We’ve been sticking our heads in at the various shops looking for a t-shirt that didn’t have some touristy saying on it like “I Love Prague” or “Praha Praha Praha Praha”, or even “Prague Drinking Team”. So we headed out looking for a Czech specific t-shirt or sweatshirt.
We decided to head across the bridge to one of the big shopping centers. It wasn’t a long walk considering what we’ve been doing. We watched swans and pigeons in the river and the spillway (one swan seemed do be drifting too close while cleaning but would always swim just enough to keep from going over).
We spotted one of the BMW scooters (the C1). It has roll bars and even a seatbelt.
A couple of blocks up we got to the shopping center. Rita checked out the shoes on the right. I went into the computer store. Unfortunately they didn’t have anything I couldn’t get in the states. Continuing in the center, we would stop in various places only to find Puma, Adidas, Nike, and other such branded material. Same in the electronic store. Rita spotted some Crocs and checked the price. $59! They had an iPad 1st gen wifi only 64 gig for $847, a bit more expensive than what I bought last year. Pretty sad actually.
The shopping center did have an interesting feature. It didn’t have escalators but a longer peoplemover.
We also spotted funny looking rabbits that were extra furry.
After going through the center (including the food court with KFC and McDonalds), we headed back out and down the block. We stopped in at a book store where we picked up a Czech – English book for children to learn English. I spotted a big stack of US license plates for sale with raised letters and numbers and even expiration stickers for Virginia, Hawaii, and Alabama weirdly enough. There may have been several more but I didn’t rummage. There must be a nice market for the plates here 🙂
After leaving, we headed on, Rita still looking for souvenirs. We found another street fair and she picked up a couple of trinkets. There were also miniature horses for kid rides (I suppose). I withdrew another thousand crowns and picked up one of the traditional treats. Imagine a piece of dough that’s rolled lengthwise then wrapped around a roller then rotated through hot oil (fried) and when done, rolled in cinnamon. It was similar to a hard roll. Ok but nothing to write home about (which I’m actually doing so there must be something 🙂 ).
When we were at the ATM, Rita asked the guy in line if he knew where we could get a Czech specific sweatshirt, like a sport team. He didn’t know for sure but suggested we try the Fanstore at the stadium.
Before we went though, Rita stopped in at a health food place and picked up a quick snack while I finished off the treat. We wandered through a street vendor area. It extended for a block but didn’t look like it. We didn’t find a good souvenir shirt so it was time to head to the stadium.
We hit the metro and headed for the green line. At almost the end, we got off and with Rita leading, we headed left. We walked in a construction area and next to The Ministry of Defense. A well guarded and enclosed area with lots of cameras. We made a left and headed up hill getting to a busy intersection where we checked the street signs with the map. And found we had been going the wrong way 🙂
Another left had us heading the correct way. And while walking, I noticed we were within seeing distance of The Cathedral of Vitus. I snapped a few pics of it and the Defense Ministry. Then I spotted the castle gardens. We went across the street and snapped pics there as well.
Back to the street, we returned to the metro and headed in the right direction. We walked by The Indian Embassy and a few shops before seeing the stadium.
I actually stopped to check out the flowers.
On the other side was the Fanshop. There was a sign on the front door that we couldn’t read and another with an arrow pointing back to the ticket office on the other end of the stadium. We looked around then headed up the street a few doors to another sport shop where the guy said the place shouldn’t be closed and that they may just be at lunch. We headed to the ticket office thinking there may be another outlet but didn’t find anything. Rita asked the gate guard and he just pointed us back to the store. Figuring they were open by now, we went back but the same signs were on the door. Rita gave the door a push and it opened. I found out later that the one sign meant it was open 🙂
We picked up a couple of shirts and I bought a couple of stickers for the bike.
We returned to the metro and headed to Mustek and Wenceslas Square for more shopping.
The street was quite busy with tourists. We walked up a ways until Rita spotted a shirt shop. While I waited outside, she hunted for a sweatshirt. Watching people was pretty interesting. I fended off the occasional homeless guy and watched the same locals go back and forth several times. They looked quite suspicious and later I spotted one in handcuffs being escorted away by a police officer. They were chatting amiably as well, as if it happened often.
I stopped in at a stand to get water, drank it while waiting, then got some yoghurt and finished it as well. Eventually Rita came out talking about a sweatshirt she wanted but wanted to wait and check other places before actually buying it.
We continued up the street then across to the island where the statue was. I snapped a few pics here, then we went back down the street. We were looking for a place for an early dinner. I recall seeing a gyro place up the street and while we looked for a restaurant, we went towards the gyro shop. Eventually we went with it, Rita getting a goulash like dish and me getting grilled chicken and fries. I didn’t see gyros being offered. We went upstairs to eat and found the balcony open so settled in for a relaxed meal.
I honestly expected better but was disappointed. Even the goulash we had a couple of days ago was better; fresh if uninspiring. The fries tasted like they’d been cooked first thing this morning in last night’s oil and the grilled chicken cooked for yesterday’s lunch, then put in the fridge and this morning heated on the potatoes and then both microwaved.
After we found a book shop. Rita was looking for a Prague picture book and I was still looking for a Czech written role playing book. The book store was narrow but went back quite a ways and there were two floors below the main floor and one up. We agreed to meet at the entrance in 20 minutes and headed out.
It was interesting to see the selection of books. There were lots of subjects with moderate selections in each. For example, sci-fi was a couple of book shelves but in barnes and noble, it consists of 8 or 10 shelves. I stumbled on a restricted section with a guard I assumed to be pornography (I can’t think of anything else that might require a guard) and a selection of Warhammer, WarCraft, and StarCraft fiction but nothing of what I wanted.
Back on the main floor, I ran into Rita then decided to ask a clerk about books. He said they were in the center downstairs and that I should ask for Michael. Seeing I had five minutes before our agreed upon meeting time, I zipped down and waited a few minutes for the clerk to finish with another customer. Unfortunately, he said they didn’t carry any. I suspect the first guy was thinking about the fiction books. I went back up and was outside right at 5:20. Rita thought we were meeting inside and finally came out 20 minutes later.
We ran across the memorials for Jan Palach and Jan Zajic. These two set themselves on fire when the Communists sent troops into the country in 1969.
From there we went to a shoe store where I sat (finally; my feet were really in pain) while Rita shopped for shoes.
That’s right! Rita shopped for shoes! I think she was just comparing as she’d found crocs for $56 at the shopping center earlier.
We were heading back up the street when we spotted someone using the fish tank. The fish nibble the dead skin off of your feet so you stick your feet in the tank to get nibbled.
Finally we headed back to the room. They still hadn’t fixed wifi in the room and in fact we had to sit in the bar area to get a connection.
Back in the room, we watch German TV where they were talking about plastic surgery and showing operations. Breast augmentation really looks painful, I must say.