Am wondering when Bollywood will discover this visually stunning destination .... and ruin the mystique forever? 'Mission Impossible' was shot here, so was 'Amadeus' ( but of course!), and Dr. Zhivago. The views are spectacular, especially from Charles Bridge. People are milling around. But where are the locals? For a city of just over a million people, one wonders where they are in this vastness? Tourists tourists everywhere not a Czech in sight!! Which is not a bad thing. Think Martina Hingis. Or even the other Martina. See what I mean?
The interesting thing about listening to Don Giovanni at the gloriously exhuberant Estates Theatre is that it premiered there! Apart from that, I was not particularly impressed and wondered what Opera buff, cousin Gautam Rajadhyaksha would have thought of the soprano hitting those high notes so shakily!
'La Provence' at last night's dinner was depressing, what with exceedingly drunk Brit louts puking on the pavement outside. Perhaps tonight will make up for it.... though I have just slurped a gigantic vanilla icecream with warm berries at the magnificent Municipal House cafe - so floridly Art Nouveau, I nearly keeled over and fell trying to photograph the dazzling chandeliers. But the charming band playing Miles Davis made up for the excess , and even the blistering heat.... by the way, the city provides a lovely civic touch with huge water tankers that drive through the squares spraying the streets and passers by to bring down temperatures. For a conducted tour, I was tempted to climb into one of the restored vintage cars that take tourists around in stately splendour, but settled for a coach. I could have picked a horse carriage ( I like the leather 'nappies' strapped at the horses' rears to catch their you-know-what from spoiling the place )..... but our ghoda gaddis in Mumbai are far more charming.
Shopping wise, remember this is the birthplace of BATA shoes. They remain as ugly as I remember them from my school days. This is also the place that invented Pilsner beer. Since I'm not a beer drinker, I shall reserve my comment. I have bought nothing besides a purple t-shirt. Since I have been living in shorts, I have turned the colour of a well- made toast ( with a caramel topping). No complaints. We leave for Krakow tomorrow on a slow train. Since I have been 'pigging out', literally and figuratively, I'm all set to starve in Poland.... before heading home via Frankfurt. Does Prague figure on my 'Must re-visit' list? Naah. The Americans bombed it four times during the war. The country is young. Floods and fires have destroyed it several times through the centuries. But it left me cold. Poor Prague... or poor me??