Prague, Czech Republic
Nazdar! Greetings from Prague in the Czech Republic. Prague is affectionately named the city of 100 Spires. We had heard this was the most beautiful city in the world and
decided to see if the legend was true. A two-hour flight from London Gatwyck took us into the outskirts of the city. From there we hired a car for the 30-minute drive downtown. We rented a beautiful flat in the center of Stare Mesto, the heart of the city. The local currency is the Koruna and trades at about 15:1 against the U.S. Dollar. It is one of the more expensive eastern European cities.
Our suite was within walking distance ot the city’s top attractions. The Old Towne square is dominated by St. Nicholas’s Church and the Clocktower. St. Nick’s is the best piece of architecture I have ever laid eyes on. Its twin spires reminded me of the towers in Lord of the Rings. The clocktower draws huge crowds at the top of every hour. When the bell tolls, the clock’s doors open up and hand crafted miniature figurines enact a play for onlookers. It’s an impressive display of craftsmanship.
We took a river cruise on the Vltava river and sailed underneath the bridges that connect the city. While we waited for the boat to dock we stopped in Cafe Marnice for some Expresso to warm us up. Prague is chilly in the winter and Cafe Marnice offers outdoor seating overlooking the river with sheepskin chairs and heatlamps to keep you toasty. Our tour guide gave us a quick synopsis of Prague history. The Czech Republic was called Czechoslavkia during the Soviet regime. Prague was repressed by Communist control until the winter of 1989. The Czech people took to the streets of Wenceslas Square in a bloodless coup that came to be known as the “Velvet Revolution.” Slovakia and the CR had an amicable split and became separate nations. After the revolution, statues of Soviet leaders were torn down and the dreary grey buildings were painted vibrant colors. The Downtown area and the Charles Bridge were completely renovated. The project was a huge success and tourism has flourished in the Czech Republic.
Prague is famous for its artistic spirit. We found some amazing paintings and sculptures. We discovered a form of theatre unique to the city – “Blacklight Theatre”. A blacklight theatre is set on an all-black stage and the only lighting is powerful blacklights that cast the performers in a surreal glow. It’s absolutely beautiful. We caught an amazing production of “Aspects of Alice” – an adaptation of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland that captures Alice’s erotic journey from adolescence to womanhood.
After spending time in Prague, we too are convinced it’s one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. The architecture is absolutely smashing. The design is brilliant. The city vibrates with energy and the people appreciate their freedom and autonomy. This is one of the top destinations in Europe and we hope you get there someday. Na shledanou! (Until next time in Czech.)
– The Rox