Saturday, 9 September 2017

A little Prague boat trip

There are quite a lot of different boat trip possibilities on Prague's waterways from large tour boats to slimline gondolas. We chose an hour-long small-boat-and-larger-boat combined voyage run by Prague-Venice Boat Trips. Their ticket sellers are the ones dressed in white sailor outfits hanging around the Charles Bridge. For some reason they are mostly Nigerians! The trip is priced at 340 Czech crowns per person but, as we were a party of five, some spirited haggling (not by me obviously!) got that down to 300 each.

We started out in a private little boat which took us a fairly short distance through back-lane canals to the main tour boat moored atmospherically under a dark arch of the Charles Bridge. There we were offered coffee, tea or beer from the cute bar pictured above to keep us occupied while we waited for the boat to fill up a bit more. The ticket price also includes a choice of ice cream or gingerbread - get the gingerbread, it's delicious! The view below was our starting point.

This boat tour does not go far up or down the river, instead weaving between the bridges' arches in order to give us great views of historic buildings, bridges and architecture on each side of the river. Prague city centre is a bustling, busy place and I enjoyed the slower peaceful sailing away from the tourist madness! Our audio narration was good and interesting and this part lasted about half an hour I think before we returned back under the bridge and were briefly told the historical significance of each of the arch beams above our heads - there's one each remaining from four different stages of the bridge's construction.

The boat trip ticket also included free entry to the Charles Bridge museum. This museum is only small, but gives detailed information about the building of the bridge as well as its predecessor, the Judith Bridge. The extensive model pictured below is fascinating - I do like a good model! - and it was also possible to descend an iron staircase and see the original stonework of both the Charles and Judith bridges.

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