So off we go, the American-looking team with their cameras in tow and their southern drawls trailing, to get the rental van. By now we've been awake for some 6,000 hours so what better time to drive in a foreign country? Kathy assumes the co-pilot position with navigation tools (i.e a google map) in place. I'm quick to note that the traffic signs are different. I don't recognize the symbols. The street and interstate signs are in Czech obviously. Guess what? We speak English in Alabama (well, some derivative of it anyhow). We successfully (miraculously) exit the airport area and find ourselves headed to the hotel in downtown Prague.
It gets a little sketchy from there. Karl invents his own meaning for the road signs and we keep going. I'm suddenly thinking about the negative stereotypes of American drivers and I come up with the conclusion that they are unfounded....compared to European drivers. It appears that 80mph is going slowly. Cars zip and turn and zag and swerve leaving only enough space to put a penney between you and other vehicle. Karl is hanging with the big boys, though and we're making progress.
As we get closer to downtown Prague, the landscape begins to morph into a palatte of red roofs and lush trees. Spires stick up like hands in the air telling us we're heading in the right direction. Everything is so beautifully old and unique. As the city walls close in, the roads get tighter and more uneven with centuries of well-travelled cobblestones. There are still the same amount of maniac cars, but less space! Now it's kind of like riding on a carousel. We're going around and around, but we don't know how we got on or where we get off. Road construction, one-way roads, and just general unfamiliarity lead to a slight (3 hr) detour, but if you're going to be lost anywhere......Prague is the place. Here's what you see when lost in the city of golden spires.
Not bad. It's like we stepped back in time. I'd forgotten what it was like to look at such amazing architecture and to remember that it is all the handiwork of God! Yes, it was designed by mere man and built with human hands, but God was the master architect of the brains behind the blocks. Stunning.
My favorite thing to see was the beautiful flower boxes cascading absolutely everywhere. Everything grows in this Garden of Eden climate. Building after building had applied the red-lipstick of geranimums like a kiss to an envelope. I couldn't get enough of it.
We got some excellent directions and were headed in the right direction when we saw the beauty mark of Prague---the Charles's Bridge and Prague Castle. It's gasp-worthy. I so wished my girls had been with me, for it looked like a scene from the fairytales we read at night. Grace had asked that I be on the look-out for unicorns when she heard that there are real castles in the Czech Republic. No unicorns, but a sight to behold none-the-less.