Thursday, November 18, 2004

Putting Prague To Bed

Despite two chilly & rainy days (luckily, mostly a drizzle, not a downpour) I enjoyed Prague. I didn't really notice any of the "youthful vibrancy" that I recall hearing about, though admittedly I stayed largely in the central Prague tourist area. In fact, I wouldn't even know how, or where, to get out and about to "real Prague" but I guess it's that way for tourists who stay exclusively in downtown Chicago. It kind of reminded me of Brussels, the awe was in the beauty of the buildings, not really all that much in terms of wonderful activities or attractions. Today I schlepped up more stairs I've ever walked outside -- in the cold rain, mind you -- to reach the Prague Castle. In fact, the visually cool part of Prague Castle is a big church, St. Vitas Cathedral, and I've been to enough big beautiful churches already. The castle itself was a real dud, in that I got to see like three rooms, the main one of which had construction going on. Tonight, I attended an opera, The Bartered Bride, by Smetana, who was a Czech. I really actually enjoyed it, more probably than most of the operas I've seen at the Lyric in Chicago. Of course being in the 3rd row rather than the 5th level helped.

So much for Prague, hopefully. Tomorrow may be a bit hairy, as I'm supposed to fly into London Gatwick from Prague, arriving at 12:35pm and then fly out of London Gatwick on a separate flight to Amsterdam at 2:45pm. If all goes right, or close to it, I shouldn't have a problem getting my suitcase and re-checking in during this 2 hour window. But I saw on the weather (on the Internet) that they're expecting snow in Prague tomorrow morning. No sign of it yet, just rain tonight, but let's hope that doesn't delay my flight. If I can't get out, or get out to late to catch the other flight, well, that wouldn't be good. I think there's an evening flight from Gatwick to Amsterdam, which could be a fallback, but might require purchasing a new ticket. So keep your fingers crossed for me.

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