13th January - Prague

Trip Start Dec 26, 2008
Trip End Jan 26, 2009

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This morning we awoke to our usual tray of breakfast goodies minus the cornflakes which we had ignored every other day. We hung about in the room for a bit then headed up to the church and fortifications (Vysehrad) that are just around the corner. It seemed particularly cold as we traipsed up the hill but we were rewarded when we saw squirrels scuttling about in the treetops. We had look at the church and the accompanying cemetery. We wandered about the fortification wall and then decided to head to town to see the Communist museum. We caught the metro from up near the fort and landed down near Wenceslas Square. Happening to see a sign pointing to the State Opera, we went there to buy tickets to the opera we had planned to see tonight but hadn't got around to organising. We hoped we had bought tickets for seats that Darren might fit into - on the edge, so he could stick his legs out into the aisle - or, as he said, escape to go and wait outside if it got boring.

We found our way to the museum after a few false starts and found it conveniently and ironically located right next to a McDonalds! Imperialist dogs! The museum was pretty funky, it reminded us of the DDR museum in Berlin. Had some nice statues of Uncle Joe and Vladmir Iliych too.

We exited into the harsh cold and made our way to the Mucha museum which was just down the street, which we also both enjoyed. Darren had never heard of him before so was probably more impressed with all of his work. We both agreed that he lacked any real suffering in his life, and was very successful for most of his career and was therefore quite unlike most other artists. We both look forward to one day seeing his Slav Epic.

After exiting the museum we both noticed that something was not quite right, neither of could quite put our finger on what was amiss until we came to Republic Square, and then it hit us - the sky was blue! For the first time since we had arrived in Prague the sun was shining. We made our way to Old Town Square to eat our lunch and feel the sun on our faces.
The camera was produced and many more photos in Old Town Square were taken. We then headed to Charles bridge and took even more photos but eventually ran out of steam and headed to a non rip-off cafe to get a coffee (or in Darren's case a beer).

After having a spell in the warmth we caught a tram back to the room and drop off the camera and have a little rest before heading out for dinner and La Traviata. After being very impressed with last night's restaurant, we found its sister restaurant, Celnice, not far from the opera building. Again it was a great and reasonably priced meal, and this time we shared a dessert - blueberry crumble and sour cream. Actually Darren turned up his nose at the whole dessert menu and Penny ordered it, and reluctantly agreed to the waiter's suggestion of two forks, then was glad she had - it was huge! And Darren found the sour cream not nearly as bad as he was expecting.

La Traviata started at 7 and we were inside enjoying the lovely building and the warmth a good half hour early. The distance between the rows of seats was about three times what it was in our last opera building experience, the Opera Garnier in Paris, which made the experience at least ten times more enjoyable. We both really enjoyed it. The sets and costumes were very simple and black and white, which was effective. Of course we were there in our backpacker gear, very slightly modified in Penny's case, but there were enough others not in cocktail dresses and ties so we didn't feel too bad. In fact there were a number of pairs of jeans in evidence and a lot of people who also seemed to be tourists.

We caught a tram back home, after our latest night out all holidays (except New Year's Eve, but that doesn't count)! My we are a pair of ragers.
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