Among my many firsts in Europe was riding the subway. I was expecting the subways to be dirty, stinky, and scary. I guess I've seen too many movies depicting subways in NYC as being dark dirty pits where the dregs of humanity hang out. Even though Jackie told me they were fine, that's kind of what I was expecting. Despite my less than stellar expectations I was excited by the thought of riding the subways.
I've mentioned how neat and clean Vienna was...the subways there were no exception. Very orderly. People got on and off in an oderly fashion, and kept to themselves. If an elderly person got on and didn't have a seat, younger people would immediately 0ffer up their seat. (They did this on the trams in Poland too). Not too much difference in Prague, although the subways were more crowded there.
I never once got a creepy feeling or saw anyone who I'd deem a "dreg of humanity" in either city and we were on the subway late many nights.
Only twice were we approached for money. Once by a drunk guy and again by some teenage girls who were dressed in more expensive clothes than we were. They came up and said something to us (I think we were in Vienna and I'm pretty sure they were speaking German)which we didn't understand...then in giggly broken English they said "Do you have any money to give us?" Sure! Take our hard earned money, girls! Go back to the mall and buy more Chuck Taylors and chunky plastic 80's jewelry! Are you kidding me? Sheesh.We laughed about it, of course.
But yeah, I completely was taken in by the whole subway experience. I got a kick out of not only the ease of getting from point A to point B quickly, but also...
- People watching. Lots of it.
- The rush of wind as the trains sped by.
- The atmosphere...very metropolitan and hurried.
- The lights, the colors and the noise.
- The way you could feel and hear the train coming before you could ever see it.
I only exaggerate slightly when I say the escalators in the subway stations in Vienna went straight down and traveled at approximately 172.8mph. You had to be fast to get on and off and if you have a problem w/heights DON'T look down!
Subway stop in Prague. Staromestska is where the Old Town Square is located.
I have no idea whose random European legs those are.
The trains speeding by made for really cool photos!
SO that's my experience with subways. I'm a fan. I wish my hometown had 'em. Of course if we did there would only be four stops...
Our crappy excuse for a mall
The folks riding would not budge from their seats for old folks and pregnant ladies...and they'd probably blast really bad country-pop music and it would most likely smell like cigarettes and Old Spice. blech. I've changed my mind. I don't wish my hometown had subways.