What do you do when it’s raining?

I just got back from Prague and I may have jinxed the weather when in my last post I said I’d be sitting in the sun while you read it. Of the 5 days I was in this beautiful city, it rained long and hard for 2.

“Ah it’s just rain! I’m not going to let a bit of water ruin my trip,” I thought, so I went out in the pouring rain in my raincoat, with an umbrella, to explore the city.

The rain was so hard, you could hardly see anything; it was cold and windy, so my fingers didn’t take long to get numb and my umbrella didn’t last 5 minutes; I was not going to even try to take my map out; there was no one on the road to ask directions. So I walked. And walked. And walked.

After about an hour of walking, absolutely drenched and shivering, hoping to find a little cute cafe, I stopped at what looked like a local cool place, which it was. However, I was the only person in there, and the bar lady didn’t speak a word of English. So I sat there. Tried to talk. Ordered a coffee. Read a little. Tried to talk again. Then just felt very alone and lost. I had strayed from the center whilst braving the rain. My map was soggy and the rain showed no signs of stopping. So an hour later, I head out again. I was still wet, but not shivering and felt strong enough to head out again.

Just wanting to find any sign of life, I somehow hit a tourist patch — and wow, never have I felt so good entering a warm, colorful souvenir shop. So after 3 hours of going in and out of (otherwise dreaded) souvenir shops, I headed away from the crowds to find another cafe. I found a small one with a fireplace! That’s where I spent the rest of the afternoon. Dripping wet and alone.

Although those two rainy days weren’t horrible, I felt like I lost two days of experiencing Prague. I’m happy that I stepped out both days, but I didn’t accomplish much. Nothing story-telling happened; I didn’t meet anybody. I went to the Museum of Torture Instruments, and a Synagogue. What else can you do when it rains? I suppose I could have gone to more museums and Synagogues.

What do you do when you decide to travel and get hit by bad weather?

Posted by | Comments Off on What do you do when it’s raining?  | April 29, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

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