Czech Boxes

Thursday, May 15, 2014 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Day 24:  Prague, Czechia
After yesterday's full schedule, we had two missions in mind for today, obtaining train tickets to Krakow and doing a bit of letterboxing.  Our trip to the train station offered up a lesson in the limitations of flat maps.  To reach the train station, we needed to take a tram to a subway station, where we could transfer to a direct line to the central rail terminal.  We decided to ride Tram 9 to Svatoplukova, where the map showed subway access just around the corner.  What that flat city map was unable to show became clear to us after we exited the tram.  As the screen capture from Google's street view reveals below, the "around the corner" location, at the level of the elevated road, was about 100 feet higher than our tram stop, at street level in the photo.

With a bit of blundering and observing other pedestrians in the area, we located a series of stairways that eventually took us to the top just near the entrance to the metro station and thence on a speedy ride to Praha Hlavní Nádraží.  The large terminal offers domestic and international service, with more than 100,000 trains and 22 million passengers traveling through it annually.

The fare we purchased to Krakow tomorrow involves two transfers and is expected to take 7.5 hours to travel some 540 miles. We're hoping to be able to do some blogging on the way since we seem to be in a perpetual state of delinquency.

Then we were off to more interesting matters.  We trammed back over to the Little Quarter near our apartment to search for a couple of letterboxes hidden in the parks and green spaces of Petřín Hill.  One was just where the clue indicated, but the second, at the top of the hill, had apparently been the victim of winter since it had been hidden last spring in a deciduous hedge and was no doubt exposed and compromised when the leaves fell away.

After riding the funicular back down the hill, we found a spot to hide our own letterbox near a statue honoring Vitezslav Novak, a famous Czech musician and composer.

Prague's Hunger Wall
The letterbox we did find midway up Petřín Hill was hidden near Prague's historic Hunger Wall, a defensive wall built on the hill between 1360 and 1362.  Charles IV ordered the wall's construction to strengthen the fortifications of nearby Prague Castle.  According to legend, he was also motivated by a famine among the city's poor.  Work on the wall enabled them to buy food for their families.  Over the centuries, the wall has been repaired and modified numerous times.

Our missions complete, we returned to our apartment, called the Hunger Wall Residence because a small section of the original wall runs through its courtyard.  Thus ends our visit to Prague as we head off to Poland tomorrow.  We found the city beautiful to look at but a bit too overrun by tourists.  However, we would love to return to Czech out other parts of the country.

Daily Stats
  • Miles walked:  4.6 
  • Weather:  41° to 55°, partly cloudy
  • Letterboxes:  1 found, 1 planted
  • Map reading mistakes:  1
  • Tram stops:  15

Nice view from funicular
Logging in
Flower garden at hilltop
View from the hilltop
Riding the tram