Who really counts Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein and San Marino as proper countries? Their only purpose is to take up the bottom spots in world cup qualification groups so that no-one else ever has to finish bottom. As such, when I visited the Czech Republic, I considered that I had then been to every country in Europe.
Normally when I turn up in an unfamiliar city, I can find my way about pretty quickly. For some reason in Prague I never really got my orientation sorted, and had a ridiculous time when I arrived trying to find my hostel. I got a bus into town easily enough, and walked to the station, but then it all went wrong. I went into the station so that I could follow directions from the relevant exit, only to get lost in its empty cavernous halls, and then to find that the relevant exit was locked up. I found my way back out, through a window in a deserted corridor, and set off in search again. I ended up walking for about an hour, exploring many parts of Žižkov and Karlin, before I finally managed to get to the hostel at 2am.
I got up late the next day, and headed back out into the city. I managed not to get lost, and found my way eventually to the Charles Bridge. When my sister had been here, a few years earlier, she'd said it took her twenty minutes to walk across the bridge because of the crush of tourists. Today, one side of the bridge was behind hoardings and the crush was doubled. It took me a long time to get across.
Czech Republic 2008 | Escaping The Crowds »