Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tours or We're Really not Groupies

We're watching the clock in the Old Town Square.
This morning, my sister and I had to join our tour group in the dining area of the Hilton Old Town Prague. I have been pretty much marching to my own drummer since I left home and my sister has spent time every week getting my mum ready to move to her new home, so our needs for personal time are great. We had to line up for breakfast and then we were divided into groups. We are in the "Blue Group".

I have worked in schools for many years so I can appreciate the necessity for organization. I scanned my group looking for a kindred spirit and settled upon a lady who reminds me of my mother. We had a bus tour of the four main areas of Prague, the castle, the Charles Bridge, the Little Town, Wenceslas Square and then we did a walking tour with Renata, our guide. We all followed the blue lollipop like a group of more or less well-behaved children. Our guide was knowledgeable but I would have preferred to have more in-depth visits to fewer sites.

I am good for a few hours of group and a few hours of sightseeing before I get weary. Not physically tired, just weary. I don't want to look at any more Bohemian crystal, garnets or matrushka dolls. Tomorrow, we will not take any tours. I want to visit the Old Synagogue and the ghetto. I don't want to visit Terezenstadt because it would make me too sad. Did anyone read the book Hana's Suitcase, a true story that I read with students when I was teaching? The elderly sisters of Freud were also sent there. We are planning to attend a Mozart concert in the Municipal Hall and see the collection of Muchas posters that are on display from the collection of Ivan Lendl.

My sister is more energetic than I am so we have gone our separate ways for the afternoon. In working out a balance between group and individual activities, we can enjoy this new adventure.

2 comments:

  1. How lovely for you. I don't think of Prague immediately as a tour destination, but I know it's lovely and there is much to see there. So glad the two of you enjoyed it. I'm certain I would avoid some of the most vivid reminders of atrocities as well. Especially when there are Muchas posters to be seen and Mozart to be heard! And I know the food has to be amazing. Yummm.

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  2. I'd have a tough time with us, like you. While it's true that the tour format can make some aspects of travel easier and give you access to sites you might not otherwise have, I get impatient and/or weary. I think it's worse when you are, yourself, a good teacher -- it's often extra frustrating to see the improvements that could be made in group management and engagement.
    Sounds as if you and your sister are pretty smart, though, about taking what you can from this experience and exerting your own wills to shape the vacation that suits you.

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