I really didn't know what to expect from Prague. I had been hearing for years that Prague today is what Paris was in the 20s. Can you imagine Paris in the 20s? I can. I pictured this bohemia of artists and musicians, jazz in the air and beauty abounding. But the words "Czech Republic" are a bit daunting, aren't they? The split from the Slovak Republic wasn't that long ago. In a critical area like that, what the CDC calls "a developing country," would there be bitterness? War damage? Violence?
I figured, no matter how it turned out, the chance to leave work at noon on a Friday made it worthwhile. (However, since I got there at 6am, it was practically a full day, anyway...) The check-in time was 2:30, and I had to get all the way up to Stansted Airport (which is 35 miles north of London). So I hopped on the train and was on my way!
It's not a long flight, only about two hours, but since it's the dead of winter, it was pitch dark when we arrived. I took a cab to my hotel, which probably wasn't the best idea, but the good news is, the exchange rate is like 50 Czech crowns to the British pound, so it wasn't too expensive even tho he ripped me off a little... The cab ride gave me an idea of what I was going to see over the weekend. Altho I totally lost my bearings, it did convince me that I wasn't going to be in a war-torn, impoverished country. It was beautiful.