A ferry across the Vltava

Ferry boat moored at the ferry terminal at Podbaba © Ricky Yates

I’ve written previously about the wonderful integrated public transport system here in Prague. It consists of buses, trams and the metro. They do all interconnect and allow access to every part of the city. Not only are services frequent and reliable, unlike in the UK, they don’t stop functioning as soon as it snows!

And travel on the whole system is so remarkably cheap. Sybille and I both buy an annual season ticket. The Chaplaincy kindly pay for mine. Each annual season ticket costs 4750 Kc which at current exchange rates is about £168.00. A combination of this great value, together with the extreme winter weather which has only recently finally relented, may explain why I haven’t put petrol in my car since December 2009!

Ferry crossing the Vltava © Ricky Yates

However, not only does the integrated public transport system include buses, trams and the metro, it also includes three little passenger ferries across the River Vltava. Two of these lie relatively close to where we live and help overcome the fact that there is no road bridge across the river after Most Baríkádníku just north of the city centre at Holešovice, until the town of Kralupy, many kilometres further north of Prague.

One ferry terminus on our side of the River Vltava, is just a short walk or two stops on the bus from the Chaplaincy flat. It goes across to Podhori on the other side from where it is only a further short walk to one of Sybille’s favourite places to visit – Prague Zoo. Last month, I crossed to river on the ferry and caught the connecting bus on the other side, in order to travel on to the hospital in Bohnice to make a pastoral visit to one of the congregation. The journey took no more than twenty minutes. Not using the ferry, it would have taken nearly an hour.

Despite being rather small, not only are foot passenger transported across the river by ferry, but also bicycles and children in pushchairs and buggies.

Ferry crosing the Vltava, seen from the Baba ridge with the paneláks of Bohnice on the opposite hillside © Ricky Yates

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