I hate travel. Only home in London for 3 days before it’s back on a plane to central Europe. This time, my flight out of Heathrow left at 6.10am! So I had to get up around 2.30am to catch the night bus at 2.45am to get to Heathrow by 4.15am for the 6.10am flight. Oh by the way, I also had a connection in Vienna to get to Prague.
Let’s say something about Prague itself. Honestly, it reminds me a lot of Philadelphia. Some pretty picturesque parts. Some run down, ghetto, dirrty parts. I once heard it described as decadent but I think that’s part of a faded past. It is a pretty vibrant place but it’s not wallowing in opulence or grandeur.
The area around the Charles River really nice. I walked up and down the Charles Bridge of course fearful of the mimes and their iniquity. At night, prague is exceedingly ‘colorful’. I dont know how many times I was approached about going into some ‘cabaret’ or another – the seedy side of a city that is now as famous as for stag parties as it is for culture or history.
I went to a five-story nightclub along the Charles River. Very cool place. Firve floors with different music on each level. Naturally, Maher gravitated to hip hop level. It was good ot hear some proper music instead of techno.
I didn’t get to spend too much time in Vienna, though the train ride from Prague was good. It was just an afternoon and an evening and I was already pretty under the weather. But it seems much cleaner and less grimy than Prague. I got to the major attractivions like the Cathedral (another frackin’ Cathedral!), the Haas Haus and the Belvedere. The Belvedere was very peaceful – I enjoyed that place. The Hofburg’s Winter Palace was decadent! Talk about the very model of royal excess.
I enjoyed the contrast of modernity and antiquity of the Haas Haus and the Cathedral. I read in the Lonely Planet that some weren’t pleased with the Haas Haus’ placement near the Cathedral but I believe they almost bring out the best in each other.
I realise that it seems like I’m praising Vienna for being pristine(ish) while d*mning Prague for being a bit dirrty while I say in another breath that I prefer dirrt and grime. I guess I can’t defend my consistency. I’ll just quote Emerson, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”