It was love at first sight! I got here a few hours ago, checked in to a beautiful boutique hotel close to the main square, and hit the road running! Must have walked at least 5kms ( which is one hell of a trek for someone like moi), and feel like I belong to this vibrant and overwhelmingly beautiful city. It is not as 'imperial' and grand as Budapest, but it has its own unique beauty, as we discovered while eating onion soup across a building that was glistening like burnished gold in the rays of the late afternoon sun. But when I looked over the cobblestones carefully, I discovered the manhole covers in Prague are nowhere near the works of art they are in Budapest! Really!! Budapest was known for its exquisite ironwork over centuries and that is evident at every turn - the grills, railings and yes, manhole covers are total eye candy. Over a long and lingering breakfast at the historic Cafe Gerbeaud ( established:1858), sitting under a mulberry bush with noisy, chattering sparrows feeding bread crumbs off the marble top table, sipping hot chocolate and feeling sad about leaving Budapest, I vowed to come back soon and spend time at the magnificent opera house.
To make me feel better, as soon as we arrived in Prague, my husband booked tickets for Don Giovanni, and other Mozart arias, which will be performed in a gorgeous Spanish Synagogue tomorrow night. Unlike in Budapest, there are thousands and thousands of tourists thronging the picturesque square here. And there are no war scars to be seen - Prague surrendered to Hitler without putting up any resistance whatsoever, remember! I'm told the local cuisine is a little iffy, and the wines somewhat dodgy. Shall give you the full report tomorrow. We are planning to eat at a charming restaurant close to the hotel and then walk across the square for an after dinner coffee. My children tell me it is pouring in Mumbai. Well, I am relieved to be dry, cool and comfortable in Pretty Prague. I shall keep you posted!!