Posts Tagged 'smetana'

Third of Four Cities: Prague

Our hotel in Prague, The Diplomat, though very good, was located far from the center of town, but just steps from a subway station. Nothing like riding public transportation to give you a sense of place. Coming to Prague from Vienna, there had been a lunch stop at a highway service area just inside the Czech border, and a fine lunch it was, complete with a large draft of Pilsner Urquelle, the national beer of the Republic. As in Hungary, we were no longer on the Euro, but both Hungary and the Czech Republic are scheduled to join the Euro zone.

We had signed up for a group dinner and a night at the opera; there are neither Marx Brothers nor Marxists left in Prague. Back on the bus through heavy traffic for dinner at the Opera Restaurant, and then a few steps to the Prague State Opera House for a performance of Bizet’s Carmen. The sets were dramatic and ingenious, and the orchestra and company seemed, to my untrained ear, more than up to the task. There were three of us seated in a box for six, all quite upscale in an old worldly way. Unfortunately during the Habanera, I suffered a violent leg cramp and began knocking over empty chairs in my efforts to escape the pain in my calf.

The first morning in Prague, like the first mornings in each of the cities on our trip, was given over to a guided tour, which we did the first day in each city, a good way for first-time visitors to get bearings in a strange town. Prague Castle, another contribution to my sense of architectural overload, is the center of government and is protected by unsmiling, but unserious-looking Czech soldiers in baby blue, comic opera uniforms. Continue reading ‘Third of Four Cities: Prague’