I heard this common phrase from the guide, and my husband and I fairly laughed at this topic. But who would know how true she is!
At ten in the morning our bus arrived at the gates of Prague Castle. The group, squinting at the excessively bright spring sun, scattered around the souvenir stalls to stock up with guidebooks, postcards, magnets and other tinsel of any trip. I stuck to my Nikon's viewfinder, which I bought shortly before the trip, and enjoyed the sights, colors and sounds of the Czech capital.
Marina was presented to us, our guide for today. Russian, settled in Prague, she was elegant, like a French woman, easy to communicate and certainly professional. Its only drawback is the general illness of Czech guides: they don’t care about the group as a whole, the main thing is to follow the schedule. As a result, where it takes four hours for a detailed, unhurried inspection, the excursion goes with bulging eyes for one and a half with elongated rushes from stop to stop.
Lost in this situation is not surprising, so Czech guides have a distinctive feature. They carry something bright and memorable in their hand. Our Marina had a lilac orchid that proudly flew overhead in crowded squares and served as a guide. Prague Loretta, the plague pillar - unique in house painting technique, presidential residence, tiled roofs to the horizon ... Prague is beautiful and you don’t need a guide at all to get to know it. But you understand this only by using his services.
Here from the next lane rises the Gothic bulk of the Cathedral of St. Vitus. Marina urges the tourists who take the shutters of the cameras of the excursionists: “All the same, the necessary shots will not come out, let's go, I will show you the right angle.” Anton, since the historian and the man are inquisitive, keeps close to Marina and catches all her words. I walk in the tail of the group and eagerly look around, remembering the openwork of stone lace, cracks in the old pavement and the incomparable smell of the Prague spring in its heyday.
Five minutes later it came to the realization that the group to which I had attached myself was not at all mine, but Italian. Flinging a fly up to the cathedral, she circled around it. English-speaking students peacefully indulged in blissful idleness on the square, German pensioners chatted animatedly, the Japanese were shooting the documentary accuracy. But Russian was not observed anywhere.
The difficulty was that I didn’t want to work in international roaming, and I left money and documents in a hurry on the bus, taking only a camera. The main thing is that the most important document remained in the car - the plan of our walk in Prague, which I remembered very well, but not perfectly. I was in Prague for the first time, I didn’t really know the distances, so I could not calculate the time for inspection of a particular object. The end point of this day was Wenceslas Square, and it was to be found on its own.
On the way, going down a steep street down to Vltava, I stopped a couple of guides, showed them a photo of Marina. The event is completely useless - everyone has a mad schedule, and no one will help you to the detriment of it, because time = money. But our companion Nastya, giving information on the country, mentioned that the guides in Prague are familiar with each other, almost have phones, and it is worth getting lost how to stop another guide, explain the problem and ask to contact your guide. The board does not work, checked for yourself.
On Wenceslas Square was also the famous equestrian monument to King Wenceslas. He, as it was known in advance, guides, who in Russia would be called private traders, graze. They can be hired both individually and for groups. Initially, I wanted to find them, or at least an information center, where to get a map of Prague, to make it easier to navigate.
In general, for the convenience of tourists, the main streets, squares and museums are placed throughout the city, but in the case of Wenceslas Square something mystical was going on. The pointers I needed led anywhere, just not to her. When she reached Charles Bridge, she sat there for a while, watching the human turmoil around. Then she turned into one of the lanes over Vltava, where the city police squad met. The guardians of the order were fluent in English, and explained to me in detail how to get to the square ... by subway It was difficult to do this without money and documents, and I went for a walk, enjoying free time and lack of bustle, which I was rather tired of.
A tiny garden was found near the river, and on the water - a flock of swans. Some of them were still adolescents who had not changed the children's down for snow-white plumage. The birds were completely tame, and the photo session was a success. At some point came a text message from her husband from the phone guide. He announced that the group would be on the Charles Bridge at 15.45. More than an hour remained until the appointed time, and I continued to enjoy the peace and surroundings. In particular, she took the Prague panorama from several points, studied the assortment of souvenir shops, the exchange rate in exchange offices, talked to people about abstract topics.
At the appointed time, our group appeared, I smacked my husband's nose and for half an hour answered the disturbed questions of colleagues on the tour, why Anton did not rush to search, but continued the tour, and how I feel. Honestly, I felt like a heroine of a not very high-quality American show.
Then, without incident, they got to the required area, on the way eating ice-cream, having treated themselves to beer and sausages with a huge amount of mustard. Its volume in my sandwich at first was horrified, but it turned out to be more spicy than spicy. Eh, there was not enough Russian mustard of the “tear out eye” class in Prague!
When we were still given free time, about forty minutes came, went to the office of Vodafone, the local cellular operator, and bought a card for 150 kroons. Mere pennies given the rate of about 1.3 rubles per krona. They phoned home and said that everything was great here, but they missed the morning incident correctly.
The evening continued on the water. At eight in the evening, a boat trip on the Vltava with a buffet dinner was planned. Still, it's damn nice to sit by the window, admire the panoramas of one of the most beautiful European cities and be completely alone with a loved one in the midst of the crowd.
To be continued…