September 2, 2013
We are in Prague. We arrived late in the afternoon on Monday, (Happy Labor Day to all of you!) after a short 4-hour drive. We passed through Dresden on the way. I read the Internet version of the firebombing of Dresden to Rita while she drove. You will remember that Indianapolis’s Kurt Vonnegut was a POW in Dresden at the time of the bombing and later wrote the “Slaughterhouse Five” about the experience. Sixty years later the strategy for the bombing and the motive for the bombing are still being debated by historians. As we crossed the border into the Czech republic, the landscape changed from farming to rolling hills and then some not so tall mountains. The drive was lovely and so is the Czech countryside.
On Monday night, Rita was eager to get bread dumplings and be back in the land of goulash, since the Czech’s make their goulash similar to the Hungarians. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the worst meal we have had on our trip even though the concierge recommended the restaurant to us. The dumplings were NOTHING like Sophie’s bread dumplings that Rita was hoping for. Oh, well, life is filled with little disappointments.
On Tuesday, we did some sightseeing. We went to the Old Town Square and watched the oldest working astronomical clock in the world do its thing with all its working parts that tell the time, keep track of the movements of the sun, moon and planets and entertain the tourists! It also has a bell that rings, a rooster that crows and statues that dance. We strolled over the Charles Bridge, a local landmark that is used in many film shots. The bridge has 30 statues and is a pedestrian bridge filled with tourists, musicians, beggars and souvenir shops. From the bridge, you can see the Prague Castle that is today the home of the President of the Czech Republic, and the spires of St. Vitus’ Cathedral. We are sorry we saved Prague till last because it is a lovely city of narrow cobblestone streets, richly decorated buildings and numerous tree lined streets and squares and we may not have time to do it justice.
Today we want to take a tour of the Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral, yes another church. We also want to see the old Little or Lesser Quarter and the Dancing House that the Czech’s call the Fred and Ginger house. Finally, we hope to see The Loreto, which is a replica of the original house where it is believed the Virgin Mary lived and received the Annunciation from Gabriel, ah…yes another Marian shrine. Do you think we’ve hit them all? And none of this was planned at all. Ah, being a tourist is such a busy life.
Love and miss you all. –Norm & Rita
Prague was an exciting city for us!