The tourist season is at its peak at the moment. To reflect the mix of visitors, Radio Prague is running a series of interviews with our 'tourist of the day'. On Tuesday, Rosie Johnston spoke with two Turkish visitors, who were discovering Prague on bikes. This time, she has interviewed three young Americans, who stopped in the Czech capital on their journey through Europe.
All this week, Radio Prague is running a series of interviews with its 'tourists of the day'. Yesterday, we had Andy from England, planning a quiet weekend away with his partner (or so he said). Today, we have two Turkish visitors, who are no strangers to Prague's nightclubs. They started by telling us what they were doing:
The tourist season here in Prague is at its peak at the moment. To reflect the mix of visitors to the Czech capital, Radio Prague is running a mini-series of interviews with our 'tourists of the day'. All this week, you can hear what foreign visitors make of the capital, its good and its bad points. In the first installment, I visited Wenceslas Square to talk to some new-arrivals:
Vitkov Hill, with its famous memorial and nine-metre tall equestrian statue of Hussite general Jan Zizka, is one of Prague's most instantly recognisable sites, an enormous mass of marble and granite overlooking the city. But it is also one of Prague's more enigmatic destinations, a memorial to statehood imbibed with unexpected layers of meaning following a number of dark twists in Czech history, the most damning being the Nazi occupation in 1939 and later, 1948's communist putsch.
There have been gloomy reports recently about the inability of the Czech tourism industry to attract visitors to Prague and elsewhere in the country for a second, third or any further visit. Despite this, and despite the fact that, as CNN's travel expert Richard Quest once put it, "getting a smile in Prague is a day's work", the city is busy with tourists all the same and the major sights of the city, like Charles Bridge and Mala Strana, are best to visit at four in the morning, in February.
This week in Mailbox: the village of Lidice in Central Bohemia, where is the Red River Valley mentioned in a song featured in SoundCzech, a restoration project discussed in Insight Central Europe, and what colour is the red squirrel? Listeners quoted: Elizabeth Funnekotter, Charles Chambers, Dick Derksen, Aloisie Krasny, Paul Kail.
In April the statue of Jan Hus dominating the Old Town Square was surrounded by scaffolding and covered up in large canvas to undergo vast renovation, which will take at least two years. In the meantime, tourists visiting the site will only see a huge advertisement in its place. This week the media reported that the scaffolding was causing damage to the statue: rust from the wire mesh, which holds the ad in place, has been dripping down, leaving orange stains on the stone.
In early 2006 the Prague Public Transit Company (Dopravni Podnik) added 12 slinky new trams designed by Porsche to its fleet. Though Czech stalwart Skoda still made the trams in its Pilsen factory, this was the first time it had handed over the design to somebody else. As such, there was a great deal of anticipation. But since their introduction the trams have created a mixed reaction here in Prague, and now the Public Transit Company is to make changes to the 12 existing trams. Jan Svoboda is a spokesperson for the Public Transit Company, he explains
Today in Mailbox we air your views on a possible toll system on Prague's Charles Bridge, ground squirrels in the capital, plans by the US to build a radar station in the Czech Republic - and is it Lesser Town or Mala Strana? Listeners quoted: Glenn White, Steve Wisensale, John Novotney and Peter Andrews.
The Prague city hall wants to limit some alternative tourist vehicles in the centre of Prague. According to Czech TV, the city hall considers the situation of tourist transport in Prague's historic centre to be "chaotic" and is planning to introduce regulation measures as well as specific routes for these vehicles. Visitors to Prague may now choose between horse-drawn carriages, vintage cars and even rickshaws to take them on sightseeing tours around the city.
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