Castles, Czechs, Clocks and Chiwawas- part one

Fresh off the train from Budapest (the highlights being a cabin to ourselves for the 6 hour trip, and catching sight of a naked man sitting in the window of his apartment block right next to the tracks) we took a tram to our hostel, the Czech Inn.  After czeching in, we were bursting to check out what is arguably one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Prague town centre is like an enormous museum of extremely well preserved buildings.  The last decade has seen a massive government program to clean off the pollution and grime of centuries and restore the ‘Old Town’ to never before seen glory.  I had the feeling I was on an elaborate set at ‘Movie-World on the Gold Coast’ (save that it was much much colder!)


Old Town Square

First stop- Sandeman’s New Europe free walking tour.  Having blessed the Hungarians with  ‘Hungary Eyes’, Aimee and I decided we needed a special move for the Czechs. So every time we, or someone else said ‘check’ (that out) or ‘Czech’ (Republic) we put our hands up beside our heads and kicked out a leg.

In a two hour walking tour, you’d be amazed just how many times you need to check things out done by the Czechs.  With repetition, our trade mark move started to look more like the dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  A word of warning- you can’t undertake a venture such as this without a significant commitment. Aah, travel harmony.  Just like me, Aimee is a stayer for the ridiculous.  We both may come home with RSI, but hey it’ll be worth it.

View from Prague Castle

Such a persevering attitude also came in handy on our visit to Prague Castle.  For what you can see of it, the castle is pretty amazing. It spreads out over many acres, perched a top a hill over looking the city and is the oldest medieval castle in Europe… only it looks very ‘18th century’ because a queen at that time decided the Gothic look was ugly, and covered over it in the Classical style (and was very very fond of pastels!)

It was also the scene of two of the worlds known occurrences of ‘defenestration’ which is code for throwing regime resistant priests out castle windows.  (They survived, incidentally, because they landed in large piles of horse manure).

The Church at the centre of Prague Castle

Sneaking into the Castle through a back alley

Beautiful facades

While at the castle, we stumbled upon the changing of the guards. Like the Queen’s guard in England, guards must stand immobilised for extended periods of time. We decided to brighten up their day by providing a little entertainment.

Pulling our famous-throughout-Prague Thriller moves on the Castle Guard

We stood, lone tourists, in front of two guards for 45 mins and delighted them with, among other things, our now famous-throughout-Prague Thriller moves, Hungary Eyes, the miming of a male strip tease and finally, some military style marching.

Throughout this display, one of the guards, (who seemed to have had his lips surgically removed) was seen stretching the left side of his mouth.  Although we spoke no Czech, we translated this to mean “Those girls are both hot AND hilarious, this is the best sober day I’ve had at work in years, can’t wait to tell the boys.”

What can I say- you do what you can to make the world a happier place.

I'm sure the guard loved me giving him a wee cuddle- and who doesn't love a man in uniform?

Speaking of which, the Czechs are not the cheeriest people. I got served by one girl who managed not move her lips to speak or smile the entire transaction, despite my best efforts to suggest we become facebook friends.  Later, while sitting at a street cafe, Aimee and I smiled at no less than 32 passers by. In return, we got two confused lip twitches, and just one genuine smile from an older lady (who I think must get her hair done by my new friend in Scotland, for it appeared the b-arch had been backcombed right out of her hair.)

I’m told by ex-pats here that the lack of smiles is because of the country’s long history of occupation, most recently by the communists. There were about one in three people reporting any seeming resistance to communism, and there are many well known buildings where people would be tortured and imprisoned in solitary confinement on the smallest or even no provocation. Apparently, the older generation believe the communists are still secretly in power, so it may take a few more generations for suspicions about excessively smiley strangers to fade.

Join me for part 2, wherein you’ll find out why Aimee and I had a little trouble czeching out of the Czech Republic, and what on earth the story has to do with Chiwawas….

Tina “Zombie” Sparkles

About The Tina Sparkles Experience

Apparently, there are people who go traveling and just see things and nothing weird happens. I'm not one of those people....come on holiday with me and find out why!

One Response to “Castles, Czechs, Clocks and Chiwawas- part one”

  1. haha love this! definitely going to try to give you a run for your money on making the guards smile. xo, the lazy travelers

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