Hearing all the Christmas carols at this time of the year got me thinking of my time in Prague. One time in particular, where the good king Wenceslas from the Christmas carol fame and the big equestrian statue he sits astride was my saving grace. Read on to find out how I was saved by a ‘black horse’ when I got lost in Prague.
Prague, the capital of Czech Republic is equalled to Paris in beauty. The main attractions St Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square are all easily accessible by foot, so we set out on a walking tour.
The architecture is a blend of Bohemian, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance eras. We started our tour heading to St Vitus Cathedral followed by changing of the guards at Prague Castle. Our group made our way down the stairs alongside castle and headed towards my much awaited visit to Charles Bridge which crosses the Vltava river.
As we entered the bridge recollection of one of my favourite singers, Michael Hutchence from INXS walking across the Charles Bridge singing Never Tear Us Apart came to my mind. Instantly I was transported back to the film clip. The sound of the orchestra overpowered the tour guide’s words. Totally mesmerised, I was taking photos of the very cobble stones that Michael Hutchence’s feet had walked. The beauty of the cobble stones’ earthy tones, clean and shiny from the recent rains made the moment even more picturesque.
After a short while, I looked up to the realisation that the tour group had moved on without me. They were no where to be seen. And Steve was also no where to be seen as I’d only recently had words with him for stopping and not keeping up with the group. Oops. I had a moment of panic, not knowing which direction they may have ventured. Looking towards the highest point of the bridge and couldn’t see them. So I ran back, down around the corner and looked. But I couldn’t see them. My panic was building. I went across the road and quickly looked down that street, but again couldn’t see them.
Nearby I had noticed a tourist information centre so went inside. Now starting becoming a little frantic, I asked if they knew the direction our tour guide would be heading. Clearly there are many tours each day who walk along the Charles Bridge so the lady had no information that could help me. She rolled her eyes and abruptly gestured I should go outside. I ran back to the bridge and asked a few street vendors selling wares along the bridge if they had seen our tour guide, gesturing he was a man who had been carrying a fan. They didn’t understand and just waved and said “hello”. Not sure which way to go, I seem to be running in circles.
Now I was clearly frantic! Realising I had no money, no coverage on my phone and was only on a daytrip from Vienna, now with no way to get back was not helping me think straight. I just couldn’t think what to do and was now working myself up and getting in quite a state. So I tried to calm myself down and think. Where had the guide said our meeting point would be? Then I recalled him saying something about a horse statue.
I raced back to the Tourist Information Centre and asked the lady for directions to the horse statue. “The Black Horse?” she asked abruptly in a very thick accent. “Um, yes I guess so”, I responded, still confused and lacking any confidence it would be of help. The lady just pointed and gestured to head over the bridge. She seemed to be almost pushing back out into the street, pointing the direction, but I felt more like she just wanted me gone, rather than she was offering me assistance.
This time I ran, forgetting all about Michael Hutchence or taking photos, or of the wonderful view. As I came down the other side of the bridge, towards the crowds I see a
hideous familiar outfit that was being worn by one of the people in our tour group. Then I notice our tour guide waiting, patiently holding his fan in the air. Finally, I see Steve. Phew, such relief. I walk run up to Steve and the rest of the group who are looking a little inpatient. Throwing my arms around Steve, I give him a huge hug and am almost in tears. Clearly I am happy to have rejoined the group and I don’t think they realise the ordeal I have just put myself through. But I am happy and we can now all continue on with the rest of the tour.
We make our way to the Astronomical clock, the oldest working astronomical clock in the world and join many other sightseers who are all gazing upwards. As the clock strikes on the hour and a skeleton appears, apostle’s march and a cock crows.
After spending some time there we head to Wenceslas Square, the focal point of Prague’s Town Quarter, lined with great buildings. Here we finally arrive at the popular meeting point among the locals and are greeted by the grand statue of St Wenceslas on his horse and the backdrop of the National Museum.
And I am again taken back to the famed Christmas carol of the much admired King Wenceslas, who goes out in the snow on the Feast of Stephen to give to the poor. The good King Wenceslas who was my saviour and helped me when I was lost in Prague.
I had read that Prague was a magical and mysterious city but was not prepared for how amazingly beautiful it would be and I was totally taken away.
Have you ever got lost while travelling?
We’d love if you would follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or click theStumbleUpon button or other social media share buttons below to share this post. Or if you enjoyed reading this post please give this page a like or subscribe to our newsletter.