Saturday, September 27, 2008


I have finally got the email on the Blackberry working again. I don't know why it quit working, but that it ever works is pretty darn amazing.
The last couple of days it was overcast and cool with occasional sprinkles. The good thing about living in Bellingham is that the grey weather really doesn't bother me that much. It is a great time to be indoors and look at museums and sit and drink pivo (beer) in small little cafes. The theme for this trip has been Mucha, in fact his pretense is everywhere if one takes a peak. On Wednesday, we visited the hotel Europa which was designed by Mucha. It is in Wenceslas Square where the velvet revolution occurred (the end of Communism). Of course we had to have some hot chocolate to warm us up from the rain. That evening we had to (literally) pork out on the traditional Bohemian meal of sausages, ham, duck, dumpings and cabbage. Tasty, but heavy on the arteries. Afterwards we found an ultra-trendy bar playing Brazilian music.
We continued the Mucha theme with a visit to the Mucha museum and lunch in The Obecni dum. Lunch was basic but the building was just fantastic, with every detail designed by Mucha and his cohorts. One thing I am reminded about when I am here is how much nice architecture and design really makes a place nicer to be in.
In the afternoon we visited the Jewish quarter. This section was razed in the late 1800s. A pricey $30 ticket allows you to visit the various sites. Interesting, but probably not the highlight of Prague. Now we are getting in the traveling gig. Next stop is an espresso, cake stop to rejuvenate our tired feet and minds. We head down to the main square to check out the tower and clock, damn, it is starting to rain again so we duck back into the hotel to figure out our dinner plans. There is a section just north of the old quarter that caters to a more Czech crowd. There are a ton of ethnic eateries around: Argentina, Italian, Ethiopian, Thai, French, Afghani, really whatever you want to eat. Since one can only eat so much sausages and beer, we pick an Italian place that is full of Italians having a good time. The wine is Italian and slightly cheaper than what we would pay at home. As usual, the Italian, even in here is better than what we get at home.
Another thing that is cool about Prauge is that it is a very safe city. You can wander all over the old city and be safe. You even see little old ladies out and about walking their dogs. So, of course, we had to do some evening walking. The goal, as always, was to find a cool pub to hang out in. Our walk took us out to the river with awesome views of the Prague castle all lit up at night. We also walked along the river to the famous Charles bridge, pleasantly devoid of the hordes of tourist that show up in the day. The pub that we picked was called O'Che's (named after Che himself, get it). A quick beer there and off to another spot. This was another Irish pub (in keeping with Kathy's Irish pub theme). After visiting so many sites, the deep philosophical discussion centered on the loss of the metaphor of religion, in favor of the dogma. Hmm, somehow it is now 1:30 in the morning.

Okay, we are moving slow this morning, but the sun is out and is just awesome. After breakfast at the hotel we head out for the local tram. The tram takes us to the very top of the hill where we arrive at the monastery, which, closes for lunch right when we arrive. No worries, like all true great abbeys they brew beer on the premises and we go ahead and order lunch. I have a nice yeasty dark beer with ... Sausages and Kathy goes for the wine and some chicken thing. Now for a little trip to the library and then head downhill to the castle. The castle and cathedral are amazing. I am glad that we waited for nice weather to tour the grounds. The most impressive is the Cathedral. With its multi-hued colors splashing against the columns and floor, it makes and impressive site. And don't forget the Mucha window. We wandered around the sites for a bit, then found a cafe perched over the vineyard (with a killer view), for the obligatory cake and espresso. The walk back took us back down to the water. We saw a wedding couple out with their photographer getting all of those picture perfect Prague wedding photos. Her dress was interesting with a white fur shawl and a plunging neck line. We cross over the Charles bridge, which was so packed with tourists that you could barely move. By this time we have been on our feet for about six hours and my feet are killing me. Time for a little relaxation before heading out again.
For dinner we pick a Belgium place that flies in mussels. The wait staff was pretty aggressive trying to push appetizers on us and directing us to the lobster plate. Good food though. Afterwards we went back to the main square and got a table outside by the clock under a heat and watched people for a couple of hours. Damn, it is 1 am again.
It is sunny outside again and I am up early to see the Castle and the bridge when the sun comes up. Sunrise is about 7:30 and the only people out are the street cleaners. There is a small army of people sweeping the streets and getting everything tidy for the day. The sun on the Castle is gorgeous and the Charles bridge is devoid of people, vendors, and pick pockets. I highly recommend this early morning trip. Next, back to the hotel, eat, pack and catch the train back to Dresden.

1 comment:

Rochelle said...

Can't wait to see the pictures!