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Published: December 21st 2008
The angels start to shine as the light fades.
Winter in Prague - Season of enchantment
I love spring and summer in Prague when the days are long and the sun is abundant. I never thought I would enjoy being in Prague in the fall when days became shorter and nights longer. I was always pleased that we arrived in January when days were lengthening and that we stayed until May and June when the sun was up way past setting time in Maryland where we live in the USA. So, this fall when I arrived in September and knew I was staying till the middle of December I felt things would be much less pleasant. I knew about the rainy, foggy, gloomy days of some autumns in northern Europe and I knew for sure that each day would be shorter than the preceding day right through the end of my stay. No warm balmy days with spring flowers, just less and less time to enjoy the sights of Prague and even the lovely campus and Sarka Valley walks that mean so much to me.
However, I now realize that in many ways Prague in the winter time is Prague all dressed up and
Tyne Church and Angel
Across the way the last beams of light shine on the towers of the Tyne Church
shiny ready for fun and a very good time regardless of the sunlight or the weather. In fact, I am now enchanted with those early dark evenings when I can go downtown and walk through the crowded streets gazing at the holiday lights, smell the seasonal foods baking, grilling or being fried, listen to Christmas music and see folk dancing on the stage at Old Town Square, take pictures of the Angels and Christmas trees, watch Father Christmas talking to children in the street, see children dressed as little 'devils' that same night and enter into the festive mood of the Czech nation. I had never climbed to the top of the Tower in Old Town Square and did so only after a friend, Kevin, told me it was a great view. With the Square all decorated for Christmas and filled with holiday visitors, the scene was much nicer than it could ever have been in the summer time. Night after night Bill and I caught the bus and jumped on a tram or the subway or just wandered on foot all over the downtown area up and down small streets gazing in shop windows, occasionally stopping to buy a
People begin to gather
The evening's concerts are getting underway and the crowds get larger
small Christmas craft for friends at home or buying something to eat that was being grilled right out in the open. We visited some of the free museums during the first week of December and will never forget the lovely things we saw. We finally, after 4 years, decided to try out the restaurant Toivo had told us was great but not expensive and had one of the most elegant meals we have ever enjoyed. Magical things happened during those evenings. The city was absolutely transformed by the darkness and the holiday decorations. Just walking around looking at everything in sight we stumbled upon two large displays of what are called Betlehems (which we call Creches). More about those in the next blog. Just wait and see how lovely they are! The beauty of these traditional holiday scenes enchanted both of us and gave us memories we will cherish as long as we live. Since it was cold and dark, I had the perfect excuse to slip my arm through Bill's and walk in step with him close by his side just as we often did on our Honeymoon 46 1/2 years ago. The winter nights in Prague are very
The blacksmith's fire lights faces as people order special things made.
romantic as well as amazing, spectacular and beautiful. So, be sure you have a good long down coat, a pair of great earmuffs, warm gloves and a pashima to wrap around your neck. Find a handsome guy who will guide you safely up and down the streets and get out and enjoy the early dark hours of winter in Prague. - It's an extra bonus for those of us who are old enough that we like to go to bed early. It's just as dark at 4:15 (16:15) as at midnight and you can pretend you have been out all evening kicking up your heels.
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