Prague – Day 9

Another gorgeous day in Prague!

We have one more full day in Prague before packing it in and heading back to H-Town. Without a doubt, we are winding down. We’ve got nothing pressing us for time so we’re just taking in this magnificent city for the last few days at as leisurely a pace as we can.

Cynthia wanted to get the post cards in the mail. They will certainly arrive in the US after we do, but no matter.

As we were looking for the post office we chanced down a street and found the Kafka monument

It was something we wanted to see, but had not put much effort into finding. A happy happenstance.

After we couldn’t find the post office we stepped into a tourist information center and asked. A helpful young man set us on the correct path and we were off again. This time we stumbled upon something we definitely wanted to see, knew was here, but had no idea where it could be. We saw it on the cab ride in to town and it was on our minds.

One symbolic element of the demonstrations of the Velvet Revolution was the jingling of keys, to symbolize the unlocking of doors. When 300,000 protesters flooded Wenceslas Square, noisily jangling their keys in a symbolic call to throw off communism it must have been something to see (and hear).

To commemorate this event on the 20th anniversary, people from all over the Czech Republic brought 85,741 keys to the local Vofaphon shops. These keys were then made into a sculpture by artist Jili David that resides in Franz Kafka Square.

The sculpture spells the word “Revoluce!” which is Czech for “Revolution!”

The sculpture is amazing and thought provoking.

After admiring the monument we found the post office and Cynthia sent them on their way.

From there we headed back to the park at the top of the hill where the giant metronome is. This is the park we visited yesterday. I wanted to see if I could get some shots from up there using my panorama equipment. We spend about an hour up there before heading back down.

While we were there we noticed there were a lot of policemen around and many people carrying balloons and wearing hats that had something written on them. Since we didn’t read Czech, we had no idea what they said and we couldn’t figure out what was going on. We made our way back to our breakfast place and got some food. After that we headed back out just to stroll around. We had decided to go to the river and explore the north and the east.

As we got to the Manesuv bridge we noticed the police had the street blocked off and that there was something going on at the Galerie Rudolfinum. There were hundreds of people and a public address system. There were news crews and a helicopters flying overhead. Something big was happening.

As we got closer to the bridge and were about tot turn right we noticed hundreds more people marching down the bridge with signs blowing whistles and vuvuzelas.

Then we saw that is was not hundreds of people. It was THOUSANDS of people.

And thousands more were pouring down from the hill top where the giant metronome is.

More and more streaming down from the hill top

The crowds were filling both bridges we could see and all converging on Galerie Rudolfinum. Cynthia and I were not going anywhere until this was over.

Apparently the civil service workers (police, firemen, etc.) we’re protesting proposed budget cuts that would reduce their salaries by 10%. Here’s an article I found online about the protests.

Thousands of people protest in Prague against budget cuts

It did eventually die down and we were able to move on and enjoy our walk.

Tomorrow is our last day. The weather forecast says more good weather. We’ll probably take it easy and get things packed up for our departure on Thursday. I am anxious for home. I love to travel, but I miss my own bed for sleeping.

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