|On top of Vitkov Hill during our Context Walk|
After a fantastic first experience with Context in Berlin, we couldn't wait to do another walk and Prague happens to be 1 of the 21 cities where they offer their services. I debated back and forth between 2 walks but eventually decided on "From Iron Curtain to Velvet Revolution, a Tour of Communist Prague."
We lucked out again – only one other man joined us on this tour and he was actually shadowing our docent as he decided if he wanted to join Context. Our docent was born in Russia although he spent over 20 years in the United States and the other man with us was born and raised in Prague, currently teaching at a University in the city. It was quite interesting to hear the history as well as 2 different perspectives on it.
Of course, we learned a lot about communism in Prague and Czechoslovakia but what is most interesting to me were the little insights, things we most likely would never have known without the walk. For example, as we walked to Vitkov hill we took a large tunnel to the other side which was built as a bomb shelter during the Cold War scare. The underground metro system as well as several other sites are still maintained as bomb shelters to this day, stocked with emergency supplies, electricity and pressurized to accommodate 40% of the population just in case bombs start dropping. In fact, the warning sirens still ring on the first Wednesday of the month.
As we neared the end of our walk, our docent suggested we stopped for a cup of coffee and as we weren't pressed for time, we graciously accepted. We ended up chatting about all sorts of things, eventually leaving to finish off our itinerary an hour and a half over our scheduled time.
For the second time, our Context walk was one of the highlights of our trip and I only wished I would have booked both walks.