Why, hello again morning rain, my travel companion.
Fortunately coffee and a burrito were a short walk away so I was all set to wait out the rain and stay a bit active.
I was able to chat up my roommate a bit, he came home very late and was usually asleep most of the morning.
He was traveling through Europe before he got a job. He was from Japan and explained this was likely his last trip until he retired. Vacation, hell, weekends weren’t much of a thing in his city.
‘We work ah everything, for money, fun, boredom. Always work, no night, drink! Hahah,’ he explained.
We couldn’t talk much, his English wasn’t great and my Japanese is nonexistent. I picked up he enjoyed going to big night clubs that were opened into the morning.
I shook his hand before we parted and wished him well on his travels. I was grateful for someone to talk with, even for just a moment.
My route up to the tower, garden was due west, straight down the road outside the hostel and up.
The clouds parted and I was off admiring the river. There was a small island park about halfway across this particular bridge so I made a mental note to explore later.
After passing a busy road, I was on a separate walking train that lead to a sculpture and stairs.
Once up the stairs I was on the walkway to the top of a mountain.
I knew it was a bit of a hike when I came across a long queue for a gondola that took groups to the top. I had legs and a strong desire so I skipped the line and continued on the path.
It was a dirt path that zigzagged up the mountain and was quite popular with joggers and walkers alike.
Ever so often the path had a small rest area with benches or a small park area where people sat to drink, eat or play with their dogs. A wonderful yet steep walk.
About halfway up, there was a tiny restaurant, but more importantly for me, their restrooms were outside, perfect. I could pop in, use the facilities and fill up my water bottle.
If you’re traveling for any length of time, a wise investment is a durable, aluminum water vessel. You’ll easily pay for it and save $ due to the expensive water bottles vendors sell in areas like this or especially at airports.
Staggering water prices and most EU airports had water fountains. If not, there was always the rest room faucet, just mind the signs, some airports don’t use potable water.
I paused at a bench and took in the city view for a few moments. There was no hurry to scale this mountain, it had turned into a nice day.
After a few more uphill zigzags, I was at the top. What a view too!
Through a floral archway I saw the tower. I’d read this was based off the Eiffel Tower, but with a Czech style influence.
There was a long line with admission to ascend the tower. I opted to walk it for free.
Under another floral arch was a lush garden full of roses and other flowers. A short walk revealed a circular walkway with another garden in the middle.
I sat on one of the many benches that followed the circle, spaced out about every 10 feet or so. Close enough to overhear a conversation at another bench.
A couple were talking in Czech and what I picked up based on tone, inflection and physical interactions they alternated arguing and making up.
About what, I wasn’t positive, but sex was for sure on the guy’s mind as he had his arm slung around her or on a choice body part then she’d squeal and bat him away for awhile before they’d make out and begin the process over again.
Suddenly he got up and picked a rose and put it in his teeth to her shock, which soon turned into a laugh. Smooth move, though likely illegal to pick anything in this public garden area.
I, too, got up but didn’t pick any roses, just completed the circle back to the entrance.
I passed by the tour one more time and saw people going from the opposite direction I’d come up. Perhaps there was another route down?
Indeed there was another path that I followed for a bit until I saw a worn path in the grass which I took until I hit a fence with an ominous sign.
Ah I’d found a slice of the US in Czech Republic but it was fenced in, haha land of the free, sometimes, not here.
Looked like a residence of some sort. Prime land with a view so likely diplomat’s home or for use by VIPs when they were in Prague.
Back to the main path and soon another tributary path was revealed, but this one was paved so it had to lead to some where cool, at least accessible.
It lead to a small rectangle area surrounded by small concrete walls about 3 feet high, maybe this was an overflow parking lot?
Sitting on a ledge with choice view of the city were 2 couples talking and listening to Pink Floyd via small, Bluetooth speaker.
They’d met at some club last night, the ladies were visiting and the guys were from Netherlands, but visited Prague often, I overheard while taking the view in.
They chatted and compared Prague vs Amsterdam and all agreed to meet up in Holland in the future.
I continued my decent after they began to hold hands and sneak kisses.
Back down to street level I encountered an interesting fountain where the runoff trickled down into a ground level reservoir for pets to drink, too. No waste here.
Why don’t we have more efficient things like this in the US, I wondered?
I was soon back at my hostel where I showered and got ready for the evening starting in the common area.
Foiled again, everyone was immersed in their phones.
I passed by the Vagon music club and had noted that tonight they had a CCR cover band.
A minimal cover, cheap beer and good tunes made for a great night out!
The band was spot on, too, each song is a classic and was played very well. The only way I knew it was a cover band was the Czech between song banter.
They took requests as the sweaty, beer bellied front-man said something to which the crowed called out song titles in English.
They played nearly 2 hours to great applause from the crowd and me. They did these songs justice and having never seen CCR live, this was as close as I ever would.
I lingered with a beer in the back after the show, finding a small place to sit near a screen that was showing rock videos.
My attempts to chat up some local goths, punks failed. Not much English spoken here.
After the band was finished, the placed morphed into more of a dance-y club that closed very late.
I finished my pint and headed to my hostel, whistling a CCR tune.
Song: Creedence Clearwater Revival Who’ll Stop the Rain?