I AM ON THE TRAIN and on the way to meet up with someone I don’t even know. Overwhelmed and a bit tired I finally make the 10 min trip to Wenceslas Square. Located in the heart of Prague where the street vendors are set up long the side of the road and the buildings are narrow but tower over you there stands a grande statue of Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. This is where I am to meet my guide for the day.
It’s still early, not even 8 am yet. The streets are quiet with little to no pedestrian traffic. The only vehicles are vendors resupplying shops and restaurants. I feel slightly alone as I walk the square while checking my phone every 3 seconds in hopes that Vladimir would respond to my text that I sent an hour before, telling him I was lost and late.
In my head I was pretty sure he moved onto another client or something else to do and when I got back to the apartment, I would relieve a nasty email telling me that I had wasted his time. Standing alone in the ancient square wondering what I would do if he doesn’t show. Only knowing what he looked like from his Instagram photos and website I grew more nervous. What if he doesn’t recognize me or I him? He could be right next to me and I wouldn’t know it. Will he be angry that I am an hour late? I don’t blame him for not meeting me, I am the worst client ever. Thoughts race.
Standing there looking up at the McDonald’s that faces the square and thinking how odd it was to see a McDonald’s in such a grande, ornate and old building; I make eye contact with this guy. He is striding towards me, blonde hair pulled back, and a backpack. In a slow sweet accent he says, “Liz?”…swoon.
Still staring I say yes, are you Vladimir? This is him. My nerves take charge and I begin to ramble about being lost, apologizing more than I should and tell him he can cancel the appointment since I am late. Politely listening to my rambling, and probably not getting half of it as I was talking really fast and I have slight southern accent, he told me that he would keep the appointment. This tour is like any other I have ever had. Vladimir is not only your personal tour guide he is your personal photographer. At historic landmarks you will pose. As a photographer, I like to be behind the camera. I had to get use to someone else taking my photos.
We begin the day straight away, with a photo in from of the statue. Starting at the square he tells me about St. Wenceslas and the squares history, we move onto a mall where public art is displayed and from there we see ALL of Prague. When I say ALL of Prague, I mean everything you can see in 6 hours because that is how long this amazing tour was.
Past the original city gates, over the Charles Bridge where we had it all to ourselves, to Old Town Square to look at the Astronomical Clock, before it was dotted with tourist and performers, passing under the shadow of Prague Castle, and even stopping for a bite to eat. Art, culture, and history…this city has it all.
Hours later we stop for lunch at a roof top restaurant where the views could not be beat. Seeing the city with Vladimir was probably one of the best things I have ever done. Having someone who knows the area, history, and can tell you what to do and what not do is worth every penny. Seeing Prague before the city wakes up is simply amazing.
Vladimir and I part ways as friends. He tells me that he will be giving a bike tour in a few days and for me to message him if I am interest. Exhausted, with aching muscles but knowing the metro…I head back to my apartment in Krizikova.
(Oh and I wasn’t killed. Refer to previous post and my anxiety 🙂 Also, Vladimir will most likely read this. Thanks for your kindness, patients, and hospitality. Can’t wait to come back to Prague)
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