Maybe my feeling for Prague have a lot to do with expectations and little to do with the city itself. The reason why I say this is because people would often tell me that Prague was going to blow me away based on how much I loved Berlin. Again, I can’t stress enough that I didn’t dislike Prague and found it to be worth the visit but I was nowhere near the realm of being blown away by it. Regardless, the comparison between Berlin and Prague will continue as I discovered there was an Alternative Prague Tour and due to my nonstop ranting about how fantastic the tour was in Berlin, we decided that this was the walking tour for us. Looking back, it’s ridiculous how we made such a commitment to something we knew nothing about. All I knew was that we were supposed to meet a person holding a black umbrella by the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square. Thankfully, it was a sunny day so I wasn’t left approaching randoms asking if they were waiting for me as that might have gotten me involved in another type of business that Prague is known for…
Anyway, like I said, we lucked out and found the person we were looking for in a very crowded area without any problems. Before long, we came to realize that we were part of a small group of 3 girls being taken around by the only female writer in Prague. Strangely enough – the phrase Girl Power kept being repeated like I had somehow been transported back to the 90s and was part of some odd Spice Girls entourage. That weirdness aside, we quickly started moving away from the crowds as the guide gave us a history lesson about communism and the Velvet Revolution. Yes, it was a lot to take in as we moved further and further out of the tourist core but I felt as though she was setting the foundation for the amazing things we were about to see. But we kept walking and stopping to sit and talk some more while looking at photos she had brought with her. It continued on this way until the Brazilian girl made the executive decision to bail on the tour and save her afternoon.
Maybe it was because we felt bad for the guide but the NZ Welshie and I decided to stuck it out. At this point, I distinctively remember her saying that we were just on the verge of all there was to see. By this I just assumed that we were going to make our way to some of the sculptures done by David Cerny, possibly to the John Lennon Wall, and then to see some other works by artists that are well-known in Prague but not the rest of the world to tie a nice little bow around the history lesson we had gotten. But we kept walking and talking and still there was nothing to look at. She pointed to closed galleries and told us that they would be interesting to check out if we had the time to come back. She pointed out the park where you could find the baby statues by David Cerny and said that it might be worth it for us to come back and check it out. We kept walking and talking and nothing else besides walking and talking. The subject matter was interesting and I was thankful that we got the backdrop of the impact communism had on Prague but what I was a little stunned by was the lack of anything visual to support all the talking that was going on. I was hoping that since we opted for a street art tour, we were actually going to see art on the streets but this wasn’t the case.
With one look at the NZ Welshie, I knew she felt the same exact way as I did so it was time to take matters into our own hands and end this goddamn tour! We politely mentioned that we needed to be back for an event in the evening but this didn’t deter our little busy girl power bee. She said not to worry and she’d take us back to the hotel so time wasn’t going to be an issue and decided to get us tea to go as this would be yet another time saver. So there was more walking and talking as she pointed out yet another closed gallery or an area that has things that are worth checking out. Great…so now we were stuck and wishing we had taken the Brazilians lead about 2 hours ago. We continued to dance around the fact that we were ready to throw in the glove and she kept hanging onto us like a dog on a bone. It continued on this way until we were practically at the front door of our hotel. At this stage we were cold, grumpy, and couldn’t wait to ditch the girl who was super nice but gave a tour that just missed the mark. It’s a shame that something that started off with such potential wound up being such a let down but I guess that the way life goes sometimes.