Looking down

Instead of heading out to the Hrad?any with all the other tourists in Prague this morning, we climbed the Vyšehrad fortress, which is just behind our hotel. We took a shortcut that ended up being a very steep set of steps. We ended up at the foot of the fortress and were faced with a decision: left or right? We spied a hoard of young people coming up the street to the left, so we went right - and hit a dead end. It turned out there was a hidden door in the wall between us and the group.

They didn't charge any entrance fee! We climbed up to the path around the top of the fortress. The sun was just coming out, so we sat on a park bench in the sun to catch our breaths. Prague is indeed a city of spires - churches and fancy-topped houses everywhere. Across the river there's a very large stadium. We can see the Hradčany, but since it is quite hazy we can't take very good pictures.

Hradčany in a haze
After a bit we went down to the cemetary. There are very old and very ornate graves here. We soon puzzled out the consonant pattern for "Grabstätte". There are ones for the Franciscan friars, a separate one for the sisters, the Benedictines are by themselves, and there are some we can't figure out - no family name or common death date. We found Antonín Dvořáks grave and many other composers, conductors, artists, lawyers, and doctors. Some of the graves had ornaments missing - probably metal stolen and sold for scrap metal value.
Tombstone made by Ladislav Šaloun
I went into the church (entrance fee 30 crowns). I don't know what I paid for - it was very dark, extremely cold, and all of the pews were roped off. There were big signs announcing that everything was under alarm, but who would want to steal any of this? So I was back outside pretty quick.

We continued our walk along the perimeter, now on the other side looking up the Moldau River. A wide and lazy river, with an almond sliver of an island in the middle. And it is a very steep cliff the fortress is perched on.

We decided to cut the wandering short and headed back to the hotel to change shoes - flat shoes with thin soles hurt on all of these cobblestones, I need my hiking boots on. How the Czech woman manage this terrain on high heels is beyond me.

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