A Helping Hand in Prague

In 2013 Europe was having an epic flood. After a weekend of a reported 10 inches of rain, we were fortunate to have held on to a car with a tire issue. Having rented the car in Paris, and receiving a nail in the tire in La Spezia, Italy, I drove on with this slow leak, having to put air in it every day. Yes, this was not the brightest idea, but the car rental wanted 800 euro to fix the issue since we were in a different country than where we started. The rain had stopped but so had the trains out of Austria to Prague in the Czech Republic, three weeks after renting the car. The interstate was being built so the GPS kept taking us to the exits, but only after making us turn off the main two lane road. After three deviations I stopped listening to it, and stayed on course with our paper map to the capital city. We were in luck as was Prague, the flood walls were up around the low lying part of town along the river. Our hotel, the Hotel At The Three Ostriches overlooked the Charles Bridge. Read the history of the hotel and bridge in the link. http://www.hotelsprague.cz/three-ostriches_e.php The bridge was closed because of the flood waters of the Vltava. There is a history of the 700 yr old bridge falling in places due to flood waters, so the fire department had a crane on the bridge to pull away any debris if caught. No pedestrians were allowed on the bridge. Our room overlooked the beginning of the old town side. The National guard was out as were the police from other towns to be support during damage control for the flood.

Now remember that tire issue? The streets in Prague are cobblestone. I had parked the car in front of the hotel and missed a day of putting air in the tire. The receptionist informed me of the flat. So I walked over to a firefighter to explain my dilemma, and to plea as a fellow firefighter, with the hope he might be able to help. We exchanged phone numbers, and he said he would text me when he had an answer. Two hours later he came in a van with a police officer, who had an air compressor. They hooked it to their battery and put air in the tire. After I thanked them and they drove away, the receptionist who had been standing outside smoking said, “they usually never do something like that. You were very lucky.” We were and I was very thankful for their help.

Prague is a wonderful place to visit, even with a flood. The food is good. I had ostrich goulash with bacon dumplings at the hotel. The city was not destroyed during World War II, nor during the Soviet occupation. So the buildings stand as they always have. (Excused the quality of the pictures. They are mine but on an old computer).

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