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Published: September 6th 2017
Today is Tuesday, Tom and I are going to retrace some of what we did yesterday on tour because I wanted to be able to take some pictures early in the morning when the light is better and be able to stop when I want. Yesterday walking with a group did not allow me the opportunity to take photos at my own pace and being with 30 other people all trying to get pictures of the same thing sort of ended in me getting pictures showing a bunch of other people with cameras and phones in their hands. Definitely not my idea of album worthy photos.
After breakfast Tom wanted to catch up on a little work and I was happy to explore on my own. Camera and cell phone in hand I decided to power walk to St Charles Bridge or as they say here "Karluv Most." We've been here about 48 hours and it amazes me that prior to arrival I knew pratically nothing about Prague or the Czech Republic and now here I am walking confidently down the street, past the Powder Tower, though the narrow pedestrian streets and past what have quickly become familiar buildings.
On St Charles bridge
This is the Royal Road when Kings were being crowned the entourage would parade across St Charles bridge on their way to the coronation in St. Vitus Cathedral.
I enter the square and walk past the famous astronomical clock which puts on quite a performance every hour on the hour. This early only a few groups are waiting for the top of the hour to arrive. Eyes riveted on the clock's face. I wondered if they knew the story about the skeleton with the hour glass and the Turk next to him who would soon start shaking his head no while the 12 apostles filed past the small window above. The 25 second performance ends with a golden rooster crowing which is letting all know that there is always a new day coming. It is quite charming but this morning I brush past the people taking selfies and couples taking turns shooting pictures of each other in front of the clock. I round the corner past the toy store and head towards the Apple museum. I wondered how quickly IPads and IPhones were heading into antiquity to make room for the next stages of communications. I imagined Valerie and Jackson telling their children "When we were kids we had to hold onto the phones and swipe them with our fingers, we weren't lucky enough to have chips embedded
directly into our brains."
My focus this morning is to get to the St. Charles bridge and try to get some pictues without a thousand people in them. Yesterday during the tour we had a hard time weaving our way through the crowd and keeping up with the Radek our guide. The early morning sun is the perfect setting for pictures but there are still a lot of people on the bridge, not nearly as many as yesterday. With my camera and phone in hand I am able to take pictures to my hearts content. Having reached my destination and shooting many pictures I can now slowly meander back to the hotel taking more pictures on the way.
On the way back to the hotel I pass many doorways. The facades are ridiculously large and detailed with carvings, statues and moldings of every kind. I wished I had asked Radek more about them, were the decorations and art somehow related to a family name or their status in the community?
After returning to the hotel Tom and I walked across the street to the Alphons Mucha museum. Another fascinating find here. Mucha was a famous artist who
was very prosperous in the late 1800's and early 1900's.. He was around the same time as impressionists such as Monet, Renior, Manet, etc., but Mucha was not an impressionist painter. Look him up, we've all seen his "style" of art around forever. His painting style immediately reminded me of the Beatles album Sargeant Peppers and also of many Peace signs and posters from the 1970's I'm sure those were influenced by Mucha's Art Noveau Decorative style. The French actress Sarah Bernhardt made him famous when she needed a poster for one of her performances immediately and Mucha happen to be around to make it happen. Another discovery provided to us by Radek our guide yesterday.
Our last gift from Radek was to go to the Imperial Hotel and dine at the Imperial Cafe, he told Tom the dill soup there was delicious. Radek had been such a wonderful font of information on Czech culture, history, and art that we didn't want to miss this opportunity on our last day here. We were not disappointed, the restaurant was dripping with Czech history and fine dining. Every inch that wasn't richly carved walnut wainscot was intricately adorned with mosaics and
carved porcelain (something I'd never seen before) Our waiter Zdenek was enchanting, The food delicious oh and of course more wine from St. Emillion. Zdenek told us this hotel had been the star of Prague but during the communist occupation it was not used and had become terribly run down to the point of ruins. This was one of the many projects the Czech citizens completely restored to its former glory. I'm so glad we didn't miss it.
Tomorrow we leave Prague, we will travel by bus to Passau Germany where we will board our longboat "Hermod" and begin an 8 day journey down the Danube.
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