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Maddening March On Prague

Arriving in the Czech Republic was a bit of an adventure (isn’t it always??). We had mapped out our route from the train station to the hostel and according to Google Maps it was less than a kilometer away. Easy. We failed to inform Google however which of the 3 train stations we would be arriving at. So what should have been a short walk, ended up being a disorienting treasure hunt looking at the sides of buildings for street signs.

Looks like we weren’t the only ones looking for a sign.

Eventually we found a tram stop and were able to point ourselves in the right direction towards the hostel. At the hostel we picked up a map and from there on, navigating was a non-issue.

Today we navigated our way through the city center towards the famous 15th century Charles Bridge.

Along the way we encountered numerous stores selling marionettes…

…along with theaters that were advertising puppet shows. Sort of odd, but ok. By far the most impressive store on the ave was this mega-mart-o-matryoshkas.

There was a matryoshka for just about every character known (and unknown) to mankind. From The Simpsons to The Chicago Bulls. You name it. They got it.

After marching across the bridge past some of the statues…

…and street performers…

…we walked up to the bell tower…

…of St. Nicholas Church…

…to take in an amazing view of the city of Prague!

After taking it all in, things started to get a little strange. First of all as we crossed back over the bridge, there was a giant inflatable purple bunny floating down the river past the National Theatre.

The cheshire cat must not be far away.

We didn’t find the cat or a caterpillar, but we did find Vanity, Greed, Death, an infidel and The Apostles all hanging out at the Astronomical Clock.

We hung around until 6pm to watch the animitronic contraption unfold into it’s wild circus of dance.

And if things couldn’t get any more bizarre… on the way back to the metro we heard (and felt) the defening bass of that oh-so-annoying euro house music down a cooridor. Not being ones to ignore our curiosity, we followed the sounds to see where all that noise was coming from. As we drew nearer, we saw some flashing strobe lights, and some local youths dressed in the oddest apparel.

We couldn’t quite figure it out, so we walked along further past colorful vans. Each one more colorful and odd than the one before it…

All of them were just lined up on the street next to old town square. Each van with it’s own unique decorations. And each van with it’s own crowd of about 25 youths trailing behind it. And each van blaring it’s own unique mix of drum-and-bass or other various forms of electronica. The music was so loud I could barely hear myself think. But I was able to find someone that could hear me…

…so I asked him what all the hubub was about. He explained that it was a protest against the goverment for their privacy violation policies involving RFID chips, CCTV cameras, and other various big brother like activites. Now that’s something I can get behind! So I strapped on a pair of stilts and quickly whipped up a head-mounted CCTV cameara out of some cardboard I found in a nearby dumpster and joined the march.

Apparently the way to protest something in Prague is to stand so close to thumping woofers that your heart skips a beat. YEAH!! That’ll show em!

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