Posted by: LM | May 1, 2008

Karlův Most: Charles Bridge

You’re probably sick of hearing the name Charles by now. I understand. The fact that everything of substance in this city is named after the same dude sometimes got to me too. I’ve often thought to myself that it’s amazing the country is still called the Czech Republic instead of “Charlesland”. And I’m willing to bet there’s an argument that “Czech” is really a parody on “Chuck”… a nickname for Charles. Honestly though, if I picture Prague in my mind’s eye right now, the first thing I see is the Charles Bridge. It’s by far the most impressive, fun, famous, and populated area of the entire city. If you’ve been to Italy you know all about the emphasis Europe has on bridges. The Charles Bridge is truly an example of this culture. At any given time of the year, whether it’s blazing hot or frigidly cold, there are vendors lining the sides of the bridge. There are tourists rubbing the sculptures for good luck. There are lovers walking hand in hand from one end of the Vltava River to the other. If you go to Prague and miss the bridge you’re either blind, stupid or on your honeymoon. It’s really that big of a deal.

The Bridge is a treat for the senses. There so much to smell and several regular bands assemble themselves along the way. Lots of people stop and listen, some throw a 25 Kc piece or two into their hats. My favorite band was this little jazz band (above) that was there everyday, without fail, that I stepped onto that bridge. It is literally these men’s JOB to stand outside and play their instruments all day long for the passersby. I don’t know about you, but it made me a little jealous. I bought some of my favorite from vendors on the bridge. From artwork to jewelry to clothing, it’s all there. Something I never excelled in, though, was bargaining. If you’re someone who can haggle your way from 50 bucks to 30, you’ll love it. Even if you’re not, top dollar isn’t all that bad for a tourist district.

What’s the best part of the Bridge? The view. Hands down. It’s priceless. It’s breath-taking. It defies all logic and reason. I’m being dramatic so that you’ll understand the shear amazingness of what it’s like to see that castle towering over the city. There may not be actual time machines in existence, but who needs them when you’re walking on a 600-year-old bridge staring up at a 600-year-old castle. Walking across that bridge is like walking into another world. Though it’s really not so different when you think about it, the side of Prague where the castle stands has a feel to it all its own. I’ve rambled about the castle in a post all its own, so I’ll shut up, but i want you to know … I just can’t say enough. GO to Prague. SEE these things. UNDERSTAND why all it took was one glance to throw me head-over-heels in love with this too-often overlooked city.

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Responses

  1. That looks like so much fun!!!! I love the pics!

  2. “Czech me out?”
    wow….

  3. very informative and humorous. an enjoyable read….did i do good?

  4. My my, those are some beautiful views. The most scenic of the views by far, though, is the one with you and that fetching young man. Are you still friendly with him? He’s handsome!

  5. It sure is a lovley bridge esp at night for a lovley romantic walk.

    What we find best about this bridge is the constant live music that is played and the bubbly atmosphere.

    Perfect for smooching!!

  6. […] Once you’ve taken in all there is to see in Old Town Square, wonder towards Charles Bridge. […]


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