Half asleep, I stared out the window of the tram, as I headed up the hill once again to Sidliste Barrandov. Barrandov is a neighborhood, but I’m not sure whad Sidliste means. Google doesn’t know. I take it to mean the end of the line, or maybe the roundhouse. It’s where several trams drive up to a circular track to turn around.
Anyway, there was a harbinger of something unusual at a large intersection where many trams come together. We stayed parked for an unusually long time. Finally, the tram started to move again, but stopped again at a suburban rail road station.
The tram driver made a long announcement, but I didn’t understand a single word, except Barrandov and something that sounded like bus. However, I noticed that all the passengers were getting off, so I did, too, meanwhile asking a couple of them if the bus behind us was also going to Barrandov. They nodded, so I got on. Hadn’t had a ride on a bus since I got here, so now was a good chance. If I didn’t make it to school, I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.
What an adventure! The bus traveled in the right direction, so I relaxed until we hit the freeway and the morning rush hour! Why ever do people live/work in cities??? We did pretty much drive along a parallel course with the tram way, so I stayed relaxed.
Suddenly, by the second from last tram stop, we encountered a huge crush of cars, police and.. a TV station van! Then, I knew. An accident. It was horrible – a tram had crashed into a bus which was using a street intersection that crosssed the tram tracks. The bus’s windows were missing, the whole of the bus was smashed in, right in the center.
Fortunately, our TEFL teacher told us he’d heard about the accident and no one was seriously injured. Truly a miracle. The trams didn’t start to move again for several hours – a record job, given the mess I’d seen.
So, there you have it – my adventure. I have called the proposals for light rail “A 19th century solution to a 20th century problem.” That maxim was certainly demonstrated here. Notice how flexible the buses were, being able to use roads used by all kinds of vehicles.
However, I’m guessing that the trams may have gone in during the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Those were wonderful days for what was then Czechoslovakia, when it was the wealthiest, most industrialized country in Central Europe.