Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tour de Prague

Walk on Charles Bridge in daylight

The trip to Prague was not all business. We did have time to enjoy the beautiful city. Wednesday we spend the whole day sightseeing. We started out heading for Charles Bridge (Karlov Most in Czech), to see it by daylight. On our way, we encountered an exhibition of sculptures in one of the city squares (see pictures).

Me at a sculpture outside a historical building

Some of the sculptures of one of Pragues squares

Charles Bridge and its surroundinggs are totally different in daylight. The bridge is crowded with tourist, street vendors, and beggars. We crossed the bridge to go to the other part of town with the castle and president palace. It took a lot of steps to get up to the castle, and at the top we stopped at a stand with a sign encouraging people to contribute to a project that should give mentally ill people of Prague better homes than the hospital they are currently staying at. For 100 Czech koruna (equals approximately 25 Danish kroner or 4 dollars), you would by a clay brick that would be used for the chimney or stone tracks at the building. We bought 2 bricks, decorating them for others to see that delegates of KMEB, Odense, Denmark contributed to the project ;-)

We visited a couple of churches on our tour, and here we experienced how groups of tourist, sometimes young people, other times older ones, would suddenly arrange themselves in rows with a conductor in front of them and start singing, testing the acoustics of the church. As soon as they finished their great performance they would disassemble as quickly as they assembled in the first place, looking like a group of tourists and not an awesome choir. Amazing!

In afternoon we headed back to our hotels to prepare for the welcoming ceremony of the congress that we were attending. We wanted to put up our posters at that time too, and as the others had posters printed on fabric, these needed to be ironed. My poster was printed on photo paper, and when the other posters had been ironed, we rolled these up around my poster to carry them all in the tube mine was kept in. The welcoming ceremony was about an hour in length, followed by a reception. Having walked a lot that day, all of us could feel our feeds at the reception, but it did not stop us from going out for a late dinner afterwards - only using the metro to get from the congress center to the center of the city, otherwise walking :-). The next day we were gifted with pedometres from one of the companies in the exhibition area of the congress. The company had a competition where delegates wearing the pedometres could come to their stand to show how many steps they had walked in a day, and if enough win a price. Learning this, we couldn't help being a bit annoyed that we had not had these pedometres when we went sightseeing the day before :-)

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