Day 3 – The Smallest Lift Imaginable (Petrin Tower)

Before I start this post, I forgot to explain why I titled yesterdays post ‘Clocks’, perhaps due to the jetlag from a 100 minute flight? Anyway, the answer is that the majority of streets in the city centre have some resemblance of a clock so you are constantly reminded of the time…handy! It would be nice to have at least one of these public clocks near me in Bristol to save a trip to Bristol Parkway to check the time when out on my jollies…I don’t want much, honest?

Another happening that I omitted from the post yesterday was that, yet again, I was asked by a guy on the street if he could add me into his daily prays, this seems to be a ‘thing’ around this part of Europe as the same occurrence happened in Vienna a few years ago, either that or a guy is traveling around seeking out people to pray for?

Let’s talk about today now, as I said yesterday, the primary aim was to visit the Petrin Tower using the Prague Metro system. Luckily for us, Florenc station (which is fully accessible) is a mere 5 minute walk from the hotel! Now, Florenc sis an interchange station for both Line B (the one we wanted) and C and if you have used such transportation systems before, you will know that there is usually one lift for the overall station, not here! At interchange stations in Prague, you have different lifts for different lines, even have street signs directing you to the different lifts via an accessible route, why can’t we have a similar system in London, it’s simple yet effective. This continues all the way down onto the platform meaning that all you really need to know is the colour or letter of the line you want, if the stations are accessible and the destination. Prior to any trips that involve catching public transportation, I YouTube the actual transport whether that be a bus, metro and tram to see how accessible it is to get on and the size of the gap between said vehicle and the pavement or platform! As usual, Prague uses different rolling stock dependent upon the line, each with varying gaps between the train and the platform edge. In the case of Line B, Russian metro rolling stock are still in service after all these years (the country was previously within the Soviet Union…fun fact!) albeit a little updated with regards to technology and as such the gap is quite substantial meaning that Superbunny had to do some wheelies to get onboard (if you have a wheelchair that can’t do wheelies, you have no hope unfortunately).

An able bodied individual wanting to visit the Petrin Tower can simply hop onto the metro, get off and straight onto the Funicular Railway essentially taking you to the tower entrance, simple right? If only it was with muggins and Superbunny! Despite the popularity of the Petrin, neither the Funicular or the closest metro is accessible (even with a manual wheelchair…we did have a quick gander!). Now, the tower is on top of a decent sized hill overlooking the city…you can see where I’m going with this can’t you, much to the delight of my PAs, we had to effectively trek up the side of this thing, if it’s any consolation, the views were majestic (probably better than the tower!)…

An hours trek later, we finally reached the summit where the Petrin Tower stood in all it’s glory…

On first glance at this majestic structure, you would assume a large lift going up its core but no! Upon entering the base, we were informed that Superbunny was too wide for the lift hence they bought out a very dusty manual wheelchair for me to transfer into and the reason for this became evidently clear once the lift was presented! Words can’t describe how small this thing was, even a normal sized manual wheelchair had to be bumped and scraped to fill in! We were then informed that this box lift could only go to the second base hence these views had to suffice…

After the prospect dawned upon me that I could potentially get stuck in a lift the size of a box for eternity, we set upon finding an accessible restaurant which we know by now doesn’t tie well with Europe. Luckily, we discovered, what can only be described as Soviet styled apartment blocks with a restaurant benefits. Who knows what it was previously used for as the toilet doors seemed to be like chunky jail doors!

The plan for tomorrow was to go down to the hotel spa for the majority of the day day, however, as one PA discovered, they charge around £100 and I ain’t paying that! The only other thing remaining for us to do in Prague now is to visit the Žižkovská tower tomorrow afternoon before stocking up in preparation for the 4 hour train journey to Bratislava on Friday…hopefully this tower will have a decent lift!!!

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