Spring is here! It has nothing to do with the weather, although it is warm enough today for me to wear shorts. There are other signs, the subtle indicators that the season has changed. I was too wide-eyed last year to recognize the signs for what they were, but now I am a savvy veteran of the seasons.
It is road destruction season. Some bureaucrat in an anonymous building somewhere in the city pushed a button on his desk and thus did spring begin. Across the city piles of stones have appeared next to the patches of sand that used to be sidewalks. Entire streets have been dug up, creating larger piles of larger stones. Trams are diverted from their normal courses while crews stand around watching one guy with an arc welder work on the tracks.
I walked through downtown and the number of tourists has jumped dramatically in the last week, as well. Old Cars, tops down, slowly move through the crowds while tourists in the back seat snap photos. Crowds gather on the hour for the crushing disappointment that is the astronomical clock. Even in Strašnice you will find befuddled-looking folks holding maps of the city. There’s not much to see out in the Haunted City, but there they are. Some of the tourist traffic may be related to Easter holidays; we’ll see if it keeps up.
And here and there the signs are appearing in the windows of bars and pubs: Garden Open. Once more beer is available outdoors, and the city celebrates another winter endured, even as they turn a wary eye toward the river. The water level is high and still rising, and there’s a lot of snow in the mountains this year.