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A Week in Prague: Day 4

By Tuesday, August 12, 2014 ,

Saturday was our fourth day in Prague, and the weather was looking up! That morning we met up with a friend in the Old Town Square, the same friend who came with us on our Belgium and Amsterdam Adventure. While planning our trip, we found out that we'd be in Prague for the last few days of the Czech Beer Festival, and so we planned on spending a few hours of the afternoon there.
 

Going back so many times to the Old Town Square meant that we'd be there at least once on the hour, in time to see the astronomical clock do it's show!


When the astronomical clock strikes the hour, figures appear at the windows, and then the skeletal figure to the right rings a bell. Overall, it was a actually quite anticlimactic, and a bit of a letdown. I guess if you consider it was built in 1410 it becomes a bit more impressive, though.






We grabbed lunch at Bohemian Bagel, and leasurly started to walk towards the festival. It was located on the North side of the river Vltava (which actually merges with the Elbe, the river through Hamburg!), up a hill and on the other side of the park.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for drinking a few beers near a park, and the view was amazing!



The Czech Beer Festival had us put money on cards at the entrance of the festival so it was all cashless. While not having to count out change and break large bills must have saved time serving us, my husband had a hard time getting the money we didn't spend back, with one person offering it to him in 1CZK coins.

The Festival was held under a series of large tents.  In the first, biggest tent were a few large, popular breweries, as well as a stage and place to grab food. We headed towards the Diversity tent, where the crafty, the micro, the weird and the wild were being served.

There were four different sections, each with a menu like the one below, and a row of taps. You ordered at the cashier by the number you wanted, then took it to the tap where someone would pour it for you. My husband wrote a more thorough review of it here.



 

There was a stag party with one gentleman dressed as a pirate and another dressed as... someone from the 70s with no fashion sense but plenty of enthusiasm. Even though it was still only early afternoon, there were drunken shenanigans, including a heartfelt toast given standing on the table.

 

Just before we left a girl came over to my husband and me and asked if she could have a photo with us. I was surprised enough that I said sure, and noticing her American accent I asked her where she was from. She was from North Carolina, and new to Prague. She said she wanted to take photos with foreigners (I think she meant foreign to her, not foreign to Prague), and some how she managed to pick out three fellow Americans.

We left while it was still sunny out, and after some confusion about how to get the unspent money off of the card, walked back down the hill (much easier this time!) to find some dinner.




Pretty much every major city in Europe (the world?) has a reputation for pickpockets. I've never been pick pocketed, but my mother was on the London metro when I was with her, and a professor I work with was ambushed in St. Petersburg (one person blocked his way, the other grabbed his wallet).  Then there was the sketchy guy in Milan who seemed too eager to "help" us with the train ticket machine, but I yelled at him and we walked away (it's a well known scam - they tell non-Italian speakers that the machine is only accepting bills, and then they grab the change and run off).

I'd heard plenty of warnings about pickpockets in the Old Town Square, and as we walked towards it we saw a police chase - first a man on his own ran by half wearing a backpack slung low, like he'd picked it up in a hurry and hadn't had time to put it on properly  And he wasn't wearing jogging clothes, either. I thought he looked pretty out of place, but assumed he was running for his train or had forgot his camera somewhere, etc. But shortly after another upset looking man and a police officer ran passed us. It made me wonder how likely they were to catch him, if he was to get his belongings back, and what if someone had got in the thief's way? Not tried to grab him or anything, but just slowed him down by wandering into his path?

If I'd done something would I have helped some poor tourist get his money and passport back, or maybe made someone miss their train and flight home? Honestly, even if I knew 100% he was a thief, I'm not sure if I'd know what to do, or I'd have the presence of mind to actually do it.

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