An interesting note about the flooding of 2002. The water was almost as high as the bridge. There were just a few inches between the top of the arch and the water levels. The city was able to set up mobile walls on the near side, Old Town, but not on the far side, resulting in the flooding.
So, adventure in Prague. We start out our day by visiting a monastery with gorgeous libraries. Like many places in Europe, you can't take pictures inside. We are on the the same side of the city as the Cathedral. We wander back in that general director to visit the National Gallery. We arrive and it is closed. Our guide is very upset because he called the travel agency he works with to confirm our day before it started. They told him everything was good to go. Museums in Prague are closed on Mondays, so he was a little upset. We decide to move up our day and visit Petrin Hill early.
Petrin Hill is topped with a 5:1 scale model of the Eiffel Tower and provides great views of the city. I assumed we would take funicular up the hill, but I was mistaken. We walked up the hill. It was pretty steep most of the way, and my poor father was having a difficult time. To give you some idea of the distance. The real Eiffel Tower could fit in the space between top of the replica Eiffel Tower and the bottom of the hill by the river. We were already partly up the hill when we started, but it still a lot of distance to cover.
We come to an intersection of paths. We can continue our own path, which appears not as steep, or take a hard right and start walking up steps. Jan (pronounced yawn), our guide, decides to take us off both paths, through the woods. A supposed shortcut. We're walking on a worn path, but it is still in the woods. And then we get to this part of the path:
We are seriously walking on the narrow path between the wall and the Downward Slope of Death. And this was a pretty stable portion of the path. Jan is way in front, and I'm near the back making sure my parents and other participants don't fall to their death. I'm wondering what Jan is thinking, but I'm too far back to do anything about it. Jan finally decides that we need to turn around after talking to some local. So we have to go back the way we came, which is as dangerous if not more. Everyone rests and gives Jan a hard time. The good news is that everyone except my parents loved the detour. One guy even said it was worth the cost of admission all by itself. How many people can say they climbed a mountain in the Czech Republic?
When we are walking up the hill using stairs, Jan points out a gate in the wall. There used to be one on the other side of the stairs, where we were walking. FYI: it's not there anymore.
We finally arrive at the top, where Jan informs us that we are at the top of the hill, but the lift is out in the Eiffel Tower, and you have to climb all 300 steps to the top. I'm not sure why he didn't mention this before the climbing began, but oh well. My parents sat in the shade and ate ice cream. Me and the rest of the group climbed the tower.
It's not identical, but it's a nice replica. It was built in 1891 for the Prague Exposition. Here are some of the views from the top of tower.
This is a view of the river without Charles Bridge. This was from the first patio, and you couldn't even see Charles Bridge.
This is the view with Charles Bridge. What a gorgeous city!