There are many reasons to love summer in Prague. It’s an excuse to explore the city’s great parks, have a wander along the river or just chill out in a beer garden.
However, there’s one major downer besides the influx in tourists – and let’s face it, there’s no avoiding them in central Prague whatever the time of year.
I’m starting to associate summer in Prague more with the smell of tar than the taste of a cold pint. Everywhere I turn my ears are assaulted by the racket of a pneumatic drill or the chugging of a digger.
I understand that repairs need to made to keep the roads maintained. I know I’d soon be complaining if every stretch of highway was full of potholes which turned into mini lakes during the annual snow melt.
Girl In Czechland pauses to take a deep breath.
What exactly is going on with the trams?
Yes, I understand that there must be diversions. I’m partial to a diversion or two myself as readers of this blog will attest. Anyway, what’s the point of giving a tram the same number when half of its route is completely different? Isn’t that just bound to cause confusion?
Girl In Czechland continues deep breathing exercises.
I haven’t finished. Then there’s the issue of the metamorphosing trams. They aren’t mysteriously turning into beetles - that’s a Kafka reference you ignoramuses – but changing their identity seconds before slamming their doors shut.
I was standing at Delnicka one Saturday afternoon. Having consulted with the timetables on display I realised that I needed to take tram 24 instead of the now defunct tram 3 in order to get to my destination. So far, so good.
As I was patiently waiting I noticed a tram on the horizon. Number 14 was approaching the stop.
However, this was obviously of no use to me, right? Wrong. Just as the passengers were getting off and I was returning to reading my novel (Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – those terrible Tudors) the tram magically become number 24!
Of course by the time I realised this, the doors had closed with a thud and I had to wait another fifteen minutes in the blazing heat until the next 14/24 appeared.
Don’t get me wrong: summer in Prague is still fantastic. The tram issue is just a very small fly in the proverbial ointment. However, public transport chaos is something I associate with the vast metropolis of London. Can’t something be done to make things less confusing?
Anyway, here’s a picture of some people peering into a hole in the road. Yes, I am that desperate for material.