taking a hand off scared me. He showed us lots of sights including the Old Town, where the famous Astronomical Clock stands, the Jewish Quarter, which holds the oldest synagogue in Europe having survived many Jewish pogroms, and the Castle where the changing of the guards was taking place. It was a great way to get a feel for the city’s atmosphere, and getting an idea of where the sights lay in relation to each other. During our travels our group comedian, Amy, thought she would add to our bank of laughs by taking a tumble. Having hit the corner of a burnt down bin she was sent flying and has a big purple bruise as a medal… however next time Amy please fall somewhere that doesn’t smell so awful!
We had all worked up quite a hunger by the time we finished, and made our way back to the Old Town Hall rushing to get there before the next hour so that we could watch the much anticipated dance to welcome the new hour on the Astronomical Clock. Lizz gave us some very informative information about the statues and clock face; I found it most interesting that the actual purpose of the clock is not to tell time but instead to imitate the orbits of the sun and moon about the Earth. I watched this whilst enjoying my lunch… a bit like watching a film whilst eating popcorn. We then had a thoroughly guilt free desert… massive ice creams, guilt free as it was all in the name of our self-made challenge to eat a hundred scoops of ice cream in total during the two weeks. We will succeed at this because I have already volunteered to make the number up to a hundred IF we are under by the end of the holiday (which I secretly hope we are).
That wasn’t the only challenge we did… our second was quite the opposite, and not in a throwing up way. The highest Scout badge in the Czech Republic is one called the Three Feathers in which the participant must spend one entire day not talking to anyone, another not eating anything, and the third in solitude. Rest assured though… none of us have forgotten how to talk or are feeling faint with hunger as we did all three parts in the same one hour. We went to the gorgeous Franciscan Gardens to find our own quite bench to reflect, I was so thoughtful that I couldn’t keep my eyes open and the next thing I knew I was being shouted at to wake up by some very scary Czech police… who didn’t speak English! It was a wonderful opportunity to escape from the frantic few days where we haven’t stopped, sometimes not even stopping for sleep; a chance to get lost in your own thoughts.
Czech Republic is surprisingly a very hot country, and by this point everyone was desperate to freshen up and change back at the hostel. So before dinner we all changed into something a little more sophisticated than the rainbow coloured T-shirts we were wearing, even though they are lovely. We then made our way to a restaurant that Lizz had found, walking down many steps we found ourselves in what looked like a cave, the dramatic lighting adding to the atmosphere. We filled up quickly with their delicious large portions, and yet our sweet tummy’s still had room for dessert, further evidence that the ice creams that we had eaten were guilt free.
It was a fantastic day that set the scene for our future adventures in Prague… for which I can NOT wait!!!