CZECH REPUBLIC: Check It Out
The longer that Marilynn and I stay at home, the harder it is to leave. Once we leave, it’s easy to stay away. Finally, we hit the road again, all geared-up for two months of winter travel around Eastern Europe with no set itinerary.
During winter “off- season,” most tourists are gone, and everything from hotel rooms to food is half-price. So, let’s bundle up and start checking out magnificence in the city of Prague.
After a sleepless overnight flight, we roam the cobblestone streets and sidewalks of Prague in a trance of awe and wonder. The art begins on the cubic ground level.
Snowflakes fly with the wind around stone sculpted saints, angels, warriors, gargoyles, and yet to be identified creatures clinging to Gothic buildings, spires, bridges, domes, and even the astronomical clock. Yes, overwhelming.
Prague, my friends, is an amazing walking city. Plan to get lost in the angled alleyways where the streets make no sense, especially while a plethora of art grabs your gaze.
Like the hidden passageways of a Moroccan Kasbah, front doors of countless cafes, restaurants, and hotels mean nothing until you step through the portal and discover a different world.
It’s time for some stick-to-your-ribs food, like roasted pig knee (call it knuckle if you prefer) with sauerkraut and horseradish, a Czech favorite.
Let’s walk across the Charles Bridge to visit the John Lennon Wall, followed by a cold one at the John Lennon Pub. All we need is love.
A one-hour train ride to the town of Kutna Hora presents a unique day trip to the Cemetery of All Saints with the Ossuary.
It’s a church decorated with the bones of about 40,000 buried bodies who died mostly from epidemic around the 14th Century. Legend has it that a half-blind monk decoratively arranged the bones and skulls around the 16th Century. The monk regained his eyesight after his honorable labor.
The Roman Catholic Church administrates this UNESCO World Heritage site. “Remember the Death” symbolizes hope of resurrection. Not a celebration of death, but symbolic of the equality of all people in front of the throne of God.
I digress here to explain that we are American football fans. We stayed awake two nights in a row, all night, to watch the NFL playoff games in the comfort of our room at the “Elite Hotel.” (Quite unique hearing broadcasters speak German) I was too gassed that morning to walk to Prague’s most popular attraction, the Prague Castle.
While I was content to view the site from a distance, the amazing Marilynn trekked up to the castle.
She had the place almost to herself. From Gothic to Renaissance to nouveau and cubist, the art and architectural presentation transcends words.
So, I’ll end this post in a trance of awe and wonder, and leave with you Marilynn’s inspirational photos of Prague. Ron Mitchell