I slept in and started the day with a much overdue load of laundry. When you only bring 3 shirts and wear 2 of them out for a night of dancing, you quickly limit your options.
After a little more UK planning, I set off on a mission to get Vojta a bottle of Fireball. While it’s seemingly not sold anywhere in the Czech Republic, they have a distributor one mile away who sells it. (Vojta likes fireball and Alena and I finished the last little bit on Saturday before going out.)
A little over an hour later I was back at their apartment with Fireball and cider in hand, which I hid along with a nice thank you note – I’ll tell Alena I “forgot” something in the freezer once I’m in the UK.
My first stop for the day was the Žižkov Tower located right behind Alena and Vojta’s. It was once voted the 2nd ugliest building in the world, and an art installation of faceless babies crawling on the tower has since become a permanent fixture. The view from the 93m observation “box” was cool, if only to see the architecture directly below. While almost all the apartment buildings are bumped up next to each other with no space in between – almost all of these connected complexes form a circle around the block, with a shared green common area in the middle.
The tower itself is something out of a communist industrial world’s fair, with strange orbs to relax in at the observation area – like a much more industrial version of the Space Needle. Apparently the tower – once maligned by locals for “ruining” the era and feeling of the Prague skyline – has recently started to come into favor.
My next stop about 2 miles away was Frank Gehry’s “Dancing Houses”. The houses, designed with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in mind – lean into each other with the classic Gehry (EMP) uniqueness and flair.
I snapped a few photos, and enjoyed a Sprite at the Glass Top Bar (in “Fred’s” hair) which had a great view of the river below and old buildings on the riverside.
Next on the route was a 45 minute walk down by the water, across the Charles Bridge, by a McDonalds for a 5 minute wifi stop and message with the parents, and then the steep walk up the hill to the Petrin Tower – Prague’s version of the Eiffel Tower (literally designed to look like it). Another 299 steps and I was happily at the top looking out over all of Prague and the soccer (futbol) stadium perched on the hill right behind the tower. It was a cool time of day to see the “golden light” hit the city, though I left before sunset knowing I had a ways to go back home, and with the thought that with its lack of skyscrapers, the view from up top after sunset might be muted.
After tumbling back down the hill, I crossed the Charles Bridge again – though it had a distinctly different, more romantic feeling at night – violins and accordions playing, couples getting wedding photos taken, and lots of couples sitting together on benches. 45 minutes later with a quick bite to eat in hand, I was back at Alena and Vojta’s, and I was able to say goodbye and thank you to Alena who would be heading out early the next morning.