Prague is stunning. My neck seems to be locked in an upward position as I walk through the OlD Town staring up at one spectacularly ornate building facade and church after another. Ornate decorative details everywhere you look, rococo and baroque and art nouveau; buildings adorned with sculptures of buxom women, elaborate iron balconies, gold leaf, geometric patterns. My favorite today hands down was the incredible art nouveau Municipal Building and a small museum devoted to the work of alphonse Mucha. Also walked across the Charles Bridge in early eve.
We are staying in the heart of it all at the Green Garland Pension, a 14th century building on Retezova Street, a narrow street made of old paving stones. Already we have eaten very well, first at The Bake Shop, which we found instead of the Jewish deli we were looking for and has a wide selection of salads, breads, meats, pastries; later at Club architecture, which served nouvous Czech cuisine…I had an excellent beef goulash with dumplings. We also had coffee yesterday morning across,the street at an old place called Montmarte and beer at a brew pub down the street and tonight at another bohemian bar, Literati Kavarna Retezova.
Tonight we splurged for Russ’s 56th birthday at Celeste, a fancy French restaurant atop Frank Gehry’s building on the river known as Dancing House (because you cn almost make out ginger and fred dancing). excellent food, spectacular view of the castle across the river high on a hill above the river. AFter that went to a small cavernous blues club around the block from our pension to hear a band fronted by a guy from small town Oklahoma.
We also had good thin crust pizza at a little open air place near Wenceslas Square, pulcinella, (via melantrichova #11) and coffee and pastry at a hard to find place, Mysak, opened on 1911.
We toured several,incredibly beautiful synagogues and a very old Jewish cemetery in the Jewish district, including one temple,where the walls are painted with thousands of names, one afte another after another of Czech jews who died in the holocaust. very moving. We also walked across the elegant Charles Bridge and into the main town square.
we met up,as planned with our friends from London Francine and Russ who,we,last traveled with last october in New Orleans. I have traveled,to 17 places and counting with Franc during our 34 year friendship, about a third if those the trips with our husbands in tow, to a,variety of places from Arkansas to Ireland, Santa Fe to Paris.