What happens in Prague stays in Prague.
Except this time, apparently.
The weekend before last I went to Prague. This trip began in the most sensible of ways; getting on a bus at midnight to make the cross-country journey. Naturally, despite the late hour, I found myself among the few with a genuine interest in rest. It is a testament to the constitution of many of our group members that no one, even after the 2:30am beer run, vomited on the bus floor. As light began to pierce the foggy Czech morning, the tone of the trip was very well-established.
In my previous statement, I do not intend to disparage the aesthetics of Prague. The city is expansive, dynamic, and beautiful. The distinctive and powerful architecture encloses one as one walks the streets, and the cobbles below one's feet give a distinct impression of the city's age and dignity. This was only augmented by the events of the day, as a half marathon attracted a total of over 8,000 runners. We had to pause for a solid 15 minutes to wait for the stampede to clear from a street crossing.
Yep, I assure you that everything about Prague is dignified. Especially the street artwork. Incidentally, the statues above are standing in a pool shaped like the Czech Republic. I will leave the symbolism here as an exercise for the reader.
It was after we visited the hotel and deposited our luggage that things became interesting. As we met with the Czech-local AFS students, it quickly became clear that people had every intent of making full use of our night in Prague. Beginning with a visit to the sculpture pictured above, the ever-ticking Metronome, my journey would prove to be interesting. After the group that I departed the Metronome with fractured, I apparently decided to attempt to find my way back to the bus to the hotel on my own. Though my technique for locating the heart of the city turned out to be flawless, it turned out that I had sucessfully located entirely the wrong location. And yet, by some stroke of fate, I still managed to stumble into a group of exchange students. Surely, this meant that I now had a solid plan for the rest of the night.
Two bars later, I and the small mob of extremely noisy drunk exchange students somehow managed to lose track of eachother. So that left me back at square one: find my way back to the hotel alone. Fortunately, I knew how to get there using the metro and buses. Easy, right? Naturally, the metro decided to close for the night halfway through my trip and leave me even more lost than before. A quick trip to the local McDonalds' WiFi and the aid of a local boy allowed me to determine that it would be another four hours before any useful public transport.
So I had to call a taxi to get back to the hotel. A taxi that I didn't actually have enough money to pay for, as I was unable to use my card in the country. Meanwhile, it turns out that the mob of hammered people somehow found a bus. Truly my finest moment, right there.
As fun as that little adventure was, I was rather more relaxed the following morning. On the way home, we stopped at this little castle, the coloration of which makes me think this might have been what a certain Port Townsend building was aiming for.
And yet, even hours away from the heart of Prague, I once again located a statue with a visible penis. Such is life.