Friday, April 17, 2009

Frigid Prague

Freezing, windy, torrents of rain. This is some welcome back to Prague. It is more like déjà vu from our last trip here. The wind was so bad it was blowing those oversized metal V stand signs with the patio umbrellas that the tour operators use across the squares. If you are aiming at attracting tourists, hitting them with your sign is not the best approach.

Prague has a similar set up to Budapest. A river runs through it, though not the Danube. Most of the city is on one side, the major castle area is on the other. Prague seems much larger than Budapest, yet both have three metro lines, a number of trams and bus lines.

Thinking we were overdressing by carting along coats, we were not only grateful, but just as pleased we had sweatshirts to wear over our shirts. Waders would have been helpful. This was no weather for Crocs, not the style I was wearing with the little portholes under the upper part. These were little breaks in the dam for water to flood my socks.

The major castle area, I would guess is about the size of the whole castle district in Budapest. That Czech royalty really liked to spread out. While we were waiting for some famous library to reopen after lunch, we escaped the cold by running into the Miniature Museum. The caretaker was not at all friendly until we spilled the money for entry on the counter. If it were not so damn cold, I would have walked out, but hey, someone has to pay his heating bill and defrost our bones. Where else can you see a horseshoe and a golden lock on a flea’s leg? Most of the exhibits had to be viewed through a microscope; others were viewable with a high powered magnifying glass.

The library was interesting, run at one time by monks. It reminded me of the Pannonhalma Library in Hungary, but not as large or elegant.

We wandered the Jewish district deciding not to return to any of the synagogues or remembrances. Did it the last time.

At our host, Jan’s suggestion, we booked tickets to see the theater production “Aspects of Alice” at the Black Light Theater. Described as being based on Alice in Wonderland taking up where Carroll left off, Alice floats through the air through historic sites in Prague. Lewis Carroll must be doing back flips in his grave. This was among the worst shows ever, so much so that Ron suggested we walk out. Ron who can tolerate anything had had enough ten minutes after the second act started, when we realized it was no better than the first.

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