Bath could learn a great deal from Prague
Earlier this month my wife and I spent four glorious days in Prague and were amazed at how clean and efficient it was.
We spent our time in the historic centre and travelled to and from our excellent hotel, the Angelis by tram, a service that puts our buses in Bath to shame. We used the numbers 12 and 20 to go back and forth to Charles Bridge and the city's splendid Petrin Observation Tower.
The excellent tram system in Prague operates all day and night and if you miss one, another comes along within five minutes. The trams, old and new are incredibly efficient so we had no need to use the buses or Metro.
There is no shortage of public toilets in Prague and all are manned by a male or female operative, who takes just a few pence in exchange for a spotless facility. Eating out was an absolute delight and we kept to restaurants and bistros serving traditional Czechoslovakian food, finding all of them welcoming and extremely cheap.
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The streets in the old quarter are paved with stone setts, making walking somewhat tedious but keeping motorised traffic to relatively safe speeds without having to resort to ugly traffic calming humps and chicanes and thereby detracting from the sheer beauty of Prague's vast array of historic buildings.
A new form of transport has been recently introduced to Prague in the form of two wheeled electric Segways which look incredibly unstable to the novice but I am assured that they are extremely safe if rules are followed.
In Prague you can hop on a Segway and scoot across the Vitava River, past the magnificent National Theatre, on to the Old Jewish Quarter and then whir and weave your way to breathtaking Prague Castle. If, on the other hand, you seek a more leisurely way to see this beautifully preserved eastern European jewel, then a graceful antique carriage, with two-in-hand, will transport you through the 'cobbled' streets or, better still, you can hop aboard a restored 1932 Model-A Ford, 1934 Praga tourer, 1936 Skoda or equally vintage Laurin & Klement and be chauffeur driven round Prague in style.
Yes, there a few problems with drugs, drunks and graffiti but the streets are washed on a daily basis and there is a visible police presence, which my wife and I found extremely reassuring.
Bath can learn much from Prague and my wife will be returning there in due course.
BRYAN CHALKER Claverton Down Bath