Tuesday : A Walk Along the River Vltava

This will be another of those posts where I took far more photos than I’ll use here, for anyone who wants to trawl through the whole lot, they’re at https://flickr.com/photos/julianwhite-uk/albums/72177720300849821. Don’t all rush at once…..

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I mentioned yesterday about the rather lovely breakfasts at the Ibis hotel, with the additional bonus on this morning of doughnuts. It’s a great shame that more hotels don’t offer blue cheese for breakfast. And doughnuts actually. I also liked that the hotel had glasses of a decent size for the apple and orange juices, rather than the little thimbles that some offer.

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This intriguing piece of street art is by the Czech artist Epos 257, a series of traffic signs in a mosaic design. There’s probably a greater meaning to it than that, but I’ll take the stance of letting individuals decide what it means.

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My plan for the day was to walk along the Vltava river for some distance and see what happened. It seemed like a good plan when I started off anyway.

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The path started off nice and shady with quite a rural feel to what is still a city centre location.

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It was far too hot, but there was a breeze from the river and shade from the trees, I thought that it was all quite relaxing and scenic. I accept it wasn’t quite as hilly as whatever mountain range Dave Morgan is sweeping majestically over, but it was still a little adventure of some sorts.

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I sat here for a while, contemplating that I’d be in Norwich for an entire month within just a couple of days.

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The riverside path ran out here and so I was forced onto the road, but I was then reminded that if I walked for another two miles, then I’d come to a KFC. I was sold on that plan.

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It’s a shame that the river path diverts up a bit at this point, but at least the water was still visible so there was some breeze.

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I liked that boat thing that looked like a car.

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There was some more opportunity for me to sit down on those logs, contemplating how brave that I was being by walking in such extreme heat.

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I scrambled down the bank a bit here, hoping I didn’t somehow slip and fall in. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned anything about this if I had of done though to be fair.

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I’m pleased to say that I didn’t fall in, but it was nice being right by the river.

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Bloody typical. The riverside path was shut off with a barrier.

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There was a diversion by the road, but it wasn’t quite the peaceful riverside setting that I had been enjoying.

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At this point I could only cross the river over the bridge, or take those steps down in the hope that they reconnected with the river path.

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I took the steps down and it transpired they’d been blocked off as well so they didn’t go anywhere.

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With no choice, I had to cross the river here. This wasn’t entirely ideal as I had wanted to stay on the same side and also run into the KFC I had managed to incorporate into my plans, so that was that plan wrecked.

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But, I decided to make the most of it as I never complain about anything, so I crossed the river.

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I saw a few of these signs, often in random places, but they didn’t seem to actually be obeyed by everyone shall we say.

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This is looking back across the river at what I would have walked along if it hadn’t all been blocked off.

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Some of the artistic elements of the bridge, although I think the visual impact might have been stronger if it hadn’t got graffiti on it.

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My plan to walk further along the river on the other side was also moderately ruined by it being shut. Only slightly annoyed, I thought I might as well walk back into the city centre.

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Back on the shady riverside path, I was pleased once again. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but it was too hot and I was in need of shade.

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It was far too hot, so I decided on popping into a petrol station to buy a couple of bottles of chilled drink. I then had a little lie down to cool down.

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All quite idyllic, I must admit to enjoying the walk back into Prague.

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These are the sort of yachts that I might be able to afford. And I don’t mean the ones at the back of the photo.

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Fish of some sort and there plenty of people fishing along the river bank.

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Some of the city’s fortifications and the entrance to the Vyšehrad tunnel.

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I channelled my inner David Morgan to go storming up these steps. They’re much steeper than the photo suggests.

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And I then stormed up these ones, albeit at a slightly slower pace. More Stuart from the NEC sort of pace.

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The Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, with the current building dating from between 1887 and 1903, although there’s been a church around this area since the late eleventh century. There was an admission fee and I have to admit on past visits to not being taken by the churches in Prague, not because of their design or heritage, but because they seem to be treated as cash cows in a way that I’ve never seen in countries such as Poland. If the authorities don’t think there’s enough interest, they lock the doors, or that’s how it has felt during previous visits to the city. In terms of tourism, that’s their right, but they do have an obligation to the communities which they serve.

There’s a lot of moral authoritarianism coming from the Vatican about what individuals should do (sometimes designed to be hurtful), but not a great deal of what their churches should be doing. In Poland, a strongly Catholic country, there’s a welcome that is evident in just about every church I’ve been, even in the most tourist of locations, I hope in the future that becomes more apparent here as well. I at first thought that it was perhaps the communist authorities in the then Czechoslovakia that had changed the ethos of what churches can offer, but it appears to be issues within the Czech Republic itself, as is evidenced at https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/02/once-the-same-nation-the-czech-republic-and-slovakia-look-very-different-religiously/.

But, anyway, my random complaining and plunging towards religious debate aside, that’s why there are no photos inside the church.

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The church’s graveyard was free to enter and was a peaceful environment which was well looked after.

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The church from the side, it all feels well proportioned.

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A memorial to those who died from communism.

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Some artwork in the Vyšehrad complex, of which the church was part. It’s not known, but this might have been the fortified area from where Prague grew, it’s certainly located high enough up the hill to make it hard to attack (or walk up in the heat). Initially this area was a Royal Palace, but in the fourteenth century it was abandoned and the other fort on the other site of the river, Prague Castle, became the home of the Monarchs. Much of what exists now, including the church, is due to remodelling of the area in the late nineteenth century.

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The fortifications, heavily repaired, as there are only small parts of the Middle Ages constructions still standing.

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A little promenade on which to overlook Prague. I had been walking on that far riverbank in the morning.

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I thought I was really quite brave walking to these dizzying heights whilst it was so hot.

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Looking back towards the city centre.

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I needed to head back to the hotel as there was an LDWA zoom meeting that I needed to attend, a handy excuse to get out of the heat. Actually, I should stop mentioning the heat, I think I’ve written twice now just how hot it was.

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I had saved my welcome drink voucher for when I was back at the hotel. I had the choice of getting something from the bar area, or any drink from the little shop next to reception.

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I had a quick walk around the city after the Zoom meeting, my final night in the European Union for what will be months…..