Prague


Just random rambling about Prague.

Managed to have some adventures in Prague, though they were a lot tamer than my previous travels.

Jonathan Stroud described Prague in The Golem’s Eye, a childhood favorite book that’s made me want to go to Prague for the last 14 years.

I could tell it was Prague as soon as I materialized. The shabby ostentation of the gold chandelier hanging from the hotel-room ceiling; the ornate and grimy moldings around the uppermost edges of the walls; the dusty folds of the drapery above the small four-poster bed; the melancholy tingle in the air—all pointed only one way.

Rather harsh, but the bit about gold chandeliers and dusty drapery are pretty accurate from my 1 week stay.

This is one of Prague’s odd qualities: something in its atmosphere, perhaps caused by five centuries of gloomy sorcery, brings out the macabre potential of every object, no matter how mundane.

Minus the sorcery, the city does have a lot of depressing statues.

I was involved in constructing the Stone Bridge, the noblest of all, back in 1357. Nine of us performed the task, as required, in a single night, fixing the foundations with the usual sacrifice: the entombment of a djinni. We drew straws for the “honor” as dawn broke. Poor Humphrey is presumably there still, bored rigid, though we gave him a pack of cards with which to pass the time.

The Stone bridge is now known as the Charles Bridge, and though it didn’t take just one night to build (try 45 years), I left some dice near the foundations in case Humphrey is feeling bored with just cards.

The sheer amount of churches would be overwhelming if they weren’t so darned pretty.

Czech food is pretty good once you realize it’s not like German food and learn to enjoy the wide variety of soups. I still think the fruit dumplings are weird.

Naše maso (butcher shop named Our Meat) had by far the best customer service I’ve received in years. They also serve steak tartare for breakfast, which is something I need to have more of in my life.

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