Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It’s only taken 6 months but I now have 10 things I love about Prague:

1. There is a scandalous, scurrilous newspaper called Aha! http://www.ahaonline.cz/ , With exclamation mark naturally, surely a more suitable name for a tabloid than The Sun, or a better use of the exclamation point than Hello! The front page always makes me want to exclaim 'Aha!' If only I knew who those people were...

2. It can snow 40 cm over the weekend and the schools will still be open as usual on Monday morning (and the trams buses trains and metro will all be fully operational ) no leaves on the track nonsense here Association of Train Operating Companies, formerly known as British Rail.

3. There are flower shops everywhere. Rather like the plethora of pharmacies in France and Spain there seem to be an unfeasibly large amount of florists (some open 24 hours just like the pharmacies) here.  They are like little rays of sunshine in this city of permafrost.

4. People walk the streets with floor hockey sticks (I now speak knowledgably – I initially thought they were weird ice hockey sticks) gives a nice impression of vigour and violence to the inhabitants of Prague.

5. I can wear my long Canada Goose jacket everyday for months on end and my furry après ski boots which barely saw the light of day in Madrid.

6. You can use your travel card to take a ferry boat – my favourite is from the children’s island to the other side of the river (Line P4 Dětský ostrov - Národní divadlo-Hollar) . Important to note this is from April to October, as I just saw a part of the river yesterday that was completely frozen over.

7. People are very serious about sledging. There is a large hilly park on our door step with a Funicular Railway (I just love saying that) which makes it all the more civilized. I saw a very business like family on their way to the park on Sunday morning each carrying their own sledge, fully kitted out in serious ski-wear and all wearing goggles. This is in the middle of a city!
I love it – though the whole speed on the snow thing has not yet been by fully embraced by the whole family.

8. There is a real-live lamplighter – he looks straight out of Dickens with a top hat and long black cloak and he’s rather furtive.

9. The wonderful combination of superior building quality and triple glazed windows which means that even though it is going down to -20C tonight we only have the heating on level 2 (it goes up to 5), and I don’t have to wear thermal underwear in the apartment, this actually could be the best thing so far about Prague, except of course for Aha!

10. Obviously it is very, very beautiful and the beer is cheap, bountiful and capital!

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