Put together an itinerary, beginning with Prague; cross-referencing museums and boiling down it into searchable cliff notes – addresses, hours and days, permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. I do preliminary mapping of the city so I have a clue (My Maps in Google Maps is a God-send) of what’s near where. For a place that started out as a prolonged stopover en route to Russia, it’s turned into something far more interesting.
One of the handiest things I did on my last trip was to put the addresses of every venue (museums, churches, restaurants, ATMs, shopping) in an email to myself. When I needed to find a place, or show a taxi driver where to go, it was all right there on my iPhone – ready for a quick click and paste into on Google Maps. I’ve graduated into making my own Google Maps with this information preloaded and then downloaded, so I won’t waste all too valuable internet data whenever I am following the map on foot. So that’s done.
I made a preliminary day by day calendar, noting all state owned venues are closed Mondays; and grouping places by proximity.
The good news – I forgot how much I’d covered back in July – my hotel is paid, including breakfast all at a substantial discount. Tea kettle for my room is arranged, pick up and drop off at the airport set, half-day guide booked.
More good news – senior discounts are substantial, usually half price. And I qualify. W00T!
Better news – the main points of interest for me are all nearby; a 5-15 minute walk or same time via bus/tram from the hotel.
Delightful news – St Nicholas Church*, a lovely venue five minutes walk from my hotel, hosts frequent concerts. The majority of them showcase the organ, played by Herr Mozart himself back in the day,
and liturgical music., but on Thursdays they change it up. This a prime example of why I bother with all the research. My first week in Prague their program features the oboe, an instrument I’ve adored since the duck entered the musical story of Peter and Wolf. The second Thursday spotlights the trumpet. I can’t imagine a more soul stirring sound and a better location. The concerts start at 6pm, and even I can stay up that late. I bought my half price senior discount tickets on line, and printed them out. Boo yah.
The bad news – I compiled the last three years of weather from March 29-April 10 and it’s not pretty. Read it and weep.
2013 rain 3 days, snow 4 days, partly sunny 4 days. Temps 24-41
2014 rain 5 days, partly sunny 7 days. Temps 31-63
2015 rain 5 days, snow 3 days, partly sunny 3days. Temps 32-54
The odds favor fairly miserable, soggy, arctic conditions for this southern woman. There will be no strolling around the center of the old town, gazing at the centuries old architecture while demolishing a double scoop of gelato. Any amount of rain – and mostly it was marked as thunderstorms, not playful spring showers – and I’ll be tapping my iPhone for UBER. Local taxi are notoriously shady. Again, TGIU.
But to end on an upbeat note, I am disregarding the advice of Thoreau to “beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” I found the perfect coat online. Waterproof, warm, lightweight, and sleek. Take that, sleet and snowflakes!
*Named for that jolly old soul who symbolizes the corruption of Christmas from a holy occasion to gloves off, all out orgy of greed, but hey – it wasn’t his idea.