Monday, January 09, 2006
Observations on Prague
Outside Prague Castle
Prague is very olde worlde Europeon. How as a child I had always imagined central Europe would be like. It also looks like how I would imgine many fantasy medieval settings would be like -- brooding castle, winding streets, little lanes fulls of shops, cobblestoned streets and a dusting of snow. Old fashioned red and white trams trundle up and down.
It is easy to get lost. Each street winds to something more interesting -- another onion domed church, a former gateway, the theatre where DonGiovanni was first preformed -- minutes after Mozart completed it, a marionette shop with fantastical witches and wizards hanging in the window, another shop full of wooden toys. Many of jewellry shops are piled high with amber and Bohemian garnets. The amount of amber is staggering, particularly as it was so prized in ancient times.
We stayed at the Hotel Paris, a restored Art Nouveau hotel and a national landmark. It is a truly special hotel if you like Art nouveau as I do. The dining room is all mirrors, turquoise mosiac, bronze and light. In the evening a piano plays, and we kept stopping our conversations to guess the tune. The staff are attentive without being fawning. The food is delicious -- although the dumplings are best left on the side as they are pure stodge.