From metropolis to ghost town
During the week, Prague is increasingly a city clogged full of cars. Certain roads in the centre, such as the horrendous multi-laned artery known as Legerová near Prague’s Muzeum have become little more than noisy, polluted, car-choked hellholes in which pedestrians – that’s human beings not in cars to you and me - are pretty secondary to the endless tooting, speeding and often screaming motorists. There’s been talk of doing something about these traffic levels – perhaps tolls for drivers entering the centre – but before the usual “isn’t that a form of communist era control?” debates are settled, many years will likely pass, with very little done to actually reduce levels of traffic and pollution. Tough luck, I guess.
The fact that many Czechs like to leave the capital, visiting their “chatas” (cottages) or going trekking in the countryside is taken as a given. It certainly sounds very romantic, although one wonders how true it really is. Could literally tens of thousands of people be leaving the capital every weekend? And where do all those cars go? Of course, every city enjoys greater calm over the weekends, but the shift in Prague is particularly strong. For anyone that has to put up with the noise and pollution of busy Prague streets, weekends are quite literally, a breath of fresh air.