The first night I arrived I met a friend of a friend :) and we went to a seafood festival right on the Vltava River. I seriously had some of the best salmon in my life. And coming from someone who's eaten a lot of good salmon in Alaska, that's a high compliment. It was still delicious two days later!! We had a wonderful time chatting and just getting introduced!
While I was still on the eastern bank of the river, I had a lovely day starting with a delicious breakfast and then lots and lots of walking back and forth across the river, around the castle grounds a couple of times and the entirety of Prague old town. Prague isn't a giant city but it's not super compact either. I sure wish my pedometer hadn't broken before this adventure. Would have been fun to see how many steps I've taken in some of these cities!
|Just one of the many beautiful city streets in Prague. Each street is charming and each building is uniquely beautiful!|
|Super tasty eggs with chives, in house made bread and jam!! Yummy!|
|The stage at intermission. Sure wish I could have heard that organ!!|
|Panorama with more of the ceiling. The whole place was spectacular inside!|
|People sat stock still in hard wooden subway chairs for the entire concert. During intermission I managed to snag a photo of an empty row, but the seats were all filled during the concert :)|
|Czech violin made this year.|
Once I moved into the nice hostel on the western side of the river, I met a girl from Chile. It was fun because I got to practice speaking to her in Spanish and she got to practice speaking to me in English. It worked out well for both of us :) So I invited her on a tour to Kutna Hora the next day that I had already booked. Probably the most famous place in Kutna Hora is the Bone Chapel. As explained by the tour guide, a monk had traveled to the holy lands and brought back a vial of soil that he spread upon his return. The belief was that this ground was now holy too so everyone wanted to be buried there. After so many years there was no more room to bury anyone so they built a small chapel to move the bones into so they could keep burying people outside. A priest was chosen to stack the bones in 4 pyramids which still stand today, although one is leaning! Then along came a man with a vision to take the bones and create the decorations of wreathes and towers and chandeliers inside. Him, his wife and his son worked for ten years on this project and thus was created the famous Bone Chapel.
|Outside the chapel in the graveyard.|
|Looking back from the inside toward the main entrance.|
|The leaning tower of bones.....|
|A bone crest with a symbolic raven pecking out the eye of a skull in the lower right hand corner.|
|Bones everywhere! Strung from all corners of the ceiling.|
|A close up of a bone wreathe.|
|Skull towers were in the middle of the chapel where you could purchase and light a candle and place it in front of a skull.|
|More bone sculptures. Must find something to do with all those bones I guess...dem bones dem bones.|
|View of the Cathedral and the no longer attached Jesuit monastery.|
|INCREDIBLE ~~ A DOUBLE RAINBOW OVER THE VLTAVA|
|Had to get my picture :-)|
Once I got the the Yacht club, I hopped in a van with 5 other people and rode to the lake. Turns out my new friend was working as a helper for a disabled sailor and the weekend was for them partly. So I got to help out in an entirely new way for me and meet a wonderful girl about my age who loves to sail, but can't by herself. I helped rig the sail boats, put them in the water, helped her get to the boat and then reversed it all. I got to meet other awesome disabled sailors as well as able bodied ones. Most didn't speak much English, but we managed and had a terrific weekend I'll never forget! Unfortunately I don't have many pictures because I didn't want to take my good camera near the water and my phone is no longer water proof so my devices were left safely on land.
|I was playing music on my laptop and visiting with Katka :)|
|Lime green Vibrams! <3 <3 <3|
First I had intended to go to the Dvorak Museum, but it was closed that day so instead I went to the Mucha Museum. I had gone last time I was in Prague but it was nice to revisit again and buy another magnet :)
|I like the music is the night time one :)|
|A photo of Mucha's chair and writing desk.|
|It was a bit windy so I had to weigh down the legs of my music stand so it wouldn't blow over! But I had an appreciative audience located where the picture was taken that listened to the whole performance and then kindly donated :)|
The next big thing was to go up the Petrin Tower because I like heights and seeing cities from the very top! So off I took up a big hill. First I stopped at the communist memorial.
|The monument shows how destructive communism is. What you can't see is by the very last step at the top, only a foot is left.|
After a short rest in the rose gardens it was time for the climb up the tower. It was totally worth it though. Amazing view from the top! Wished it was a little bigger to just sit and look.
|Best view in town! Yes, I get an even better workout carrying my violin, music and stand with me everywhere!|
|Close up of the Charles Bridge where I played!|
|Panorama of the city.|
I also went to the Dvorak Museum and a concert of Dvorak tunes in the evening. It was a lovely concert of 3 singers, a violinist and accompanist. They were all dressed in proper regalia for the time period and the concert was held at the museum in the upper level in an extravagant room with painted walls and ceiling.
|Room with Dvorak's piano, bust and furniture.|
|Part of the ceiling and room where the concert took place.|
|This is a picture of the screen and the orchestra with every seat filled and people standing packed along the sides, just on the other side of the screen.|
Before meeting him the next day, I enjoyed a farmers market, some errands and a lovely walk through the old town before crossing the bridge to find him. He played with backing tracks the famous songs everyone knows like Canon in D, Ave Maria, Largo from Xerxes and so on. He cued up one of the tracks and said to play the melody and he would play harmony so I did. Then the next track we switched. We did this for half an hour and had a little crowd gathered listening, recording, and even buying his cd for sale. It was one of those moments in life where you wish you could capture the feeling in a bottle and take it with you. My heart was out of my body and soaring in the clouds. I hope to keep in touch with him and play again someday!
|Joy is written all over both of us!|
|Even though he didn't really speak English, we communicated through our music together in the most amazing way.|
|He even took my picture while I played solo!|
|The best memory of Prague and of Europe so far; right there on the bridge over the Vltava, with just the joy of music.|
|A Stradivarius and Guarneri violin on display played by Suk.|
|The inside atrium of the museum. They hold live concerts there and the museum is in the surrounding rooms on the ground and first floor.|
My couch host is a sailor so she took me and another friend out sailing in the sunshine. It was quite a gift!
|Sailing on the Vltava|
|Sun is shining bright today!|
|My steal of a deal! Now I have more music to play. Happy girl indeed :)|
With love, from Prague <3