Lost in the Dark Carnival of Prague

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Most people don’t know that My Fair Lady’s famous song “The Rain in Spain” was based on a traditional Czech folk song. In “Dést! Dést! Dést!” a gloomy witch-rat named Borsky sang to a cheese maker about how the rain in Prague falls mainly on the bog. The bogs have long been drained and paved with cobblestones, but the legacy of this song lives on in the sad drizzle that fell steadily over the weekend.

On Saturday, I took a six mile stroll north towards the Prague Botanical Gardens in the Troja neighborhood north of the Vltava River. Along the way, I stumbled upon the highlight of my stay: an empty carnival in the field behind Tesla Stadium. In this “Dark Carnival”, like in Left 4 Dead 2, I imagined that zombies would swarm at any moment.

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Either a giant saint or a miniature Christ.
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Aftermarket elevator goes up the middle.
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Modern Czech electronics.
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Oceans 15.
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An empty room.
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We had a headache THIS big.
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March of the penguins.
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Big baby butts don’t lie.
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Battered wall.
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A walkway along the river smelled of pee and river smell.
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Dingy.
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Wall of architecture.
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A utilitarian bridge over a troubled canal.
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Keep out of my dirty canal.
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Clock tower’s door to nowhere.
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Happy hallway.
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Czech breakfast.
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Anikan takes a stroll.
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It’s nice to have all my ducks in a row. Also, I know these aren’t ducks.
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The walking nun passes by menu of temptation.
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Bending decks.
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The old Prague concert hall.
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Welders.
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A canal by the Charles Bridge.
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A calling card.
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A hallway to everywhere.
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Asian dart master.
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Minibar.
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Old soundstage.
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Exit, stage left even.
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The hotel for dogs has a lot of vacancies.
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Scribble door.
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Train tracks to happy town.
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The haunted woods of Stromovka Park.
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This haunted house is even scary outside.

Ferris wheel’s day off.
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9021 oh no!!!!
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Intense popcorn lady says “You buy my corn now, kiddo.”
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Wrapped games.
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Bumper cars.
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Kelly and David have the mumps.
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Ravaged electrical boxes.
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The sign of the old coaster.
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Can you spot the zombies?
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Asteroids.
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Horse gym.
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Bridge into Troja.
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Chocolate banana slug.
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Hedge.
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Prague’s famous spewing maiden.
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Troja Castle.
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Vineyards through a gate.
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Inside the steaming botanical gardens.
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Another view.
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Shrine to a fallen cyclist.
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No handicap access.
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Mechanic’s lair.
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Tourist clock.
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My ancestors went to the Jewish Ghetto and all they got was this lousy umbrella.
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Sitting nook.
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Drooping chain link.
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Subtle roof decoration.
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Useless roses in front of rubbed out plaque.

By the early afternoon I was wet and ready to head home. I hiked across Troja to the tram station, waving the 112 buses away. I wasn’t in a bus taking mood. It seemed too easy.

Arriving back at the luxury hotel, I dried off my camera, oiled the pump shottie and hung my dank Armani suit in the closet. Outside, the rain continued to plink against the clay tiles of the roof. My head was feverish, and I had some peanuts to eat.

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