A Musical Interlude

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, July 15, 2013

We were told a couple of things about Prague, by many many people: it is beautiful; and there is music everywhere...

Prague is definitely an impressive city, best understood from a lookout on one of the surrounding hills. What a gorgeous perspective, and upon closer inspection, every building is covered in beautiful details. Our necks are sore from craning to see every riveted door, every sculpted door handle, every fancy window frame, every textured facade, every domed tower, every gilded spire. 

Prague is absolutely full of fantastic tunes and is probably most well known for its classical and jazz music. You can't go anywhere without hearing music playing, so for our first full day here we let the music be our guide by basing our wanders around picking up our concert tickets in one place at a certain time and being at the concert location at a certain time. Ticketed live performances are extremely accessible here. While many theatres post doormen out front to market their shows, church box offices list all the area's options, so patrons can choose what they want to see by venue, by performers, by musical selection or by instrument, then pay a fair price. Online box offices offer the same extensive search options and often offer a deeper discount for purchasing online. We joined the dots between ticket pick-up and concert start time with long walks, taking in so many sights, with our own soundtrack playing in the background because there are street performers everywhere. So far we've seen an organ, an accordion, a keyboard, a flute, a didgeridoo, water glasses, various hand and foot shakers, several guitars, many vocalists and a four man jazz band. The concert we attended was a classical performance by piano and viola at an intimate concert room at the Lobkowicz Palace within the Prague Castle compound. Originally we envisioned a cavernous hall, but hearing the music in the relatively cozy space was a much better experience. We were a small crowd, so close to the musicians under the beautiful 17th century painted stucco ceilings.

We really enjoy eating at local spots outside the tourist trap areas, but in cities like Prague where so many people are tourists, it's sometimes difficult to track down a local of similar age and taste to ask for dining suggestions. After our good luck with the guidebook suggestion for local-approved dinner in Berlin, we tried out a Prague restaurant and were again very pleased at a great price. Dishes ordered at Café Louvre: plum chili sauce hamburger with French fries and coleslaw, potato gnocchi with salmon, pesto and cream sauce, local beer, ice cream soda*. 
*Delicious summer drink alert: tall glass of soda water, blackcurrant syrup, scoop of lime ice cream or sorbet.
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