CZ II – R I (that’s the icehockey world cup…)
Leaving Berlin was kinda tricky. I guess it’s that kind of town. We made our way via U-bahn and S-bahn to one place that WIKIHITCH had suggested. After half an hour and some confused waves we left, got back on the S-Bahn and tried to find the highway. When we found it there were cops telling us that we couldn’t hitchhikefrom the sliproad. We smiled, walked back, saw them leave then started thumbing. Two long hours later (after I’d been on my knees begging passing cars) we got our lift to Dresden.
Our driver rode an hour out of his way so that he could leave us on the right motoway, heading towards Praha/Prag. We hiked up the motorway, trying desperately to be very very small and not distracting, until we reached a rest area. We ran around every car and truck asking for a lift. It was getting late.
2 hours,and just one very easy to get ride later, everything was running super smooth, and we were in Prague. We dropped by my grandma’s house and met up with my cousin who proudly told me that the Czech Republic had made it to the Ice Hockey world cup final. Massive deal. Like us reaching the football World Cup. The match was to be screened in the Old Town Square, thousands were expected so we headed down…
Two massive screens, thousands of Czechs with flags, facepaint and beer. Such an electric atmosphere (if they could win it would be the fiorst time against Russia since 1995). It felt odd cause the Old Town Square is usually overrun by tourists but tonight they were not getting a look in. They were walking away wondering what was going on. We squeezed our way to the heart of the crowd.
The night after we wandered throuigh Prague’s empty streets asking ourselves where had all the people from the night before gone. But this night, the night of the Ice Hockey world cup, there were no such questions. The people of Prague had taken their old town. This is what it looked like when, against all odds, the Czech team won…
So we followed the crowd as it streamed out of the square towards the Metro and Wenceslas Sq (big historic square). At the top of Wenceslas Sq the supporters began to party. Cars that were driving past were stopped, danced over and on, as the drivers honked in support.
There was the same excitement and tension of a riot but there was noone to riot against. Everyone wanted to celebrate – from the people shaking cars, to the people in cars being shaken, to the riot police whio loooked on trying not to smile.
You have to love national sports – everybody who was out on those streets was there with the same ridiculous love, pride in each other and their country. There’d be no riot tonight.
Okay – so now Deborah is here, and soon Claudia will arrive and there’s so much more to say and show on Prague – gorgeous, sleepy city that it is. But for now I leave you with Barbie. Yesterday we went to an exhibition of her last (first) fifty years. This is Barbie Number One – her skin went from tan to white because of chemicals they used in its (her) making… pretty freiky
and here she is on her travels… next stop Budapest?