After our quick tour of the old town and a quick lunch – Borscht was on the menu, so I had to try it (not bad – beefy and onioney and oily) – we split up, Mary heading off to hunt green amber.
Meanwhile Charles and I went up the tower of the town hall, which gives good views of the city centre; you can see all the way across to the top of the Prague Castle buildings, sitting as they are on top of a smallish hill.
We walked up, but there is a lift (which had a cool open spiralling metalwork design) if you're not in the mood for exercise.
After that we went back to St James to have a look at it in more detail, checked out a Protestant church very significant in the story of the Hussites, and were wandering around a bit when Mary calls…
We're next to a loud BMX/skate demo event when Charles takes the call, and it's hard to understand. He gets off the phone, a bit confused… Mary needs to be rescued? From a basket of fish???
We hotfoot it over to ground zero and get the sit-rep. After attempting to get a mojito (off the menu today; they promise to deliver something similar, which turns out to be a not-at-all-similar rum and coke, maybe a Cuba Libre) she's attempted to order fries… only to be delivered a basket of deep-fried whole baby fish. Well, they were next to each other on the menu…
After lunch I'm dying for a drink but M&C are faffing about on the other side of the road looking at the guys wearing Powerisers, those mechanically-sprung walkin'/runnin'/jumpin'/flippin' aids. Then hey wait a minute, Charles is putting some on too!
I go over to investigate and get fitted out too, turns out they're just letting anyone who asks try them on (presumably they were meant to be pushing, but they were just faffing about themselves).
Charles takes to them like a fish to water – a few times around the tree holding onto it, then he's off and walking free!
Me… I take to them like a fish climbing stairs. To anyone who's seen the difficulty I have pointing my limbs in the right direction under normal circumstances this probably won't come as a surprise, but it was worth a try :). (Thinking about it now, I think the problem is that I wasn't moving my centre of gravity, will be curious to try them again someday.)
I did do a couple of briefish free walks, but definitely didn't compare to Charles' confident striding about.
He was tempted to buy some… I told him if he gets some he totally has to learn how to do the jumping over cars stuff :).
So anyway, after we've finished giving them a go, we grab something to cool down and then have a wander about; there's some sort of eco-fair thing on, along with the Poweriser guys there was a fleet of bikers, walkers, beer kegs (eco beer kegs?) etc, and in the big island in the middle of the river there's a fair, complete with puppet show and a small group of what appeared to be tiny saduka – kids dressed in plastic suits and gas masks. Not sure what the idea was there, but it looked like fun.
So anyway, after all that we're pretty hungry, so we wander up the far side of the core town and find a restaurant for dinner.
We walk back over the bridge two upstream from the old Charles Bridge, and take some nice nighttime photographs. At the end of this bridge is the famous Fred & Ginger – two curvy buildings bowing together. They're quite cool, nice work Vlado Milunić & Frank Gehry.
You know that collection of miniatures of local spirits we amassed yesterday? Well, the fruit pictures on them got us kind of hopeful… turns out that nooo, they aren't any kind of schnapps or anything like that, these little babies are brandy. They're completely undrinkable, even with fruit juice mixers. And we have 6 of them.
Meanwhile, Charles manages to try 2 of his 3 Absinthe miniatures – one seems to be just bright green ouzo-flavoured vodka, the second is good; the third doesn't even get opened but later turns out to be disgusting.
We manage a whole half an hour or so of drinking before retiring. A poor effort :).
I think the worst part was, when we bought those miniatures the guy spent about 15 minutes carefully individually wrapping each in paper… if we'd realised what he was doing we could have told him not to bother. Ah well, at least they were damn cheap!