posted on Saturday, November 20, 2010

Prague Visit

It was about time to visit Prague, a city that has always been recommended and with the bonus attraction of yet another Tommy's concert, the ninth this year! In spite of four cold and pretty cloudy november days, from the first stroll around the town centre after leaving our bags at the hotel all the charm of Prague was always on display. The buzzing central square with the clock tower, immaculately well restored and elegant buildings and churches all around were the first sights to take in. It was soon time for my favourite past time, food. The first taste of czech food was a large plate of beef goulash with the ever present knedlicky ( kind of dumplings ) and vegetables. We also tried some tasty assortments of boiled meats all well completed by one of the country's main pride, beer. Our self made tour started with the visit of Josefov the old Jewish quarter and ghetto. Here were some of the most interesting synagogues as well as some exhibition on the tragic events and persecution that affected the sizable Jewish community living in Prague. Pretty gloomy start but still interesting to see how so mad man can sometimes be. The city might lack the great attractions of the most renowned world cities but like some of the best, it is full of character and each corner was a sight to behold. Music seemed to play a great part in the life of the city and we could see each night lots of churches, jazz bars and concert halls putting up events. Charles Bridge itself, one of the main attraction for tourists, was sometimes an open air concert with improvised jazz bands braving sub zero temperatures and chilly wind in the name of entertainment! On the hill across the bridge is the imposing castle that we visited one morning, a series of imposing royal palaces and government buildings built around the magnificent Saint Vitus cathedral over many centuries. Puppetry is another unique feature in the Czech Republic, a tradition that started in the middle ages and blossomed in the 19th century, often passed by a family from generation to generation. We enjoyed an entertaining version of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Marionette National Theatre. The last evening was Tommy's concert an amazing show as usual and as a opening act this time was Smokin' Joe Robinson one of Tommy's most inspired young talents. The last day we had lunch at U Fleků, the oldest pub in Czech opened for business in 1499! It was the best restaurant we visited and one of the most atmospheric taverns I have ever been into. As soon as you seat on the long table bench there comes something very alcoholic to get you in the mood with all the crowd and the accordion player and soon after big jars of beer start coming too... Beer comes in one type, the one produced by the house and food was great too. Good I was only flying back late that evening so had the afternoon to simmer down and let all that spirit evaporate!