Communists and Cobblestones

A couple of weeks before Hugo left, we did two Prague tours in one day. Before I give you any details, I want to boast that I did 31 007 steps that day! My personal best!

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In the daytime, we did the Communism and Nuclear Bunker Tour. If you ever visit Prague, I recommend it. I’m starting to understand Czech people a little better. They’ve been through a lot in the last 75 years including Nazi occupation, the holocaust, Russian rule, communism, revolution attempts, revolution sucess, floods, and name changes.

I was delighted to find out that the nuclear bunker is only about 4 blocks from my apartment, but was disappointed when our guide said that meters of concrete fifty feet below ground will not save you in case of nuclear attack. Like many cities, the subway system is also part of the emergency plan.

You’ll see in the pics that XBox held some launch there. Hugo saw in the bunker the inspiration for some video games he’s played. You’ll also see what Hugo would look like were he to become a poorly-equipped communist soldier.

These pics were all taken with my iPhone.

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This was Secret Police Headquarters until 1990. If you worked for the Secret Police or were an informant, you are not allowed to be a policeman or hold office in the Czech Republic. The novel Child 44 gave me an insight into what life might have been like. Horrendous.
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David Cerny’s ‘Man Hanging Out’. It has a philosophical message. Look it up!
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A small but powerful memorial at the site of a brutal police attack on a peaceful student demonstration. This started the Velvet Revolution.

The nuclear bunker:

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This is a world map devised by the communists showing just how communist all the other countries are. I found this fascinating.

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That evening, we went on ‘The Old Town and Underground After Dark‘ tour. I must say I was a teensy bit disappointed in this one. It promised ‘the unique evening atmosphere of the Oldtown and its underground locations – stories from the 1000 years of history of Prague, secret societies, medieval alchemy and the Knights Templar, historical facts and myths, mysteries and cruel assassinations, hidden house symbols and dark secrets of the Oldtown.’

Not so much.

Hugo was quite happy that many of the sites doubled up with those on the spooky tour. Meh. Too many plastic skulls and fake axes for my taste. It was interesting, though, to go down into buildings from the twelve century. It always amazes me that cities build up. In so many old cities, there is a city below…

Prague is so beautiful.

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Czechs love fried cheese. This is like a hamburger, but with a patty of fried cheese. Hugo didn’t love it.
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This is a trdelnik—delicious batter wrapped around a stick and cooked over coals. They’re then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. This one was also filled with Nutella. This was our favourite one. Yes. We tried a few. This one had quite thin batter. So delicious.

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