Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Praha - Prague


Sean and I hadn't actually figured out our route home from Oslo when we left Barcelona. It just didn't seem as important as getting to Oslo. Which we did. So, found this airline, Wizz Air (I know, I know), that would fly from Oslo->(Prague or Gdansk)->Barcelona. We opted for Prague.

The heat and the mad crush of tourists were a foreshadowing of what awaited us back in Barcelona, we just didn't know it yet. Prague as a city is ridiculously beautiful. The curving Vltava River, bridges galore, beautiful architecture and winding streets with a Castle to boot. We bought a pocket guide in the airport on our way out of Norway, and read it on the flight there. Well, I did. It did one major thing - led us to the Cubist Cafe where we had wildly delicious food on a balcony above the throngs, and in a relatively smoke-free atmosphere. After the blandness of Spanish food, the horseradish and mustard felt heaven-sent.

The Art Nouveau decorative action on the buildings in Prague is stunning. Truly beautiful. The fact that it has survived all the Wars, has been maintained and preserved is also stunning. It made walking safely a challenge. Mostly for Sean because I kept stopping without warning or stumbling into him. Patient man.

The Vltava River was bustling, and we enjoyed the Charles bridge...from a distance, and really enjoyed strolling along it at night.

The history of Prague has intrigued me for a long time, mostly because of the very deep history in Physics associated with the city. It also has an incredibly rich (and sad) Jewish history. One very hot day I visited the cemetery solo, and several of the synagogues in the old Jewish quarter. The grave of Rabbi Lowe was very moving.

Note the depth of the cemetery; street level versus the surface inside the cemetery. Sobering.

Our epic trip to the Castle will be the next post. OH TOURIST MAPS!

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