What else did I see in Prague, Frances asked? Truly, it was a whistle stop tour. We arrived late, very late, in a snowstorm, to our hotel in the Old Town Square which was gearing up for Easter with streamers in the trees. A man stood chopping wood for one of the many open fires and that was the first indication that Prague is a city of the elements, an alembic.
It’s interesting, you know (or maybe you don't), that although the name Prague comes from the Slavic for ‘ford’, the city’s native name is Praha and its etymology suggests the word práh - threshold. So, a liminal place, then? My kind of town.
‘The Astronomical Clock is just around the corner,’ said Adrian. And, with only a few minutes before the hour, we waited with the throng of tourists to watch the little figures come out and do their thing.
I wanted to go in hunt of alchemists, of golems and astrologers, of spells and sorcery. I yearned to see the Prague of Dee and Kelley, of Kepler and of Maharal Rabbi Loew. Adrian, meanwhile, mused on defenestration and protectorates, Hussites and, of course, beer.
But he dutifully took me to see the old Jewish Cemetery (100,000 burials, 12 layers of tombs) and pointed out the wall and window where the golem supposedly waited. We walked over the Charles Bridge, climbed up to the castle, wandered up and down steps and into backways and byways.
I’m not good at being a tourist. I don’t really go for ticking off museums and sights. I love just meandering around, stopping every so often to sit at some café or bar and watch a new city at work and play. And Praha is the perfect city for that…
Huge thanks to the Czech Tourist Board for their generous hospitality. I love your city, I truly do…and I hope to return...I really do. So much more to see. So much more to love.
Yes, I take crap photographs. Apologies. :-)