|View over the River Vltava from Hanavský pavilon. Letenské sady|
Yes, I have been back to the capital city of the Czech Republic for the second time in a year. Apparently the students on last year educational trip spoke highly of my keen performance as a tour guide so the students on this year trip asked me to join them too. I simply had to agree.
Going back to nice places whenever possible is fine, no matter how many other interesting places keep awaiting you. Indeed, even within a year´s time, plenty of good reasons to revisit a beautiful part of the world could be listed. But there is no need to panic as the first obvious reason will do: the better you get to know the place, the more intense the experience should be.
After the 2014 trip, my motivations to travel back to Prague at the first opportunity were quite a few: calling at some pubs and bistros such as U Hrocha (The Hippopotamus) or U Zlateho Tygra (The Golden Tiger), which I missed; visiting Kostel Sv. Mikuláše (Saint Nicholas Churh) –the most prominent Baroque church in the city–, which I also missed; dining out at King Solomon, one of the Kosher restaurants in Josefov, the Jewish quarter; getting impregnated with the old quarters charming –usually bewitching– architecture; strolling about on the countless delightful parks and squares and by the Vltava banks again; etc. There are certainly so many attractions and amusements, not all of them need extra publicity though.
Despite the multiple demands of this group of twenty-seven teenagers, last June I met my targets along with one unexpected pleasure. On travelling by my myself, I have practised jogging as a way of both keeping fit and exploring the surroundings to find rare spots. This time my dear colleague Eva, the other teacher in charge, would not skip a single early morning running break. Neither would I, but for one morning (keep the secret for me, will you?). Who needed our hotel beer spa? Not us, I am telling you.
So there we were –my personal trainer and me– up at seven o´clock and ready to jog along either new quarters or known ones in a new light. Provided dawn breaks at about 04.15 a.m. at that latitude at the beginning of Summer, 07.00 a.m. does not sound that harmful once you are in the mood. Furthermore, you are sure to do without some hundreds of touring groups all around.
Here are the four really enjoyable tracks that we improvised, just in case anyone might like to help themselves. Had we had just one more day, we would have loved to run up to Petřín. Who knows? Maybe next year.
|Four running tracks.|
Popout map of Prague - Compass Maps Ltd / El País-Aguilar
Blue track (1) – June 23rd. Fügnerovo náměstí (Fügner Square. Nové Město) – náměstí Míru (Peace Square. Vinohrady) – Rjegrovy sady (Rieger gardens. Vinohrady) – And back. 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) or longer after some laps around Rjegrovy sady and some random running in the so called ‘Vineyards’ town. Gentle hill slopes, 19th century urbanism and good cafés, pubs and restaurants.
Red track (2) – June 24th. Fügnerovo náměstí – Park Folimanka – Vyšehrad (South Citadel) – Vltava East Bank – Frank Gehry Dancing House – Ječná – Fügnerovo náměstí. Some 4 topographical kilometres (2.5 miles), however mind the sort of tough hill slopes by Park Folimanka and Vyšehrad. Beautiful 360° panoramic views. On Saturdays, you can restore yourself at the tempting wholefood market on the East Bank.
Yellow track (3) – June 25th. Fügnerovo náměstí – Ječná – Jiráskův most (Jirásek Bridge) – Vltava West Bank – Malá Strana (Lesser Town) – Karlůvy most (Emperor Charles IV Bridge) – Vltava East Bank – Frank Gehry Dancing House – Ječná – Dvořák Museum – Fügnerovo náměstí. Less than 6 kilometres (3.7 miles), hardly any steep as long as you do not try Petřinské sady heights. Before 08.00 a.m. you can still see Karlůvy most cobblestone! Malá Strana is the quarter to go for outdoor indulging over and over.
Black track (4) – June 27th. Fügnerovo náměstí – Sokolská / Mezibranská – Váklavské náměstí (Wenceslaus Boulevard) – Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Hall Square. Staré Město) – Pařižká (Paris Boulevard. Josefov) – Čechův most (Čech Bridge) – Letenské sady (Letná gardens) – And back. 8 horizontal kilometres (nearly 5 miles). Tough steps up to the ‘Terrace’ of Letenské sady and its giant Metronome, which can be far nicer a sight than the 98 ft. colossus of Stalin could ever be. Breathtaking views over the city and the River Vltava.
|Estates on Fügnerovo námestí. Nové Mesto|
|Jecná. Nové Mesto|
|Karlovo námestí. Nové Mesto|
|Park Folimanka from Vysehrad walls|
|Leopold's Gate. Vysehrad|
|View over the River Vltava from Vysehrad walls|
|View over Malá Strana from Prazsky hrad (the Castle of Prague)|
|Coffee shop in Trzisté. Malá Strana|
|John Lennon's Wall. Velkoprevorské námestí. Kampa|
|River Vltava and Karluv most from Legií most|
|Celetná corner. Staromestské námestí|
|Obecní Dum (Municipal House). Staré Mesto|
|Havelská Market. Staré Mesto|
|Maiselova. Josefov (Jewish quarter)|
|River Vltava and Prazsky hrad from Mánusev most|
|Information office. Old Town Hall. Staromestské námestí|
|Old Town Hall. Staromestské námestí|
|The Metronome. Letná Terása|
|Hanavský pavilon dome. Letenské sady|
With my best wishes for the fellowship of the running thing:
Cristina Marco, Carlos Cañavate and Eva Moreno.
Thank you very much, whole lot (all twenty-seven plus one).
I wonder if you would invite me again... Never mind, I would come anywhere.