While in Prague, Sydney had the opportunity to go to school with Nate from our hosts Global Nomad Family. Jason and I were suddenly faced with a childfree day. Hmm…so much to see and so little time. What to do? So after dropping Sydney off at school, we wandered over to the Old Town Square for a pick me up coffee and to figure out what we were going to do with our free day. Sipping our coffee and consulting our trusty guidebook we decided that the Communist Museum looked intriguing and would probably not be interesting to Sydney. But since we were already in the Old Town Square, we decided we at least aught to stay until the Astronomical Clock chimed on the hour.
As the hour came near and after enjoying an overpriced café latté, we ambled over to the clock. We happened to place ourselves near a tour group and a guide wearing a bright green t-shirt. The guide was actually speaking English. Listening in we found the guide to be humorous, while providing some interesting history about the clock. Did you know that just below the clock is the list of approved child names still used today for the Czech Republic? Any child born in the Czech Republic must be named from that list. After the clock chimed on the hour and Death did his little dance, the guide announced that he was providing a free walking tour of Prague. So we decided to join the group just for a ½ hour and then we would depart for the Communist Museum.
However, after the ½ hour we found it was just too interesting to leave and decided to stay for the rest of the tour. I am so glad that we stayed, as we got to see many of the famous sites of Prague such as the Powder Tower, Tyne Church and the Jewish Quarter and we learned a little history along the way. For example, the previous day Jason had pointed out a sculpture that looked like a giant Metronome on top of a hill. We were baffled by it. During our walking tour, the guide verified that it was indeed it was a giant metronome. Previously, a statue of Stalin stood atop that hill, which was blown up in 1962. He explained that the metronome was placed there to replace the statue of Stalin after the fall of Communism in 1989. It symbolizes the time lost under Communism and how the Czech Republic is now springing toward the future. Wow! This is probably something I would not have learned if I had not gone on the walking tour.
You may be wondering was the free walking tour really free? Yes, it really was free. The guide Keith asked for a tip at the end but only if we felt like he had done a good job. We did give him a tip, because we enjoyed the walking tour so much and we came away with a better understanding of the history of the city.
So, if you are interested in learning a little about the city of Prague this is a great low cost option. The free walking tour meets at the Astronomical Clock every day at 10 am rain or shine and lasts for about 2 ½ hours. There is also another free walking tour about Prague Castle that leaves from the Astronomical Clock at 2 pm daily. If you take the opportunity to do the free walking tour, you will not be disappointed.