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After a day in Vienna, I was whisked away by train to the Czech Republic and the beautiful city of Prague. When I arrived, it was misting a bit, but I couldn’t bring myself to care.  I was immediately entranced by the beauty of the buildings.  And they weren’t even especially important buildings (well, maybe they were, but I didn’t know).The buildings in Prague are beautiful just because they can be.

My camera and I were beside ourselves with joy.

I was lugging a heavy suitcase and shoulder bag and my hotel was somewhere a vague half-hour’s walk away (according to my Google-map).  I should have taken a cab, stashed my bags, and then headed back out.  Instead, I set out on a random street with no other reason for choosing it than the fact that it seemed to have the most pretty buildings.

And, like a little kid, I was side-tracked down one street after another by the pretty, distracting colors until I was well and truly lost.  But I couldn’t bring myself to care.  There was just too much pretty!

Eventually, my arms began to ache and the rain wasn’t letting up and I realized that I was, in fact, a weak and lowly mortal who needed rest, food, and a sense of direction in order to be effective.  So I checked my map, established through sheer luck that I had managed to ramble all the way to the opposite side of the city from where I’d started, and finally found my hotel.

Rest and a snack and freedom from my bags had me ready to go and I was out and on the move again to make the use of every bit of daylight. The rain decided to let up for a few hours (because Prague loves me) so I decided to head across the famous Charles Bridge and immerse myself in this tourist-loving city.

Sometimes, tourist traps are irritating, but I didn’t really mind.  I was enjoying it too much.  Prague has been on the top of my list of Places I Must Visit for a very long time.

Of course Napoleon came along! Now if I could just get the stuffy little guy to admit he liked the colorful buildings…

I climbed up the hill toward the castle and cathedral.  Every bit of that city is worth pausing over.

It was too late in the day for a good visit to the sites, but the exterior of St Vitus was perfectly good for a start.

Back down the hill, I found my way to a beautiful terraced garden (one of the several must-sees recommended to me by Meghan, with whom I parted in Vienna).  I took my time, sat on various benches, and just enjoyed the views.

Finally, I headed back across the river and was trying to decide where to spend my evening when I was stopped by someone outside the Rudolfinum, a pretty concert hall with a statue of Antonin Dvorak staring imposingly at it.  They were having a small string quintet event that evening with discount tickets for students.  It was in half an hour.

I enjoyed the concert very much, although I kept getting a sense that they were playing ‘Classical Music for Dummies: Stuff Even You Know!’ I am not a classical music buff and the fact that I knew all but two of the dozen pieces they played was a bit suspicious.  But their selections from Vivaldi were worth the whole concert.

It was growing late and dark and I’d forgotten to tuck my spare battery into my bag, so my camera finally called it quits.  I was displeased, but a fancy dinner in a little outdoor, pavillioned bistro in the Old Town square consoled me, and I rushed back to my hotel in time to switch the battery and snap a few photos of the castle at night before the misty rain gave way to a torrential downpour.

That effectively ended my photography for the day, but I had no complaints.  I was in Prague and Prague was living up to and exceeding every expectation I had concocted for it.  Plus, I had most of the following day to finish my visit.